The journalism internship in Nepal is a professional program which enables interns to develop a portfolio of work in an international context. The internship is facilitated by VIN in partnership with several national publications such as Spotlight magazine, The Kathmandu Post, Himal Media House, and Image Nepal. There are also opportunities to work in other forms of media. As a journalism intern, you will gain working knowledge of how national media functions and you will also gain invaluable experience of writing articles which will be printed nationally.
If you are planning a gap year or career break and are contemplating a career in journalism or the media, working in print, photo, or video journalism in Nepal through VIN could set you on the right track. International volunteering in the form of a journalism internship is a great way to enhance your resume and make you stand out from the crowd. Whether you are currently studying journalism or are considering it in college, Journalism Abroad with VIN will give you valuable first hand international journalism experience.
If you are already a practicing journalist, then volunteering / internship abroad in Journalism will broaden your horizons and show you a different way of working in journalism against the backdrop of a new and exciting country. You will learn the ins and outs of print or broadcast journalism overseas and might be able to teach your new colleagues something about how you work at home.
The structure of the internship is tailored towards each individual intern and the publication they will work for. VIN considers each intern as a person with unique expectations, needs and experiences and these are considered when deciding which publication is most suitable for you. However, one thing which is common for all journalism interns is the gaining of practical experience in your chosen field.
The general structure of the program begins to form even before an intern has left their home country. VIN will contact suitable publications with an intern’s CV so that the partner has knowledge of the intern’s previous experience and thus can assess how much support will be required once the intern has arrived. Also, at this stage, if the intern has a preference toward working on a particular publication or section, VIN will attempt to cater for this.
Then once in Nepal, VIN will arrange an initial meeting with the media partner; a representative will come to the office to discuss their expectations of an intern and a working schedule will be arranged. Also, at this initial meeting, there will be an opportunity for the intern to discuss things like house-style, structure, and the goals of the publication.
Throughout initiation, VIN will work to support and guide the intern whilst they adjust to life in Nepal – and to the demands of their internship. This support will remain once the internship has begun, and VIN will work to address any problems that an intern may face whilst at their placement. Whilst working in Nepal, a journalism intern will be able to access both the facilities of the publication office and VIN’s office in Kathmandu.
Both offices have a WIFI connection (subject to power cuts), and it is generally useful to bring a laptop to work with for your own ease and productivity. There will also be opportunities for interns to observe the entire process of creating a publication from idea formation to distribution; there will be meetings which an intern should attend where the team that they work with will discuss and delegate work and this is an opportunity to use great initiative to benefit from an opportunity to control the content of a national newspaper.
It is basically the case that interns can choose to spend every working day at the publication office, or they can work on articles more independently. Each intern will have to take some responsibility for how often they attend the office and how much effort they put into their work. The more direct communication an intern has with their media office, the more encouraging the relationship between the team and the intern; to make the most out of an internship, it is important to continually maintain contact with the paper and to conform to deadlines. There will be an expectation that as an international intern, a sustained level of enthusiasm will be present for the whole internship and a high level of professionalism and integrity will be required.
Equally, it is essential to highlight that interns are not individuals with years of journalism experience and some of them have worked on the internship with a little experience but lots of enthusiasm. Therefore it follows that interns are still learning and they are gaining working experience so support will be given whilst writing and it is important to ask for feedback when submitting work. To gain the most from such a unique experience, it is beneficial to have a close and good working relationship with the team at the office; they can give you advice and can help edit your work before it goes to the main editor, and indeed to print.
Equipment for Journalism
The publications do not have extra resources to give for interns, nor does VIN. All of our professionals prefer to have personal equipment and we have found that our interns have different taste and experience with photo equipments. Many interns bring laptops in addition to their equipments, but you are not required to bring anything but your own preferred photo gear. By taking the necessary precautions of any trip, you can feel safe in bringing your equipment to Nepal.
Firstly, the field of journalism is an increasingly difficult field to break in to. For this reason, it is essential that an aspiring journalist has some kind of work experience before apply for a job. To work at a national newspaper is a unique addition to your CV; and to express that you have international work experience will also impress recruiters.
