What can Roving Reporters do for an international journalism student?

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By Izze Siemann

Not all journalism students are lucky enough to get a front page byline and a private, in-person interview with the National Geographic Storytelling Grants Program Officer on their first internship.

Internships in journalism are so competitive in the United States, that finding an unpaid one doesn’t ensure that you will actually grow as a writer and as a critical thinker. These “fetching coffee” internships don’t send writers out ready to write on their own; after going through Roving Reporters training programme, I feel that I have the skill to write on my own.

However, all writers have editors. We are a team, and the team at Roving Reporters needs each individual to keep moving forward.  As an English literature and environmental science student, my experience has been almost exclusively in science journalism. With Roving Reporters, I learned about real-world field journalism: investigating, profiling, feature writing, narrative writing, newsroom editing, last minute fact-checking, and so much more. Straddling both environmental and critical social and justice journalism in a country with immense natural beauty and a crazy-complex history and government is eye opening in itself, coming from liberal bubble like Berkeley, CA. Just by traveling abroad to a country like South Africa you learn new things every day; Roving Reporters helps you turn those discoveries into a story that everyone can learn from.

  • Izze Siemann, a McGill University environmental science and English literature honours student, served a two month internship with Roving Reporters from June to early August 2018.


The Izze Siemann Scholarship Fund

Inspired by Izze’s sojourn from central Africa to join the Roving Reporters team, and how Izze embraced all the learning opportunities provided, we are establishing an international internship programme in association with The Office @ 97 Innes Road.

In support of this initiative, Izze has agreed to donate the income she receives from publication of her stories arising from her internship to a scholarship fund which will enable  other international interns to join Roving Reporters each year, effective from May 2019. We invite individuals and organisation to pledge matching grants to enable us to develop our international internship programme.

For further information contact Fred Kockott on +27 (0)83 277 8907 or email fredk@rovingreporters.co.za cc to isabella.siemann@mail.mcgill.ca

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