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Would You Like To Be Defector’s Second-Ever Editorial Intern?

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Big news: Defector is looking to hire editorial interns for the summer of 2023. Wow! That could be you! How could it be you? I am here to answer that question, and many more.

What will a Defector intern actually do?

They will do what our first-ever editorial intern, Kathryn Xu, did when she worked for us last summer: publish blogs.

At Defector, we publish blogs of all kinds: reported features, sports analysis, media criticism, personal essays, and thoughtful (if sometimes dumb) takes. Defector interns, like the site’s staff writers, will be responsible for writing about things they are interested in. They’ll work with other staffers on reporting projects and, if interested, can contribute to Defector’s social, newsletter, and video work. 

A small mentorship group of Defector staffers will help interns learn more about the operations of our subscription business, brainstorm areas of coverage, and most importantly: blog. They should be comfortable working in a collaborative environment, and eager to discuss and hone their ideas with other writers and editors. 

Applicants should have a decent understanding of the site’s editorial vision and voice and ideas for how their work might fit into that. Interns will allow their interest in and passion for specific beats within sports, politics, media, culture, or anything else that our readers might be interested in, to guide their focus. They will write what they know, and what they care about. An ideal intern would also show interest in the business structure of the site and be willing to help shape the internship program in the future. 

When is the internship?

Summer 2023! The internship will run 10 weeks, and Defector can work with you to determine which weeks work best with your school’s schedule. It is also important to note that all eligible applicants will, thanks to our pay-it-forward subscription program, be given a free year-long subscription to Defector. That alone is a good enough reason to apply, in my opinion!

Who is eligible?

Any college student or person at a similar stage in their career who is interested in learning about journalism. You do not have to be in college currently to apply, but anyone working as a professional writer is not eligible for this internship. You do not need to have had a prior journalism internship in the past. 

What do I need to apply?

You need a résumé, your three best writing clips, and to answer two short-answer questions. 

I don’t have fancy clips, what do I do? What kind of clips do you people want?

Writing clips will not be judged based on the status of publication. Clips will be judged solely on their quality, creativity, and fit for Defector. Send your best three pieces of writing (no longer than 1,500 words), whether they are school paper clips or personal blogs.

Where will I work? 

This job can be remote, so you can work from wherever you happen to be. If you prefer a NYC internship experience, you are welcome to work from our office in Brooklyn. Either way, we’d like to host you in New York for a weeklong in-person orientation at the start of the internship.

Is this internship paid or what?

So glad you asked. It sure is. This internship pays $20 per hour for 40 hours a week. That’s $8,000 for 10 weeks.

OK, but does being a Defector intern actually suck?

I suppose I can't really answer that, but Kathryn Xu, who interned with us last summer, sure can. Take it away, Kathryn:

Anecdote time! During my first foray into the blog mines, Patrick Redford turned to me and said he was working on a piece about Chet Holmgren's skinniness, which I'm sure was intended to be an opening for collaboration but was immediately nullified by my reacting like a deer being run over by a semitruck because I, a mere blogging neophyte, nay, earthworm, could not possibly have any worthwhile input.

In retrospect, my earthworm-ness made treating me like a real writer/blogger/what-have-you the most generous thing someone could've done at the time. Then it just kept happening, the horrors. The people at Defector are alarmingly funny and kind and generous at every turn: with their advice, their praise, their passions, details about their hometowns. And now that I've already made this embarrassing for all of us, here's one last genuine sentiment: I applied to Defector with no expectations and no back-up plan after three years of physics work because I was very tired and kept thinking, Man, I have got to change up my life. And it worked, because being a Defector intern does not suck—it rocks, in fact. Now, I am an upgraded earthworm. A blogger, if you will. And you can be too.

Sounds pretty neat!

What is the deadline?

The application deadline is JAN. 7, 2023. We encourage you to apply as early as you can.

You will be notified if you will be interviewed for the job by Feb. 15, 2023. Interns will be chosen and notified no later than March 15, 2023. 

Writing isn’t my primary journalistic work, but I still want to be considered. Can I apply with videos or sounds? 

This internship is primarily for writers, but we will look at everything submitted.

OK, great! I want to apply. Where do I apply?

You click this button right here. Good luck!

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