Journalism students in their final year are encouraged to apply for our two-month paid internship.

Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism: Come intern with us

Bhekisisa team
Are you a final year journalism student? Then come intern with us.

Bhekisisa, the Mail & Guardian’s Health Journalism Centre, is offering one paid journalism internship for a final year journalism student. If you are interested in health reporting and have 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 news stories.

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.

Bhekisisa is currently accepting rolling applications for a two-month paid internship. Successful candidates will be mentored by our team and report to our news editor.

Additional opportunities may avail themselves based on intern performance. In 2016, Nelisiwe Msomi and Joan van Dyk joined Bhekisisa as intern reporters. They now work with the unit permanently as junior health reporters.

"My internship at Bhekisisa was life changing. It gave me an opportunity to see the work of a journalist beyond my varsity textbooks. Every day is a day of learning and growing," says Msomi, who is a journalism graduate from the University of Johannesburg. 

"At the end of the day when I leave the office, I know that I have grown as a young journalist. And that's what Bhekisisa is to me as an intern – an institution of learning and growing in the health beat." 

Here’s what University of Stellenbosch journalism graduate Van Dyk had to say about the experience and the mentoring she received:

“Nothing can fully prepare you for the tsumami of new information you're confronted with on day one of being a reporter. Luckily for me, my first day was at Bhekisisa. 

"The team's dedication and seemingly endless knowledge of the ins and outs of the country's health system had me hooked within days. With the guidance and support of the senior reporters on the team, I learnt what it takes to write a well-researched health pieces that can mainstream the complex issues facing South Africa and the continent. In short, it's a jam-packed internship - and you'll emerge a health news nerd." 

The candidate should have strong news instincts with an interest in health and a desire to 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.

KEY OUTPUTS

  • Proactively pitch ideas for articles. These ideas should be well-thought through and show an awareness of current health news;
  • Work with editors to develop these ideas into either short news stories for the web or 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 & 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 a two-month internship between November 2017 and February 2018.

Application deadline: 15 July 2017

Students must send the following as part of their application to  [email protected] Incomplete applications will not be considered:

  • CV;
  • Academic Transcript;
  • 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 the Mail & Guardian at [email protected] Please ask your lecturer to use your full name and ID number as a subject line;
  • A 400-word motivational statement clearly stating which of the three positions you are applying for and 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;
  • Two samples of your writing

Short-listed candidates will be expected to complete a timed, written test and will be interviewed by our staff. 

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