Attention Media Outlets: Here’s $2,500 toward a St. Paul-focused intern this summer

To whom it may concern:

On behalf of the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists and ThreeSixty Journalism, we invite you to submit your interest in hosting a college intern this summer who would focus primarily (51%+) on producing non-crime news about St. Paul. The St. Paul Jaycees Charitable Foundation has already committed $2,500 toward this internship. Interested news outlets should respond by April 14.

The board of the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists, together with ThreeSixty Journalism, a nonprofit housed at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, have been awarded $2,500 toward a college student internship this summer at a Twin Cities news media outlet. The St. Paul Jaycees Charitable Foundation is funding this opportunity, with the expectation MNSPJ will help recruit and select a potential employer to host the summer internship.

ThreeSixty Journalism will select a leading student candidate from among its alumni this month. Willingness to provide some level of matching funds and a commitment to producing a certain amount of news coverage in step with the general values of ThreeSixty Journalism and the St. Paul Jaycees – such as fostering civic involvement and promoting diversity – will be key for us in matching the selected student to the appropriate media outlet by late April.

The news outlet in question must agree to devote a majority of the student’s time (51%+) this summer toward coverage of non-crime news specific to St. Paul. In particular, the Jaycees’ intent is to generate a better understanding of youth, civics and service in St. Paul, and ThreeSixty Journalism has a strong commitment toward promoting diversity in newsrooms and news coverage. The ideal employer would provide ample opportunity to produce content in step with those values.

Providing some level of matching funds to elevate this internship closer to full-time employment could be decisive as we determine the best match between employer and student.

The timeline for the intern and internship selection process is as follows:

MARCH 13: MNSPJ issues a call for proposals to news outlets.

MARCH-APRIL: ThreeSixty Journalism selects a student.

APRIL 14: Deadline for news outlets to respond to proposals.

APRIL 28: ThreeSixty Journalism will confirm a news outlet and student match by April 28.

MAY 5: Student finalizes commitment to a news outlet.

JUNE 1: Student internship starts.


If this opportunity interests your news organization, please respond to the following seven questions by April 14 using the following form:

1. Are you open to and able to offer a part-time to full-time summer internship in your newsroom to a college student, beginning on or about June 1? If so, please describe the general length and structure as a preview of the student experience.

2. Who would serve as a newsroom mentor to the selected student intern and in what capacity? For instance, a mentor might be expected to check in regularly with a student and help them troubleshoot any challenges executing their internship, especially if aspects of the work are remote.

3. A majority of the student’s summer reporting (51%+) must be devoted to non-crime news specific to St. Paul. To what degree will their  internship include (but not necessarily be limited to) topics surrounding youth, civics and/or service, the values of the St. Paul Jaycees Charitable Foundation, as well as promoting better understanding of the city’s diverse communities?

4. What is your organization’s commitment to diversity in its newsroom, and in elevating the diverse voices of the communities it serves?

5. To what degree, if any, can you match a $2,500 stipend grant to the student from the St. Paul Jaycees Charitable Foundation in whole or in part?

6. The St. Paul Jaycees Charitable Foundation will expect verification that the grant requirements have been adhered to. Would you be open to two verification conversations over the course of the summer with a representative of MNSPJ or ThreeSixty, as well as providing copies of the student’s work? If so, who would be the best point of contact moving forward?

7. Would you be willing to brand pieces completed by the intern with a bio or tagline indicating financial support from the St. Paul Jaycees Charitable Foundation, in partnership with ThreeSixty Journalism and the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists? If not, is there another way you’re willing to highlight the support and involvement of these three organizations in producing coverage of St. Paul?

Thank you for your consideration by April 14.

Respectfully Yours,

Brian Arola, President

Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists, 218-969-9199 cell 

Frederick Melo, Internship Coordinator

Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists, 651-398-5534 cell

About MNSPJ:

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the oldest, largest and broadest-based organization of journalists in the U.S., was founded as Sigma Delta Chi in 1909. The Minnesota Chapter was founded in 1956. We offer tools to make the business of journalism easier. Since its founding, the Minnesota Pro chapter has received various honors, including outstanding large chapter of the year (more than 75 members), and recognition for its work promoting the Freedom of Information Act, campus relations, member communication and programming.

About ThreeSixty Journalism:

ThreeSixty Journalism, a nonprofit program of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas, uses the principles of strong writing and reporting to help diverse Minnesota youth tell the stories of their lives and communities. We work primarily with high school students of color and first-generation immigrants from the Twin Cities metro area.

About the Saint Paul Jaycees Charitable Foundation:

The Saint Paul Jaycees Foundation has a long history of supporting programs and projects in the St. Paul metropolitan area for various organizations. The Foundation exists to raise and receive funds that will benefit the community. The Foundation’s goal is to advance the general welfare of the residents of St. Paul by providing funding for organizations, individuals, committees, projects or programs who are providing beneficial experiences for religious, charitable, scientific, public safety or educational purposes.