The DCF is funding a paid internship program to empower aspiring journalists to help existing news outlets throughout Delaware increase multimedia coverage of BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color)/immigrant/non-English-speaking communities and newsroom representation of diverse personnel, with a particular emphasis on Black and brown communities in Southern Delaware.
Increased coverage of these communities is broadly needed, and it is particularly needed to highlight the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 and the underlying reasons that the pandemic is particularly hard on these communities. The intent of the program is to hire primarily interns who identify as BIPOC.
In the Newsrooms
A cohort of interns will work in the newsrooms (legacy print/broadcast and online) throughout the state full time for eight weeks between approximately June and August. (Some flexibility of timeframe is possible.) Some work may be performed remotely if the newsroom permits, but interns are expected to live in Delaware for the length of the program and must have reliable transportation. (Uber/Lyft are not suitable options.)
Invited outlets are established, nonpartisan news organizations with professional staffs of two or more full-time employees. Participating outlets include both legacy print and radio stations, as well as online-only outlets.
Interns will be expected to learn about and report on the challenges, opportunities and assets of BIPOC communities in a fair, objective, nonpartisan manner, with the goal of sharing information with the broader community. (I.e., this program is not about providing information to or within BIPOC communities; rather it is about sharing their stories with broader audiences.)
Each intern is expected to produce a minimum of 1-3 stories per week at the assigned outlet. While interns are permitted to work on other stories assigned by newsroom editors, their work must focus on the impact of COVID and underlying issues on Black and brown communities in Southern Delaware – possibly including but not limited to issues of education, workforce, health, social and cultural impact, etc. It is expected that at least 75 percent of each intern’s stories (6-18 pieces per intern) will address these issues.
Participating outlets have committed to providing infrastructure (computers, equipment, office space), supervising, coaching and otherwise engaging the interns and using the work the interns produce. Outlets will maintain full editorial control, including identifying stories to be covered.
The DCF will hire a professional journalist to serve as a full-time mentor to the group of interns.
The mentor will travel to the different sites and/or provide mentoring virtually. The mentor will serve as a coach and advisor, helping the interns produce work of professional quality to maximize the likelihood of it being published/broadcast by the outlets and minimize strain on their staffs.
The mentor will meet with the interns as a group every other week to discuss various issues and share experiences. The mentor will meet with each intern individually at least every other week, including at the beginning and end of the program, to provide general coaching, including career coaching.
The mentor also will collaborate with the Maryland Delaware DC Press Association (MDDC), which also is hosting a BIPOC internship program in the summer of 2021. The mentor and MDDC program leadership will work together to ensure that students in both programs share learning opportunities.
All work produced by the interns will be shared by all outlets after a 24-hour exclusive period. That is to say, if an intern assigned to Delaware Public Media produces a story, Delaware Public Media will have exclusive rights to the story for the first 24 hours. Subsequently, any of the other participating outlets may publish/broadcast that story as it is, edit or use the information as a basis for further reporting, and/or interview the intern (e.g., the intern might discuss a story or issue on a radio program).
Interns also will collaborate with interns from the other participating outlets on a larger editorial project, to be determined, under the guidance of the mentor, who will coordinate with the leadership of the participating outlets. All outlets will have rights to publish/broadcast this larger story simultaneously.
At the beginning of the program, newsroom leaders at each outlet will be asked to publish/broadcast a column/segment about the internship program and what they hope to achieve by engaging the interns. At the end of the program, the participating interns will be asked to write/produce a column/segment about their experiences. These newsroom leaders’ and the interns’ columns/segments will be shared on the DCF website and promoted on DCF social media.
Each story produced by an intern will feature a note, “This article was produced with support of a grant from the Delaware Community Foundation. For more information, visit delcf.org/journalism.”
Recruiting, selection and placement of interns
The DCF will partner with the MDDC to conduct an application and selection process. Each host outlet will be invited (but not required) to assign a representative to the selection committee. The committee also will include a representative who can provide perspective from the Latino community in Southern Delaware. This group will review applications, conduct interviews, and select and assign candidates to the participating outlets.
Interns will receive a stipend of $3,760 each.
The committee will notify interns and host media outlets, and facilitate the launch of the program. Subsequently, the mentor will guide the program, with input/administrative support from the DCF as needed.
Interns will be rising college juniors or seniors or recent college graduates (no more than 24 months out of school) with experience in journalism, writing, broadcast, and/or related skills.
The application process for 2021 is now closed.