Internships for journalism students at CSJMM

From the moment that students first arrive at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at USC, they are encouraged to take an internship. Students who are nearing graduation passionately talk about the importance of getting “real world” experience, of building their portfolios, and of making contacts with professional journalists. Photojournalism students may have 2, 3 or 4 internships. Since some interns are not paid, however, the experience can be a financial burden. When I was a photojournalism intern at The Texarkana Gazette, I was paid, but not enough to cover all of my expenses.

The situation is similar in Georgia. Georgian journalism students want internships for the same reasons U.S. students want internships. In Georgia, however, interns are much less likely to receive a salary. In fact, they work for free.

Students at CSJMM have sometimes worked as interns at media organizations. I don’t think they received academic credit. I don’t think there were  contracts between interns and media companies. And I don’t think employers had a systematic means for evaluating CSJMM interns. But this is changing. Thanks to Tamuna Kakulia and Beverly Dominick.

As Career Services Director in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at USC, Beverly Dominick provides internship advice to all students. She also maintains a searchable database for internships. But, for CSJMM, the most important fact is that she created all of the necessary forms to have a successful internship experience. We are stealing her forms as well as the information she gives students about internships. We are using her Internship Note to Employers; her Internship Agreement and Goal Statement form; her Internship Progress Report form; as well as her Internship Student Evaluation form and her Internship Sponsor Evaluation form. With her permission, of course.

Tamuna Kakulia, project manager at CSJMM,  has kindly translated all of these materials in Georgian. Now we are beginning to visit the following media companies in Tbilisi in order to talk with editors about CSJMM’s internship program and to ask them to sign our forms.

·         Kavkasia (Tbilisi-based local TV station)

·         Maestro (Tbilisi-based local TV station)

·         Radio Sakartvelo (Fortuna, Fortuna Plus, Ar Daidardo)

·        Radio Hot Chocolate and magazine Hot Chocolate

·         Radio Komersanti

·         Radio Utsnobi (Tbilisi-based local radio station)

·         Liberali (web edition plus an 8-page insert to national newspapers)

·         Netgazeti (web edition)

·         Eurasia.net (web edition)

·         Media.ge (web edition)

·         City (glossy weekly magazine)

·         Mkurnali (magazine covering heath related issues)

·         Palitra media (a media company with radio, web-based TV, newspapers and magazines)

·         The Messenger (English language daily newspaper)

·         The Financial  (English language weekly newspaper)

·         Georgia Today (English language weekly newspaper)

·         Georgian Journal (English language weekly newspaper)

·         IWPR (Institute for War & Peace Reporting)

To apply for an internship, CSJMM students will need to have completed two semesters of coursework. Then they will go to CSJMM’s website, learn about internships, find all the forms, search the database, and email the appropriate contact persons at whichever companies suit their needs. CSJMM students will receive 2 credits for completing an internship involving between 160 and 320 hours of work.

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About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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