Internships & Fellowship

High Country News is looking for informed and enthusiastic editorial interns and fellows to report on natural resource, environmental and community issues in the 12 Western states.

High Country News, published twice-monthly in Paonia, Colorado, is a nonprofit newsmagazine and website “for people who care about the West.” The magazine reaches 25,000 subscribers — an estimated 60,000 readers — and the website reaches thousands more, including grassroots activists, public land managers, tribal officials, government policymakers, educators, students and interested citizens.

The Los Angeles Times has written that High Country News is "the most influential environmental journal in the Mountain West," and according to Newsweek, “High Country News is a must for anyone following land use issues west of the 100th meridian.” Our hard-hitting coverage has won many major journalism awards during the past few years, including:

  • Utne Independent Press Awards for Best Environmental Coverage and Best Local/Regional Coverage
  • Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism
  • George Polk Award
  • First Person Narrative award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors
  • Science Journalism Award from the American Association for Advancement of Science
  • Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism
  • James V. Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism

Every year, High Country News offers four to six internship positions, each six months long, starting in July and January. We also offer a fellowship, between six months and one year, starting each January. We provide free housing and a $220-per-week stipend for interns and free housing and a $375-per-week stipend for fellows. To help defray moving costs, an additional $500 travel stipend is available upon successful completion of the internship. 

Our interns and fellows are a key part of the HCN team; aside from a few minor tasks such as sorting the mail and answering phones, interns spend most of their time researching, interviewing, writing, and developing stories and content, for print and the website. We pride ourselves on fairness, accuracy and good writing, and we expect no less of our interns.

For all of our positions, a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and some prior journalism experience and/or education is preferred. We also prefer applicants who are familiar with High Country News and who have lived in the West and know its environmental and community issues. Photographic experience and familiarity with audio and visual programs such as Final Cut Pro and Flash, as well as radio or video experience are all pluses. We strongly encourage Native American journalists, Hispanic journalists and those from other under-represented backgrounds to apply. Our fellowship is designed for journalists with experience that may preclude them from an internship and who may have something extra, in terms of experience, to bring to High Country News.

All interns and fellows work with the staff editors to write news stories for the website and for the newsmagazine, ranging in length from 250 to 1,600 words. Depending on their experience and ability, they may also write a 2,500- to 5,000-word feature story. Our editing process is rigorous; copy goes through two layers of editing, and it is not unusual for a story to see six or eight drafts. Reporting is generally conducted over the phone and the Internet, but we also send interns and fellows into the field to do on-the-ground work.

Our interns and fellows go on to become leaders in journalism and public life. They pursue careers as reporters, editors, educators, lawyers, policymakers and freelance writers. Above all, they learn to report with depth and nuance on the issues of critical importance to the American West and the national conversation.

Upcoming start dates and application deadlines are as follows. Applications must be received in our office by the deadline date.

Internship

This competitive internship requires writing skills and the ability to communicate ideas, both orally and in writing, to various audiences. We also look for strong curiosity and attention to detail. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent in journalism, English or related field is also required.

Winter/Spring

Starts mid-January
Ends mid-June 
(Applications must be received by Nov. 1)

Summer/Fall

Starts mid-July 
Ends mid-December
(Applications must be received by March 15 -- Deadline extended until Monday, March 19)

Fellowship

The fellowship includes all of the requirements of the internship, as well as a year of journalism experience or more and a demonstrable knowledge of resource and environmental issues of the Western U.S.

Starts mid-January
Ends mid-July or mid-December 
(Applications must be received by Nov. 1)

Applicants should send an email with attached cover letter, résumé, contact information for three references (phone and email), and three writing samples (plus multimedia samples, if applicable) to Deputy Editor-Digital Kate Schimel at kateschimel (at) hcn.org. Please be sure to include “internship application” or “fellowship application” in the subject line.

If emailing an application is not an option, candidates may also mail their materials to:

Deputy Editor-Digital Kate Schimel
High Country News
P.O. Box 1090
Paonia, CO 81428

Call 970-527-4898 or email kateschimel (at) hcn.org for further information.

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