Want an internship that might actually help you get a journalism job, even in this rotten economy?

UPDATE: We are no longer accepting applications for these positions. We are very grateful for the almost overwhelming interest/response.


I know I am more than a little biased in regards to this subject, but I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb when I say the Las Vegas Sun is easily one of the most interesting and innovative news operations in the United States. Maybe even the world.

So, how would you like to be a part of it? Even if just for the summer?

Our team at Greenspun Interactive is getting ready to staff up one of our “legendary” intern crews, and we’re hoping to find a few of the right people to come hang out with us in the bright lights of Vegas, baby!

(OK, our offices are really in Henderson.)

So, what are we looking for? Journalists with the right mindset. As I’ve said a gabillion times: Skillset is important. But mindset is most important.

I’ve had a long-held belief that some of the most conservative and traditional journalists in the world (and likely unemployable in this day and age) are recent J-school grads. And a recent trip to a relatively big college of journalism here in the western region of our country has solidified those thoughts for me.

Sorry for that little rant. My point is, we’re looking for folks who are committed to journalism and to informing people, not folks who are committed to a particular medium. There’s a difference between celebrating the past and dying with it.

With that, let me get back to the original intention of this post …

Greenspun Interactive needs interns who want to get real-world, practical experience with coverage of local news and business, entertainment (yes, that means The Strip, the celebrity side of Las Vegas and our city’s crazy club scene), sports and video.

So, what does that really mean? It means we’re looking for at least a couple of people to help us on the news side of lasvegassun.com, a journalist to help us with lasvegasweekly.com, a sports journalist to help us across all of our sites, and a video journalist to help us with our upcoming, new daily television show.

We want solid journalists who can write their backsides off. (Unless you’re applying for the videographer position, and even then you should still be able to write well, as well as be able to shoot and edit your backside off.)

We’re also looking for programmers with an understanding of Django. And if you’re a designer with killer Flash or motion-graphics skills, we want you.


Let me answer a few basic questions about these internships:

* How long do these internships last? A minimum of roughly three months, or the length of your summer vacation, and up to nine months.

* Are they paid internships? Yes. But just barely. You aren’t going to get rich. But you’ll definitely be able to get by.

* Am I going to have to fetch coffee? No.

* Am I going to have to do some data-entry? Yes, just like the full-timers on our staff have to.

* Am I going to work harder than I ever have at any other point in my life? Likely.

* What skills do I need? You need to be able to write your backside off, and generally be the most self-motivated student in your J-school. We want to hear from applicants who have taken the initiative to learn more — even if that “more” only consists of basic audio-editing skills, basic video-editing skills, basic HTML knowledge, at least some knowledge of Internet journalism, maintaining a blog, etc.

During our intern interviews, we always hear something like this: “I can write, but I don’t really know anything about Web journalism. I really think this internship would help teach me those skills.”

Well, teaching new skills is wonderful and we love to do it, but in 2009, we want students who have learned (and in many cases, taught themselves) at least some skills related to new-media journalism. If all you can do is write — which is a hugely important skill to our team — then you probably aren’t interested enough in the type of journalism that we practice at lasvegassun.com to have learned other things needed to be a part of our news organization.

And you probably aren’t the kind of self-motivated student we’re looking for.

* Am I going to use a real content-management system, work with multimedia, as well as do a bunch of other nerdy news things that will likely make me the most employable member of my graduating class? Definitely.

* Do I need a car? Yes. Your work will take you all around the Las Vegas Valley, and our community’s public transportation isn’t going to be enough to get you where you will need to go.

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Dad. Journalist. Nerd. Music lover. Baseball fan. Puckhead.