But what is also special about this internship is that it allows opportunities to really explore different political and social issues which hinder Nepal. As a country, Nepal has a rich and devastating history of civil war and political corruption; and for these reasons, it provides a wholesome context for journalism. You could create articles which have depth and the diversity of Nepal will inspire your ideas. Upon completion of a journalism internship, you will have a portfolio which stands out. It will demonstrate aptitude, confidence and an interest in global affairs; qualities which are essential if you are to succeed as a journalist.
Previous interns have worked on a variety of publications such as Republica newspaper, Spotlight magazine, Kathmandu Post, Image Nepal and some interns have even developed the structure of their own internships with assistance from VIN. One particular intern worked as a documentary maker and produced her own documentary, whilst in Nepal )click here to watch it).
If there are specific projects that an intern wishes to complete, VIN will help to facilitate an internship which will fulfills these wishes.
One of the most beneficial aspects of working on a journalism internship with VIN is that as an NGO, VIN provides a working environment which is focused toward development, empowerment and eradicating poverty. These key themes can enrich your journalism while in Nepal and there are plenty of human resources to use (staff, community members) if you need to ask / interview someone for your work.
Learn what one of our interns, Chloe Bolton -22- UK, who worked with us from May 15 to July 9, 2010 says about her internship experience with us.
Why did you choose to do a journalism internship with VIN?
I had not studied journalism at university but I had written for a local and student newspaper and I was passionate about pursuing a career in journalism. In the UK it is so hard to even find unpaid positions with newspapers so I thought I would look abroad for something that gave me some responsibility and opportunity to put my journalism skills to the test. I had an interest in Nepal and I had traveled to India so I found the opportunity to work on a national publication in an interesting and diverse country promising- so I applied.
What was your role at Republica newspaper?
Republica newspaper was an English publication based in Nepal. I worked as a journalism intern there for eight weeks. During my time at the paper, I worked as a writer for the arts section and as a features writer for their weekly paper. As an international intern, I was often delegated work which could utilise my perspective as a ‘foreigner’ looking in at the situation in Nepal. The paper did not have a rigid ‘house-style’ so it was easy to begin writing. Aside from writing articles, we had a weekly meeting on Friday in which interns and correspondents would generate ideas for the content of the coming week’s paper. It was interesting to see ‘the brains’ behind a national newspaper.
What kind of articles did you produce?
As an arts writer, I had to interview influential Nepali artists about their ideologies, perspectives and techniques. One of the articles was titled ‘What is art?’ and it was my job to interview a popular artist in Nepal to question his definition of art and the changing world of aesthetics. It was incredibly insightful and thoroughly enjoyable.
Also, I wrote for the Week which was a newspaper produced by Republica. It had sections on culture, leisure and life-style and I wrote articles under these sections each week. One of the articles featured a Buddhist monastery where VIN works and which I stayed at and reviewed. The article was a success and the monks at the monastery were so impressed by the article.
What was the most challenging aspect of the internship?
The most challenging part of the internship was initially working out how to organise my time. The paper was flexible and it enabled me to do as little or as much as I wished- also, it was difficult to determine the paper’s expectations of me at times. With all of the excitement of arriving in Nepal and with my trekking, I did not write as much as I could have and I had to find a lot of self-motivation. But overall, I was productive and I learnt so much from doing an internship.
Do you have any advice for future interns?
Attend the office as much as possible and get to know the staff. Spend time asking questions and make the most of a great opportunity. It is unlikely that you will ever find yourself in such a position again, so whilst interning, try to be as productive as possible! Oh, and enjoy yourself!!
What you should bring to Nepal:
The primary thing is an open mind. Things will run differently in Nepal and sometimes cultural differences can be frustrating; for example, Nepali people will often be late to appointments. Also, it may take some time to understand the systems in place in Nepal. With particular reference to the journalism internship, the teams you will work with are flexible and they will give you a lot of scope for independence and initiative and sometimes you will need to be assertive.
Other useful things to bring: laptop, camera, dictionary, some knowledge of Nepal and its political history.