Daily Bruin Copy Editor Internship – Westwood, California
The Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student-run newspaper, began publishing in 1919, the year UCLA was founded. It has a staff of hundreds of contributors and roughly 60 editors covering a variety of topics— including Bruinwalk, a website where students can post reviews on professors, classes and apartments. It prints three days a week and publishes digital content daily, providing both students and the general public a consistent, reliable news source on all things UCLA. For Bruins looking to get involved at this reputable newspaper and gain real experience working within a journalism environment, the copy editor internship may be an option for you. Though your name doesn’t get printed, copy editors play very important roles at the Daily Bruin, including writing the final headlines for articles. Read on to learn more about the position!
What it’s like
The copy editor internship is an ideal position for those just getting started in the newspaper world, as the work isn’t too overwhelming or time-consuming. A lot of the copy editing itself can be done remotely, while print production and copy section meetings happen on campus in the Daily Bruin office. At the beginning of their shifts, copy interns receive their stories for the day —typically three— and edit them online. After, they meet with a slot editor who provides feedback on both the edits and the headline the intern suggested.
“When I joined the Daily Bruin as a copy intern, I found my workload to be very manageable. It was challenging at times, but in a way that felt satisfying to complete,” Daily Bruin copy staffer/proofer and UCLA sophomore Paco Bacalski said. “Even as someone with no prior experience in journalism, I always felt well prepared to handle the demands of the job. When I did find myself needing extra guidance, I never felt uncomfortable going to the slot editors, whom I have always found to be very kind, helpful and accommodating.”
As a former copy intern at Daily Bruin myself, I can testify to this statement. Peeling my eyes for any grammar or spelling errors and having a million tabs open whilst fact-checking required a lot of focus. The process did feel satisfying, though, and sending a finished piece off to the slot editor never failed to bring me a sense of accomplishment. And like Paco said, the slot editors are always understanding and available if you need any help!
Cool stuff you get to do
Copy interns at the Daily Bruin aren’t just students who sit behind their screens, editing remotely with their work being essentially anonymous. Copy editors are an integral part of any journalism organization, which means they get to interact with all the other sections of the newspaper. At the Daily Bruin, copy interns can cross-train for other sections of the newspaper and thus contribute to it in new and different ways. If you’re a copy editor who has a side interest in writing, for instance, this opportunity is perfect for you.
“By reading so much diverse content, you also become more aware of what’s going on on campus and the community around you,” Daily Bruin Editor in Chief and UCLA junior Isabelle Friedman said.
The Daily Bruin features several sections, ranging from sports to news to opinion. It also includes a wide variety of digital information, from podcasts to cartoons. Bruins always have access to reliable, up-to-date news and information both in online and printed formats. Students can learn about essentially anything they want regarding their school, like what sports teams are competing next or what campus initiatives are being pushed.
What you’ll learn
Speaking from personal experience, the biggest thing you’ll learn as a copy intern at the Daily Bruin is extremely high attention to detail. Interns learn how to become much more aware of grammatical rules, style consistency and more. (One of my favorite ways to annoy my friends now is to correct the grammatical mistakes they make over text.) Additionally, copy interns learn how to navigate the editor-writer relationship, one that requires patience and understanding.
“Copy editing sometimes involves reaching out to writers to suggest larger edits, and this is a great way to develop conflict mediation skills,” said Friedman.
No one likes having their work critiqued, and we often don’t like to be the one critiquing someone else’s work. This is one of the biggest relationships that copy interns get to learn how to approach. Though we might not like stepping on people’s toes, it’s imperative to be direct and honest about edits that need to be made for the sake of the piece. Being respectful, patient and open-minded when communicating with writers can go a long way in establishing professional and pleasant relationships.
How to prepare for your application
Now comes the nerve-wracking part: the application. Just the thought of sitting down, filling out short answers about ourselves brings a bout of stress to a lot of us. Worry not, though. When it comes to the Daily Bruin application, being as transparent as possible is the way to go.
“Be yourself! Express genuine interest in writing and editing in addition to a motivation to grow. Brush up on your spelling and grammar rules, since there is a practice editing exercise,” said Friedman.
Though the saying is cliche, it’s well-known for a reason. Daily Bruin is a professional, well-run newspaper, but it’s the diversity and creativity of its student contributors that makes it even more special. Copy editors at the paper exhibit a strong work ethic and passion for truth and accuracy in writing which helps them excel. Demonstrating a drive to learn and improve as well as your authentic personality guarantees you’ll stand out during your interview.
Skills that impress them
Another way copy applicants can impress their interviewers is by having previous journalism experience. This could be past work at a high school newspaper or experience at another journalism organization at UCLA. AP Style knowledge is another quality that puts you above the rest, as it will become second nature to copy interns. Any other editing experience is also a plus!
Beyond the journalism experience you’ll gain as a copy editor, there are plenty of other benefits you’ll receive during your time at the Daily Bruin. The Daily Bruin office, located on the first floor of Kerckhoff Hall, constantly buzzes with students collaborating on work. Or, if you just want a place to study indoors, the Daily Bruin office is always an option. One of the most significant perks is the Daily Bruin community you’ll connect with. From fun socials to late nights working in the office, the lifelong friends you’ll make at the Daily Bruin makes the experience much more memorable.
“One of the best perks of working in Copy is getting to work with every section of the paper,” Daily Bruin copy chief and UCLA junior Kimmy Rice said. “It really is a special experience because not every section gets those opportunities to meet so many different people. And within Copy, we spend a lot of time together and get to form a really strong bond. A lot of my favorite memories with DB come from those late-night print productions where we would order pizookies or pizza and watch movies in our spare time. DB is one of the strongest communities on campus.”
Copy editors not only get to know each other as a section, but also get to meet and collaborate with students from all other sections of the paper. With 19 other sections of students working at the Daily Bruin, there is an infinite number of people you can meet. Countless memories will be made in the office working alongside your peers, and even more from the fun socials outside the office. The sense of community the Daily Bruin offers is like no other!
Copy interns at the Daily Bruin work about three hours a week and are unpaid. However, there are opportunities for upward mobility, including promotions to paid staff and leadership positions. Daily Bruin hires at the beginning of fall and winter quarters. If you’re looking for top-tier experience in journalism and a way to make the most out of your time as a Bruin, definitely send in your applications!