Fairfax Media launches search for 2011 Journalism Interns

This is the fifth year that Fairfax has offered internships, and the company is seeking keen interns to undergo training in 2011 at one of five leading journalism schools, after which they would join publications or websites of their choice.

Applications for this year’s intern scheme will open on Monday, July 5, 2010, and close at noon on Friday, August 6. Applicants will undergo an on-line written test and from that, would-be interns will undergo other written tests before interviews by representatives of their chosen publications or website and journalism schools.

Fairfax Media’s journalism intern scheme began in 2006, and more than 50 interns have been selected in that time.

At the recent Qantas Media Awards, nine interns took 20 awards, including Amanda Fisher, of the Dominion Post, who was named student journalist of the year, having trained at Massey University.

This is the third year in a row Fairfax interns have taken the award. Previous winners were John Hartevelt, who is now a member of the Fairfax political bureau in Wellington, and Laura Jackson, of the Manawatu Standard.

Among other things, the scheme offers participants:

  • The opportunity to study for a year at one of the participating institutions
  • Work experience during course holidays at one of Fairfax's publications;
  • Reimbursement of course fees to successful applicants
  • Employment with a Fairfax publication at the conclusion of the course.
  • On-going training and career development.

    Fairfax owns nine daily newspapers including The Dominion Post and The Press, two national Sunday newspapers, a vast range of magazines, a magazine publishing business, the Stuff, BusinessDay and RugbyHeaven websites among others, and more than 50 community newspapers throughout the country.

    Successful interns will undergo year-long training for a Diploma or Graduate Diploma in Journalism at Massey University, Wellington, the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Aoraki Polytechnic, Timaru, and the Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton. Where possible, successful applicants will be trained in the institution of their choice.

    Fairfax also runs a comprehensive workplace training programme for young journalists.

    The selection process will include an on-line application form including at least four written exercises. These will be marked and applicants judged to have the aptitude to make good journalists will be selected to sit a two-hour writing and general knowledge exercise designed to test journalistic aptitude at cities throughout the country at 10am on Saturday, August 28.

    After that process, editors will choose those they wish to interview according to the publication and school preferences of the applicants. Representatives of the participating schools take part in and approve all selected interns.

    Final selections are expected to be made by the end of October.

    During course holidays, participants will be employed by one of Fairfax's publications.
    On the successful completion of their course, participants will be reimbursed for their course fees. Successful applicants will be bonded to Fairfax for two years.

    Dr Grant Hannis, Senior Lecturer and Head of Journalism, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, at Massey University at Wellington said: “Massey is delighted to continue to partner Fairfax in its intern scheme. Some of our finest students have been Fairfax Interns. In 2009 and 2010, for instance, Massey Fairfax Interns won the best student journalism award at the Qantas Media Awards. Many of our interns have gone on to great careers at leading newspapers in the Fairfax stable.”

    Associate Professor Jim Tully, Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Canterbury, said: “We have enjoyed working with Fairfax Media over the last four years to provide a strong grounding in journalism skills for its interns. It has been a most harmonious relationship reflecting a high level of mutual respect. Our independence as a quality tertiary provider has not been compromised in any way. “The subsequent performance of the interns in the workplace reflects a successful partnership based on intensive training in journalism skills complemented by ongoing quality workplace supervision and professional development.”

    AUT journalism curriculum leader Associate Professor Martin Hirst said participation in the scheme is a sign of strength in journalism education in this country.

    "We are delighted to be a partner with Fairfax Media in this scheme. Our experience over the last three years has been very positive. The Fairfax interns bring commitment and enthusiasm to their studies and have all achieved good grades through hard work and dedication. In 2011 we are expecting another intake of bright recruits into our postgraduate diploma in journalism. Our intake is set to expand to 45 postgraduate students and also next year we are offering a graduate diploma in Pacific journalism for the first time."

    Aoraki Polytechnic’s School of Journalism is once again delighted to be part of the Fairfax intern scheme.

    Co-ordinator Peter O'Neill said after four years the scheme was now building its own momentum, with a growing network of interns within the industry.

    `The quality of interns we’ve had through the scheme has been excellent, and it has been satisfying watching graduates progress on their selected newspapers.

    ``The two-year guarantee of employment when they graduate allows interns to concentrate on their studies, and gives them a terrific launchpad for their careers,’’ O’Neill said.

    Wintec‘s programme manager journalism Charles Riddle said the internship scheme sat well within Wintec’s journalism training programme.

    “We have been very pleased with the calibre of the first Fairfax interns. They come from diverse backgrounds and are mature and focused. We expect them to be very good journalists.

    “Wintec’s journalism programme is focused on reducing the gap between classroom and newsroom. Wintec students are involved in a range of ongoing projects with local media, including Fairfax’s Waikato and Auckland community and daily newspapers. The programme means the students can learn their craft and practice their skills in real situations which results in greater understanding and better quality of work.”

    For further details, go to http://www.fairfaxnz.co.nz/careers/internscheme.html
    For further information about the internships, please contact Clive Lind, Editorial Development Manager Fairfax Media, telephone 04 496 9845, 027 246 7771 or clive.lind@fairfaxmedia.co.nz.

    Released on behalf of Fairfax Media by Annabel Scaife 09 09 970 4008 or annabel.scaife@fairfaxmedia.co.nz.

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