Editorial internships at High Country News

Posted on September 20th, 2012

High Country News is looking for informed and enthusiastic interns to report on natural resource, environmental and community issues in the 11 Western states.

High Country News, published twice-monthly in Paonia, Colo., is a nonprofit newsmagazine and website “for people who care about the West.” The paper reaches 23,000 subscribers — an estimated 60,000 readers — including grassroots activists, public land managers, tribal officials, government policymakers, educators, students and interested citizens. The website reaches countless more.

The Los Angeles Times has written that High Country News is “the most influential environmental journal in the Mountain West,” and according to Newsweek, “High Country News is a must for anyone following land use issues west of the 100th meridian.” Our hard-hitting coverage has won many major journalism awards during the past few years, including:

Utne Independent Press Awards for Best Environmental Coverage and for Best Local/Regional Coverage
Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism
George Polk Award
First Person Narrative award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors
Science Journalism Award from the American Association for Advancement of Science
Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism
James V. Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism

Every year, High Country News offers four to six internship positions, each six months long. Two to three new interns join us each June and January; we provide free housing and a $170-per-week stipend. To help defray moving costs, an additional $500 travel stipend is available. Exceptional candidates may have the option of staying on another six months as an editorial fellow.

Our interns and fellows are a key part of the HCN team; aside from a few minor tasks such as sorting the mail and answering phones, interns spend most of their time researching, interviewing, writing, and developing content — both written and multimedia. We pride ourselves on fairness, accuracy and good writing, and we expect no less of our interns.

For all of our internship positions, some prior journalism experience and/or education is preferred. Photography, radio and/or video experience are pluses, as is familiarity with audio and visual programs such as Final Cut Pro and Flash. We also prefer applicants who are familiar with High Country News and who have lived in the West and are familiar with its environmental and community issues. We strongly encourage Native American, Hispanic, and applicants from other under-represented backgrounds.

All interns work with the staff Editors to write news stories for the website and for the newsmagazine, ranging in length from 250 to 1,600 words. Depending on their experience and ability, editorial interns may also get the opportunity to write a 2,500- to 4,000-word feature story. Our editing process is rigorous — all copy goes through two layers of editing and it is not unusual for a story to see six or eight drafts. Reporting is generally conducted over the phone and the Internet, but we do have money to send each intern out into the field at least once to do on-the-ground reporting.

Our interns go on to become leaders in journalism and politics. They pursue careers as reporters, editors, educators, lawyers, policymakers and freelance writers.

Upcoming start dates and application deadlines are as follows. Applications must be received in our office by the deadline date.

Email applications are not accepted (unless you are sending links to multimedia samples). Please send all writing samples as hardcopy. We don’t accept electronic materials because we usually receive more than 40 applications per session, and printing and collating each applicant’s materials has proven to be inordinately time-consuming.

Winter/Spring 2013

Start date – January 2, 2013
End date – June 14, 2013
(Applications must be received by Oct. 8, 2012)

Applicants should send a cover letter, résumé, contact information for three references (phone and email), and three writing samples (plus multimedia samples, if applicable) to:

Sarah Gilman, Associate Editor
High Country News
P.O. Box 1090
Paonia, CO 81428

Call 970-527-4898 or email sarah (at) hcn.org for further information.