It is unfortunate that some journalism students are “cautioned against taking on internships” (Heaton, Blakely. “Covering Communities.” The Butler Collegian 24 February 2016) during the semesters they take JR 212, JR 312, or JR 412.
As former Collegian Editor-In-Chief Matthew VanTryon posted earlier this week on social media from his internship at The Sporting News, “I’ve learned more during the past two months than I’ve ever learned in a classroom. NOTHING in a classroom replaces real-world experience.”
Journalism majors only have five or six semesters to do internships since students are rarely ready to intern during their first two semesters in college. If students are discouraged from doing internships when taking JR 212, JR 312, or JR 412, then they would be left with only two or three semesters to get the invaluable experience that internships can uniquely provide. A study abroad semester would further cut into that number.
I am the Internship Director for the College of Communication and a member of the journalism faculty. I will gladly meet with any journalism major to discuss internships regardless of the journalism classes a student may take during any semester.
Three students taking JR 312 last fall interned with the Indiana Supreme Court, WISH-TV, and the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. Students taking JR 412 this spring are interning at a variety of places including WTHR-TV, Indiana Pacers beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report, Indianapolis Zoo, WISH-TV and other places.
Journalism students should be encouraged to do internships when they feel they are ready. I’ve worked professionally in radio and television newsrooms and I have former students who are working in newsrooms across the country. The importance of internships cannot be understated.
Internship Director, College of Communication
Instructor, Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism