IowaWatch seeking applicants for summer 2021 reporting internship

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IowaWatch team in January 2012 with co-founder Stephen Berry at the University of Iowa. Berry is the co-founder of IowaWatch.

IowaWatch – The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism has an opening for a full-time 10-week reporting internship for summer 2021.

College students or graduate-level applicants are welcome.

“For the last year during the pandemic, IowaWatch focused on working with groups of college students in courses and student media rather than offering an internship,” said Suzanne Behnke, executive director. “It’s been rewarding to work with a few dozen students across Iowa. Yet I look forward to working and mentoring a single student on their reporting.”

The summer internship will focus on the Iowa State Parks project, funded by the Iowa Newspaper Foundation and IowaWatch. Other topics may also come up.

An IowaWatch internship puts college students in the middle of an investigative, public affairs news story project that involves reporting, researching, interviewing, data collection and presentation, writing and, when necessary, photographing and videotaping. Students receive training, editing and mentoring while working under the supervision of experienced, professional editors at the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism. They also work, sometimes in specific collaborations, with other student journalists who are producing in-depth journalism.

Work from the Iowa Center is published at and made available, for free, to Iowa commercial media that are interested in the content. Being published is not guaranteed in this internship because the work produced by the intern must meet IowaWatch standards for being published. Those standards ensure that the content is of a high professional level and is relevant, in-depth, timely and accurate. The training in an IowaWatch internship is intended to bring the intern to those standards.

Interns are expected to adhere to the journalistic ethics explained at the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism’s web site. The Center is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan news organization that strives to uphold high standards of fairness and accuracy. Its standards include the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.


Students should have some demonstrated ability to grasp the elements of a news story; conduct research and interviews; use news judgment; and report with detail, clarity, purpose and accuracy. Students should have a clear interest in doing investigative and public affairs journalism. The best experience would be at a school newspaper or freelancing for news organizations. However, exceptional classwork can demonstrate these skills. Sorry, but we do not have resources for someone who wants to sample the profession to see if she or he is interested, nor is this work suited for that level of interest. Students should have access to a car and their own computer.

Send a resume, cover letter and work samples to