An Overview For Employers

The journalism internship program is designed to provide students an opportunity to gain practical experience in a professional work setting as part of their academic program in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Employers interested in offering internships should complete an employer application and e-mail it to cronkitecareerservices@asu.edu.

The director of career services will review the application and job description to determine whether it qualifies for the school’s internship program and could contact the employer seeking additional information. Only internships that offer students a professional-level experience and that do not discriminate based on race, gender or religion will be considered for academic credit.

All internships must be done for academic credit and/or pay and should be arranged through the school. In order for a company to post a position through the school, the company must require that a student receive internship course credit at the Cronkite School.

For-profit private sector employers are encouraged to compensate the students for the work performed as an intern.

If compensation is not provided, the company must meet the U.S. Labor Department’s six criteria for an unpaid internship in order to not be in violation of certain provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):

  • The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  • The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  • The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  • The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  • The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  • The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship. If all of the aforementioned criteria are met, then the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply.

Employers are expected to:

  • Complete a Student/Employer Internship Agreement that sets out the terms of the internship, including work schedule and pay.
  • Sign an ASU Student Placement Agreement that explains the legal liabilities of the university and those of the employer regarding the hiring of an ASU student.
  • Provide work that is meaningful to the student’s training as a journalist or media professional. While it is expected that some interns may be assigned clerical-level work, this should not make up more than 20% of a student’s responsibilities.
  • Provide the intern with a supervisor who has professional experience in that specific area of a student’s internship and who is responsible for monitoring the student’s work and training. A resume of the supervisor is required.
  • Provide the intern with a workspace and adequate equipment to do required work.
  • Complete evaluation forms on the intern’s performance, as requested by the coordinator.
  • Schedule the student intern to work the required number of hours. Interns must work a minimum of eight hours a week during the fall and spring semesters. Interns and their supervisors may arrange for more hours. Interns receiving MCO 294 credit must work a total of 120 hours during the course of a semester. Interns receiving the higher-level JMC 484 credit must work at least 215 hours over a semester. Students may work more hours, but we recommend no more than 20 hours a week during the fall and spring semesters. Internships officially start at the beginning of each semester on the first day of classes. However, start/stop dates are flexible within reason and must be agreed upon by the student and company.
  • Communicate immediately with the internship coordinator if the student is failing in his or her performance in any way.

Who to contact

Michael Wong, director of career services for the Cronkite School, should be your first point of contact if you are new to the internship program. You can reach him at 602-527-0820 or mike.wong@asu.edu.