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May 27, 2020, 8:45 a.m.
Audience & Social

The Information is launching a free “news summer school” on Zoom

“This is about helping young people navigate what has always been a tricky industry to break into and that now faces unprecedented new challenges.”

In-person internships may be off for this summer but for those who want to brush up on their journalism skills anyway, The Information is offering a free “news summer school” in July. It will consist of eight hour-long sessions over four weeks — on Zoom, of course, and with virtual breakout groups. And, again, the price is $0.

“Summer internships were an essential part of my journalism training,” Jessica Lessin, the founder and CEO of The Information, told me via email. “I owe my career to the AP, the Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal, which each gave me internships in college.” This spring, as companies began canceling or delaying in-person internships (which often aren’t paid, making them accessible only to students whose parents can afford to support them for the summer), Lessin reached out to friends and colleagues to pull together a program. Here are the details:

You will hear from:

— The editor of Politico Carrie Budoff Brown on covering the White House and the 2020 Election
— New York Times media columnist and former Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith on “reporting in public” in the digital age
— Fast Company editor-in-chief Stephanie Mehta and creative director Mike Schnaidt on digital design, creativity and the future of magazines
Nicholas Carlson, global editor-in-chief of Insider, on getting a journalism job and finding your beat
Peter Kafka, the host of Recode Media, and Lydia Polgreen, head of content from Gimlet, on the media business, and how to master podcasting
Kevin Delaney, Quartz founder and New York Times Senior Editor, on how to innovate at the intersection of news and product
— The Information founder Jessica Lessin and Evan Smith, founder of the Texas Tribune on news entrepreneurship

And many more…

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays July 7, 2020 through July 30, 2020

Time: 5 pm ET / 2 pm PT

Format: Zoom conference calls and breakout rooms

Cost: None

Everyone who’s presenting is volunteering and “no money is changing hands whatsoever,” Lessin said. “This is about helping young people navigate what has always been a tricky industry to break into and that now faces unprecedented new challenges.” They’re still working on the formatting for the classes, which will likely consist of speaker sessions followed by time for Q&A. (TBD: If there will be grades, homework, or the networking opportunities that give in-person internships much of their value. News school is likely to look more like a virtual conference than an actual j-school class.)

Eight hundred people had registered as of Wednesday morning, Lessin said. You can sign up here.

Photo of desks by Derek Bruff used under a Creative Commons license.

Laura Hazard Owen is the editor of Nieman Lab. You can reach her via email ( or Twitter DM (@laurahazardowen).
POSTED     May 27, 2020, 8:45 a.m.
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