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Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism: Come intern with us

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism is offering two paid, one-month internships to final year journalism students or journalism graduates who completed their degrees in the last year. Internships must be completed between May 2019 and February 2020.

If you are interested in health and social justice reporting, and have good critical thinking skills as well as a strong academic record, this internship could be for you.

Housed within the Mail & Guardian, Bhekisisa focuses on solutions-based journalism whether as part of narrative writing or analytic pieces.

We aim to produce stories that tell our readers what’s happening, why it’s happening and what can be done to solve problems. We value creative angles and enterprise reporting.

Successful candidates will be mentored by our team and report to our deputy editor.

The candidate should have strong news instincts with an interest in health and social justice. 

Although the internship will focus on basic reporting, candidates should have a desire to eventually explore narrative and feature writing. 

The person should have a better-than-average grasp of the English language, and should be reliable, open to feedback and be able to work independently as well as manage their time effectively.

Key outputs

  • Proactively pitch ideas for articles. These ideas should be well-thought through and show an awareness of current health and social justice news;
  • Work with editors to develop these ideas into either regular short news stories for the web or, in rarer cases, longer form features for the website or newspaper. Note: The journalist will be expected to research their story as well as conduct interviews and write the initial draft of their stories independently;
  • Work with a content management system to upload your articles as well as those from fellow reporters and contributors;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required qualifications and skills 

  • Excellent English writing and language skills, including spelling and grammar, and attention to detail;
  • Ability to work well as part of a team and independently while showing initiative;
  • Strong time-management skills;
  • Willingness to work outside normal working hours if need be;
  • Familiarity with the South African Press Code;
  • Must have a strong editorial sense and demonstrate analytical thinking, be able to research stories, conduct interviews and produce stories in their entirety;
  • Ability to work under pressure and deliver under time constraints;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal and written);
  • Good planning and implementation skills;
  • Should have good, sound news judgment.

Prospective candidates must be final year journalism students at a university or journalism students studying towards an honours journalism degree. Students must be available to complete the one-month internship between May 2019 and February 2020.

Application deadline: Rolling. Applications will be accessed as they are received.

Students must send the following as part of their application to [email protected]

  1. CV;
  2. Academic transcript;
  3. A recommendation from a journalism lecturer that includes the lecturer’s contact details (email and phone number). This recommendation should be able to speak to the quality of your work and should be sent directly to Bhekisisa at [email protected]. Please ask your lecturer to use your full name and ID number as a subject line;
  4. A 400-word motivational statement clearly stating why you would be a good fit for this internship. This motivation should speak to the tasks/qualities outlined in the relevant job description below. In your motivation, please include in which month you’d be able to do an internship;
  5. Two samples of your writing.

Short-listed candidates will be expected to complete a timed, written test and will be interviewed by our staff. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

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