Pulliam Journalism Fellowship

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Pulliam Fellow, Indianapolis, IN, and Phoenix, AZ

Two Gannett Company newspapers, the Indianapolis Star and the Arizona Republic, offer rigorous real-world job experience through the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship. The fellowship program molds journalism students into strong reporters, and participants of the program jumpstart their careers through this long-standing fellowship. Many alumni went on to become publishers, Pulitzer Prize winners or leaders in the industry, most notable being current Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed Ben Smith.

What It’s Actually Like

Participants in the fellowship program act as members of the newsroom by covering stories just like the staff members in the Indianapolis and Phoenix newsrooms. Ten students at the Indianapolis Star and 15 students at the Arizona Republic work at a variety of desks including general/metro, features, digital/social media and sports.

Cool Stuff You Get to Do

During this 10-week program, interns work in writing workshops, create articles for publication and learn from top journalism minds while gaining an incredible amount of professional experience in the journalism field. Director Russ Pulliam emphasizes that all of the fellows act as regular reporters for their assigned newspaper and desk. “They are regular reporters for the Star just like the other reporters. They write stories, cover events and whatever they’re covering is what they are doing,” Pulliam said.

What You’ll Learn

The Pulliam Journalism Fellowship prepares journalism students for real-world reporting by teaching students how to think and act like reporters. Each fellow learns how to use social media as a key tool for reaching bigger audiences with their reporting by understanding self-promotion on accounts like Twitter and Facebook. Pulliam finds that through lessons learned from journalism and this program, the fellows develop useful skills for the future. “Being a journalist also has advantages in many other fields because you learn to communicate well, write well and speak well,” Pulliam said.

How to Prepare for your Application

Get ready to spend time perfecting your application because the intensive app contains multiple parts. Aside from writing two essays, applicants must send in published writings, a transcript, a photo and three different letters of recommendation. Visit your school’s career center to perfect your resume and start gathering letters of recommendation from either professors or current employers to get a head start. Don’t procrastinate with this application because it needs to be sent to the director in Indianapolis through snail mail!

Skills that Impress Them

An applicant must possess the ability to write extremely well. This program looks for strong candidates with a passion for news journalism. Pulliam notes the importance of previous journalism job experiences for the reviewers of the applications. “The best qualifications are previous experience in news, which could come lots of different ways,” Pulliam said. “Many [interns] have worked for their school newspaper—almost all of them have.”

Cool Perks

Absolutely no intern coffee-fetches in this job…unless you want a cup for yourself. You won’t be like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada because, as a fellow in this program, you write your own stories and cover a beat like a real reporter. And did we mention there is a $650 weekly stipend throughout the entire 10-week program?

The Deets

To work in this high-paced newsroom, you must attend school for journalism or a related degree program and be a junior, senior or graduate student. The fellowship lasts throughout the entire summer, and start dates may vary depending on finals schedules. The application period usually closes in November, so keep your eyes wide open so this opportunity does not pass you by.

Maija is a senior Journalism, Strategic Communications and French major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can most likely find her running around Madison, eating lots of cheese curds, dancing at Zumba, singing spontaneously or baking banana bread.

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