This summer, the Los Angeles Times HS Insider, in partnership with the Jack Smith Memorial Fund, is seeking to hire a Jack Smith Community Engagement Fellow. The Fellow will work with our HS Insider summer interns over the course of the six-week program on the key tenets of journalism, writing, digital literacy, media ethics and community reporting and engagement. The Fellow will provide feedback and editorial direction of the daily story budgets of the interns, working closely with the HS Insider Project Lead. The Fellow will be responsible for cultivating the interns’ interest and abilities in community reporting (in the vein of Jack Smith) and equip them with the tools to discover and write about overlooked or under-explored areas of their communities and Los Angeles at-large. Additionally, the Fellow will be responsible for ushering the student’s enterprise stories, named in Smith’s honor, to completion, from pitch through publication.
- The program runs for six weeks from mid-June to early August.
- The Fellow will manage the editorial content from the 8 high school interns enrolled in the program and 2 college intern leads who will help manage the program and serve as assistant editors.
- The Fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend paid in two installments.
- The Fellow will report to the HS Insider Project Lead.
- 2+ year(s) of professional journalistic experience.
- Demonstrated reporting, writing, editing, or producing experience. This includes work for newspapers, magazines, television, radio and digital media.
- Passion for and experience working with young people.
- Positive and proactive attitude driven to optimize results for students.
- Experience working one-on-one and in groups with high school and college-aged students.
- Bilingual capabilities a plus.
- Experience working in community engagement positions a plus.
- The Fellow should be available to work approximately 20 hours per week during the length of the program. This will include in-person hours at the LA Times headquarters as well as remote hours, and is flexible to accommodate working journalists, educators and college students’ schedules.
- The Fellow will play a central role in teaching media & news literacy, journalism fundamentals & ethics as well as community reporting techniques.
- To measure efficacy, the Fellow will work with HS Insider staff to produce a written skills assessment to evaluate interns progress over the course of the summer.
- Fellow will be required to produce a work plan at the beginning of the summer based on a mutual understanding of important skills students should master during the summer as well a roadmap for developing students’ enterprise stories.
How to apply and submission deadline
Please submit a cover letter that addresses your relevant experience and interest in community reporting, working with youth and why you are inspired to apply for this position along with your resume no later than 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Monday, April 23. You will be notified of your application status no later than Friday, May 7.
HS Insider Summer Internship Background
HS Insider works with over 275 schools and 2,500 students to help them define the high school experience and empower them to make their voices heard. Since the program launched in late 2014, HS Insider has published nearly 5,000 student stories including traditional journalism, first-person essays, poetry, podcasts, video, art, photography and graphic design.
HS Insider culminates each academic year with a paid summer internship—a rare and coveted opportunity for a high school student. Over the past three years, the program has offered 27 summer internship positions. Students build a portfolio over the course of the year and apply to be considered for the internship. The intense six-week program includes an orientation week in journalism fundamentals, ethics, audio video training, professional development and one-on-one mentorship from newsroom staff and culminates in a student-driven showcase at the end of the summer.
The summer internship centers around three themes: sports, arts and an original enterprise story. We identify worthy organizations doing impactful work in the community to be covered by the interns in the areas of arts and sports. Finally, each student pitches an original enterprise story and reports it to its completion over the course of the summer.
Jack Smith Background
Jack Smith was a Los Angeles Times journalist, author and newspaper columnist. Smith’s column ran in the LA Times for 37 years, giving readers, as Charlton Heston remarked “the sense and rhythm of Los Angeles… Funny when he wanted to be, easy and generous always, Jack made me understand Los Angeles.” He combined a strong journalistic foundation with a unique voice that gave readers insights into their city. As a columnist, Smith told stories of small, often overlooked, elements of the city, weaving them into a larger meaning of what it meant to be an Angeleno.
Smith was born in Long Beach, and attended Belmont High School in Los Angeles. He was an editor of the Belmont Sentinel student newspaper, and would occasionally joke that it was the highest position he ever reached in his career. In honor of his life and work, the Jack Smith Foundation has partnered with HS Insider to help support the summer internship program.