October 28, 2015

Center hiring interns for summer 2016 investigative reporting, public engagement and marketing positions

Reporting intern and UW-Madison journalism master's student Kate Prengaman talks to groundwater expert George Kraft in the Little Plover River in June 2013.

Kate Golden / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Reporting intern and UW-Madison journalism master’s student Kate Prengaman talks to groundwater expert George Kraft in the Little Plover River in June 2013. She now covers the natural resources beat for the Yakima (Washington) Herald-Republic.

The award-winning Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is seeking applicants for three paid summer 2016 internships.

Two interns will report on investigative stories and may use other skills, including photography and data analysis and visualization, to produce investigative coverage.

The third intern will serve as a public engagement and marketing assistant, playing a key role in social media efforts, event planning and tracking the distribution and impact of the Center’s work.

The internships will begin in June 2016 and end in August. The internships may be extended for up to a full year.

Eligibility is limited to undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled, at the time of application, in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where the nonpartisan and nonprofit Center is based.

Pay for the 12-week internships is $11 an hour. The schedule is about 40 hours per week and is flexible.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, 2015.

Interns are provided office space in Vilas Communication Hall.

Some travel around Wisconsin may be required. Access to a vehicle and a laptop is required.

During a staff training on audio recording, reporting intern Haley Henschel explains to Tara Golshan what she had for breakfast.

Kate Golden / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

During a staff training on recording audio, reporter intern Haley Henschel explains to Tara Golshan what she had for breakfast.

About the investigative reporting internships

Reporting interns receive intensive training and experience in interviewing, researching and writing. They work with the Center’s staff and partners at Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television to produce high-impact investigative journalism on government integrity and quality of life issues.

Reporting interns also may assist news organizations throughout Wisconsin in investigative coverage. In-depth, investigative and computer-assisted reporting skills are preferred. Web, audio, video and photography skills are desirable.

To apply for a reporting internship, applicants must submit the following in electronic form to Executive Director Andy Hall at ahall@wisconsinwatch.org:

  • One-page letter describing why you should be selected for the position.
  • Resume including work and journalistic experience, awards, GPA and three references.
  • Up to five examples of published or broadcast work. Students who want to do photos, videos or other multimedia should provide portfolios.
  • One story pitch, no longer than three paragraphs. A pitch is not a topic. It should summarize the story in a single sentence, and explain who is affected by the situation, why the public should care, and how you plan to get it done.

About the public engagement and marketing internship

The public engagement and marketing intern works closely with the Center’s Associate Director and receives intensive training and experience in engaging the Center’s audiences through social media, events and other outreach, and working to increase and track the reach and impact of the Center’s reports. Strong editorial and social media writing skills, keen attention to detail and an ability to work independently are desired. Excel, WordPress, Adobe, MailChimp and basic design skills are preferred.

To apply for a public engagement and marketing internship, applicants must submit the following in electronic form to Hall at ahall@wisconsinwatch.org:

  • One-page cover letter stating why you should be selected for the position — your passion for public engagement and public service, writing and communication skills, digital media skills, and how this job enhances your career development.
  • Resume including relevant work experience — marketing communication (e.g., advertising, PR, digital media planning) and public engagement (e.g., nonprofit marketing, social marketing, election campaigns, public outreach); digital media skills; awards; GPA and relevant course list; three contacts for reference.
  • Up to five writing samples and/or design portfolio, and links to social media profiles that demonstrate your online presence.

Questions may be directed to Hall at ahall@wisconsinwatch.org, 608-262-3642, or in the Center’s office, 5006 Vilas Communication Hall.

About the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

The Center began operating in 2009. It increases the quality and quantity of investigative reporting in Wisconsin, while training current and future generations of investigative journalists. Its work fosters an informed citizenry and strengthens democracy. The Center is guided by its values: Protect the vulnerable. Expose wrongdoing. Seek solutions. It focuses on government integrity — particularly the role of money in politics and policymaking — and quality of life issues such as the environment, education, the economy, health, and the justice system that are important to the people of Wisconsin.

The Center collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication, where it is housed, and news organizations in Wisconsin and across the nation.

The Center’s reports are distributed by WisconsinWatch.org, the Center’s Web site; and are made available for free to print, online and broadcast news organizations. Since 2009, the Center has produced more than more than 250 major news reports that have been cited, published or broadcast by more than 350 newspapers, radio and TV stations and news websites in Wisconsin and nationwide. The estimated audience of the Center’s reports exceeds 46 million people.

Stories produced by the Center’s staff, interns and classroom collaborations have received 32 Milwaukee Press Club awards, and three times have been named a finalist in the student category of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards. In 2012, the Center’s collaboration with the UW-Madison journalism school won the Associated Press Media Editors’ first Innovator of the Year for College Students award.

The Center’s former interns are thriving in journalism and related fields. They have worked for news organizations across the nation and around the world, including the Green Bay Press-Gazette, WisPolitics.com, Voice of San Diego, NBC, Appleton Post-Crescent, The Nation, Yakima Herald Republic, Forbes and The Associated Press.

More details about the Center’s journalistic and financial operations are available at: http://www.wisconsinwatch.org/about/