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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Internships are priceless: Read on for becoming one at The Saratogian

I’m a huge proponent of internships, and we’re proud to offer them at The Saratogian. So if you or someone you know might be an intern candidate, stick with the posting to the end.

As an undergrad at SUNY Binghamton, as soon as I realized I was hooked on journalism, I hooked up with the managing editor at the morning paper in Binghamton for an internship.
I interned at the Sun-Bulletin twice, actually.

The first time was during a semester, for credit. Then I interned full-time during the summer after receiving my political science degree and before embarking on my master’s in journalism at Ohio State University. I received a stipend that maybe covered my one-quarter share of an apartment, but the experience: priceless. One of my big stories was about the then-new Legionnaires' Disease. I also remember an accident where five people were killed. I remember crying as I worked on the obituary of a child. I remember the managing editor making a show of deep-sixing a resume from an applicant who'd spelled Binghamton with a P between the m and t. I remember the banter in the newsroom, where I felt very much at home.

Now, during the hiring process, when I sort through the dozens of resumes of would-be members of The Saratogian newsroom, I always look at whether the applicant interned somewhere, anywhere, during high school and especially college.

Some schools require internships and help place you; in those cases, it’s important for me to find out how the applicant performed in the internship. It’s even more impressive when they get an internship on their own; it tells me they are hungry for the experience.

Either way, I tend to check with the internship supervisors. Did the intern show promise? Were they reliable? Did they show initiative? Were they eager and quick learners? Did they “get it”? And if the internship wasn’t in journalism, did they demonstrate the potential necessary for a place in a newsroom?

Besides looking for applicants who have been interns, The Saratogian offers a variety of internships for high school and college students.

We’re always looking for interested, promising students who’d like exposure to the world of local media.

If you’ve gotten this far in the blog, help me to spread the word. The Saratogian offers a variety of internships to high school and college students. They can be specialized internships or can be designed to offer a sampling of experiences.

All Saratogian internships are unpaid and must be for school credit, and the school must provide a certificate of liability insurance. Internships are limited and competitive, and may be for all or part of a semester or season. We’re flexible and willing to work with the student and the school. We’ve had great success with students from Saratoga Springs High School, Schuylerville High School, Skidmore College, SUNY Plattsburgh, University at Albany and other high schools and colleges.

Here are some of our basic internships:

Online Journalism: Work with the online editor to enhance the media company’s multiple websites and use of social media. This could include the creation and uploading of video. Knowledge of HTML is not necessary. Contact Online Editor Emily Donohue at or 518.583.8729 ext. 213.

News Reporting: Be part of the newsroom reporting team, writing stories in the newsroom and reporting on stories in the field. Applicants must be good writers interested in learning more about news reporting and writing on tight deadlines. Contact Managing Editor Barbara Lombardo at or 518.583.8711.

Magazine Internship: Learn what it takes to create a monthly magazine in print and online. Internship could include planning, editing, writing, page design and proofreading. Contact Assistant Managing Editor Betsy DeMars at or 518.583.8729 ext. 335.

Sports Internship: Be a part of The Saratogian’s sports department and learn what it takes to produce a print and online sports section. Contact Sports Editor Nicole Russo at or 518.583.8729. ext. 334.

Advertising Department: Learn what’s involved in consultative sales in a multi-media advertising environment, including print, online and video. Also, learn how the advertising department interacts with other departments, including the newsroom. Contact Advertising Director Lauren Rose at or 518.583.8707.

Graphic Arts Department: Learn what it takes to create advertisements, promotions and news graphics under deadline pressure for a print and online media company. Contact Pre-Press Manager Christopher Brown at or 518.583.8733.

Photography: Learn what it takes to be a photojournalist taking still pictures and video on deadline for online and print publication. Contact Photo Supervisor Erica Miller at or 518.583.8729 ext. 223.


Anonymous Nathaniel said...

Enjoyed the read! I'm not looking for an internship, but I thought I share my experience because I agree that internships can be an extremely valuable. I took an unpaid internship for six months after graduation, led to a full time job! With out my internship experience, I know I would never have landed a 'real' job in the field I'm interested least not as quickly :)

January 28, 2011 at 12:13 PM 

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