For the first time since 2019, the Cronkite School hosted an in-person digital residency program for the Dow Jones News Fund. Twenty-three students from universities and colleges across the U.S., and as far away as the South Pacific, spent May 19-28 in Phoenix learning new digital media skills or tweaking existing ones before heading to their full-time, paid summer internships.
“It was great to have students back in person after two-and-a-half years,” said program director Mike Wong. “The immersive experience is so important for this type of intensive, hands-on training.”
The students learned about audience engagement and retention, the process of developing new product, visual and audio storytelling and editing, SEO headline writing, basic coding for journalists, creating infographics, developing workplace soft skills, journalism ethics, and diversity and inclusion. Using multimedia skills, students produced a project profiling their residency roommate.
“My short time at the Cronkite School was packed with invaluable experiences. I learned from amazing instructors and alongside peers who have further inspired my passions for storytelling,” said Olivia Green, a rising senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C. who will be an intern at Bay City News in San Francisco.
Nelly Ontiveros is a rising senior at The University of Central Florida in Orlando and she will work an internship at The Wall Street Journal. “Being part of the DJNF digital media cohort taught me invaluable skills and introduced me to talented people whom I now get to call friends,” she said.
DJNF digital instructors work at The Los Angeles Times, The Houston Chronicle, McClatchy, The Arizona Republic, KJZZ (NPR) in Phoenix, Trisolute News Dashboard and Arizona State University.
“The intensive skills training is what separates our internship program from all the others. Our interns arrive in the newsroom ready to work,” said Shirley Carswell, executive director of the Dow Jones News Fund.
This is the 10th consecutive year the Cronkite School has hosted the DJNF digital residency. Due to the pandemic, the training was held virtually in 2020 and 2021. “As excited as we were to have students on site, we took steps to make sure they were safe throughout the week,” said Wong. “Participants took rapid tests a day after traveling and a few days into the program and we had protocols in place if a student tested positive but thankfully, no one did.”
The DJNF provided training for 107 students in five cohorts – Data Journalism (Investigative Reporters and Editors at the University of Missouri-Columbia), Multiplatform Editing (Temple University and University of Texas Austin), American City Business Journals-DJNF Business Reporting programs (The King’s College in New York) and Digital Media (Arizona State University).
The 24-student digital media cohort was the largest to date. However, one student was unable to be in Phoenix but joined some sessions virtually. “This cohort was a great group,” said Wong. “They learned new skills and had fun doing it.”
Carswell added, “The Dow Jones News Fund values our 10-year relationship with ASU. The Cronkite School’s reputation for innovation and Mike Wong’s dedication to the students make the Digital Media residency one of the most popular in our program.”
Wong said it was a special week for a special group. “Everybody has a story. And for this group, they can add this week in Phoenix to their life story. The story of being one of 24 college students in the entire U.S. selected as a DJNF digital media intern, spending a week training at the Cronkite School and meeting other talented students with a common passion for digital journalism.”