English and Journalism

Journalism Internships

Journalism 404, Field Work in Journalism

Practicing journalism in a work-study setting can be rewarding and appreciated by future employers. Through Journalism 404 (Field Work in Journalism), you can earn up to 12 semester hours, depending on the work performed. (Six semester hours can be used in the Journalism major, with up to 3 semester hours of that amount toward the 400-level elective requirement.) Generally, newsroom internships are available in many places worldwide, and range from reporting positions earning union wages to more informal volunteering as a website worker.

Our students have gained valuable experience, references, and industry contacts at sites ranging from newspapers in Topeka, Pekin, and Burlington, to magazines in the Quad Cities and Peoria, to Ebony magazine and WLS-AM in Chicago. A few national clearinghouses offer some help:

Don’t overlook opportunities in your hometowns or near Western. Some western Illinois area publications are willing to discuss your covering meetings or sports, working weekends or full-time, enterprising features or writing profiles, reporting as a stringer or commuter, or even working on the copy desk, in photography or other newsroom areas. Few have formal programs or offer pay, but we encourage students to offer their skills to an employer as a way to sharpen those talents, to experience reporting as it happens, and to meet some of journalism’s most fascinating characters: editors and sources, anonymous heroes and regular people.

How to Proceed

  • Talk with professor Mohammad Siddiqi, Journalism Director.
  • Set up an interview with a potential internship site.
  • Arrange work, or assignment schedules or responsibilities with the new outlet.
  • Confirm the arrangements for appropriate academic credit with Ellen Poulter, Academic Advisor for the Department of English and Journalism.

Download a listing of western Illinois area newsrooms (pdf)

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(Torben Orlander photo)

Mark Briggs is an award-winning media innovator,
and the author of the manual Journalism 2.0.