Fairfax looks on the bright side, prepares for the future with continuation of intern scheme

There’s been plenty of press lately about media companies being forced to adjust the way they did business in fast-changing circumstances, chief among them Fairfax, which announced the cutting of 1,900 jobs in Australia and  host of other big changes (check out this anonymous opinion piece by a Fairfax journalist in Australia that painted a rather vivid picture of the current situation at the company). But according to Fairfax Media’s group executive editor in New Zealand Paul Thompson—and as evidenced in Oriella’s global study—journalism remains a career of huge variety, opportunity and importance and the company says its continuation of the intern scheme in 2012 is “a sign of its belief in itself, its journalism and the future”. And, given that future will likely be digital, this year applicants will have to upload a video clip of no more than 90 seconds about themselves to YouTube as part of the process to show they’re up to the task. 

“We’re positive about the future and the fact we have an intern scheme across the country demonstrates that,” he said. “…We believe the sort of people we’re seeking for our intern scheme will have little trouble undertaking the additional task of uploading a video clip about themselves to YouTube and will enjoy using this form of media to tell us why they should be selected. We’re seeking the journalists of tomorrow and being able to undertake such tasks is part of our business today. 

“…We need journalists who reflect the diverse community that is New Zealand today. We also need more digitally-savvy people who can craft the words, pictures, video, graphics and other elements into great reads across our publications, websites and other platforms, work that is under-pinned by the traditional journalistic values that will always be important.” 

The scheme began in 2006 and interns are now reaching senior editorial positions across the group. Successful applicants will undergo training next year at leading journalism schools, after which they will join publications or websites of their choice.

Applications for this year’s intern scheme open on Monday, July 2, 2012, and close at noon on Wednesday, July 25. 

The application period is slightly shorter this year.

Applicants first have to complete an online written test including the YouTube clip by July 25. These will be assessed and, based on those results, would-be interns will then be asked to undergo general knowledge, numeracy, spelling and grammar and writing tests between 10 and 12 noon on the morning of Saturday, August 18, 2012, at sites throughout the country. 

The tests will be marked and editors, editorial leaders and journalism school representatives will then select applicants they wish to interview. The process should be completed by late October.

Among other things, the scheme offers participants:

  • The opportunity to study for a year at one of the participating institutions (Massey University, Wellington, the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Aoraki Polytechnic, Dunedin, the Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, or other journalism schools where applicable).
  • Work experience during course holidays at one of Fairfax’s publications;
  • Reimbursement of course fees to successful applicants
  • Employment with a Fairfax publication at the conclusion of the course.
  • On-going training and career development.

For further details, go to http://www.fairfaxmedia.co.nz/careers/journalism-internships.dot.

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