POLITICO’s mission from the very beginning was to win the audience. We dedicate ourselves to providing accurate, nonpartisan, impactful journalism so that our readers are well informed and can work with confidence and speed. We also commit to training the next generation of journalists, as we promote diversity throughout D.C. area newsrooms. The POLITICO Journalism Institute (PJI) is one of the ways we do that.

We are now accepting applications for the next session (May 30, 2023 – June 9, 2023). This competitive training program will admit at least 12 undergraduate, graduate students, or recent graduates interested in covering politics and policy as the program reaches its eighth year of training emerging journalists.

Programming for PJI includes interactive sessions, panels with industry leaders, mentor pairings with POLITICO journalists and an opportunity for participants to have their work published by POLITICO. Throughout the program, PJI participants split their time between American University in Washington, D.C., and POLITICO headquarters in Arlington, Va. All costs for attending PJI, including room, board and transportation, are covered by POLITICO.  To be considered for PJI, you must complete all five components of the application listed below.  

Applicants who are rising juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities will be given preference. Student members of minority journalism associations are encouraged to apply.

Please include the following with your application:

  • A cover letter addressed to the ‘Selection Committee’ telling why you think you should be chosen.
  • A one-page resume
  • Links to PDFs for 3 samples of your best journalistic work.
  • One letter of recommendation. Please attach a signed letter (on letterhead) from your reference, as a PDF. Your reference can also directly email the letter of reference to PJI@politico.com.
  • A PDF with a one- or two-paragraph pitch using the prompt below. This exercise allows you to demonstrate your skills in pitching a story idea to an editor:

Select a story from POLITICO.com that you hypothetically would use as a basis for a follow-up story. Do basic research on the topic, then ‘pitch’ an idea in one or two paragraphs. Consider an angle not addressed in the initial report; then cite the original headline, byline and date of publication in your pitch; and be specific about the point of your follow-up story, including any organization or source you would reach out to. (Do not write the actual story, just write a pitch to demonstrate your news judgment and how well you can communicate your idea.)

Applications are due by 11:59 PM on December 5, 2022.

FAQs on the PJI Application Process:

  1. When can I apply for the 2023 session of PJI, and how soon will I receive a decision from your selection committee?
    1. You will receive an initial response to confirm receipt of your application form immediately once you submit it, however your package will not be reviewed until ALL required documents are provided. Required documents include a cover letter (stating why you should be selected), your resume, a 1-2 paragraph story pitch, 3 work samples and one reference letter. Reference letters should be written by a professor, employer or internship, typed on letterhead and submitted as a PDF. You may save and continue to work on your online application. Once all the required documents are submitted, your package will be assigned to members of a review committee. These assignments are made in groups based on submission dates throughout the process. All initial offers will be made by Jan. 31, 2023, with formal letters to be sent soon thereafter.
  2. What type of work samples are accepted as part of the application?
    1. Your samples should include journalistic work that has been published by a professional or school news publication. You can include your work from a place of employment, an internship, or a school publication or station. In addition, your work samples should include your name as the writer, reporter or producer, as well as the date of publication. Acceptable work samples include scanned hard-copy news clips, digital stories, video or audio samples, photos or graphics. If you provide links to your digital work, be sure that the links work and that the reviewer will land on (or be able to easily locate) your work using the link. You may also attach PDFs of your work. Use of social media may be mentioned elsewhere on your application as a skill, but tweets and other posts will not be considered acceptable work samples.
  3. Is it OK to provide more than the required number of references?
    1. It is not necessary nor beneficial to have extra reference letters. However, some applicants choose to ask two references to ensure that they receive at least one letter in time to meet the application deadline. The best strategy is to ask your reference(s) early and be clear about the deadline. We understand applicants have no control over when recommendation letters are completed, but our committee will not review your application until the entire application package is received.
  4. How should letters of references be submitted?
    1. Letters of reference should be given to you so that you can attach one letter to your online application package. All letters should be submitted as a PDF, on official letterhead with a signature.  References should include an email address and phone number in case our committee has any questions.
  5. Who do I reach if I have technical difficulty or questions about the application process?
    1. If you have a question, or any difficulty in submitting your application, email PJI@politico.com, state your issue or question and include your email address and phone number where you can be reached.
  6. If I am selected and live in the DC-area, can I commute during the program?
    1. PJI is a 10-day residential program. All participants are expected to stay on campus at American University. Transportation, housing and stipends are provided for meals and other expenses to ensure full participation and full benefits of the program.
  7. What can I expect from PJI if I am selected?
    1. If you are selected and agree to participate, POLITICO will arrange and pay for your travel and provide an informational package to help you prepare for the program, which will be held May 30-June 9, 2023. For the duration of the program, you will get top-notch instruction and guidance as you work half-time in a classroom setting, and half-time with mentors in the POLITICO newsroom. You also will meet other journalists from various news organizations in the Washington, D.C. area. In addition, you will attend networking events, a broadcast production and trips to get you behind the scenes to see what it is like to cover news in the nation’s capital. Each participant will have an opportunity to have his or her work published by POLITICO.

We are driven by our values. We are relentless contributors, disruptors of the status quo, collaborators, talent cultivators and DEI stewards. Our culture is defined by grit, total integrity and a prioritization on innovation.

We value our people. We offer a competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits package, including health and wellness benefits, commuter and cell phone reimbursements, retirement plans, as well as work-life balance flexibility and opportunities for career development. Click here for more on what we offer and what it’s like to work for POLITICO.

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To apply for this job please visit recruiting.ultipro.com.