American Public Media
  • MPR News, Newsroom - 17HB
  • St Paul, MN, USA
  • $16-$20
  • Hourly
  • Intern - Full Time

Position Information:

Hours: 40 hours per week

Location: St. Paul, MN

Start Date: June 9, 2020 - May 28, 2021

Application Deadline: February 28, 2020. Cover letter is required for this application. Please scroll to the "Next Step in the Application" section for more information.


Are you looking for a fellowship at the largest station-based public radio organization in the United States?

If so, look no further. Our fellowship program will give you the real-world experience you are seeking in production, research, reporting, interviewing, audio and digital storytelling and more, as well as experience in public media operations. In addition to professional development, this program will help you build a network with other professionals in the industry. Don't miss out on the chance to build your professional portfolio alongside some of the best people in public media.


Who we are:

MPR News has long been recognized as one of the foremost journalistic organizations in the Upper Midwest, reaching news consumers across all platforms. Reaching nearly 600,000 listeners each week, the MPR News radio signal can be heard by 95 percent of Minnesotans. With news bureaus across the state, MPR News has partnerships with one of the largest TV stations in the region, KARE 11, and more than 30 newspapers. MPR News has received numerous awards for its reporting and most recently received a George Foster Peabody Award, Alfred I. DuPont Award and RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award. Visit for the latest regional, national and international headlines.


Toni Randolph Diversity Fellow - MPR News

The Toni Randolph Diversity Fellowship will help MPR News develop the next generation of public media talent; provide pathways for people from underrepresented backgrounds who are seeking careers as reporters, newscasters, show producers, digital producers, and editors; and create exceptional content that improves and expands our coverage of diverse communities for MPR News platforms. The fellowship is named after the late Toni Randolph, a newsroom leader and tireless champion of diversity, inclusion and unheard voices. She worked at MPR News as a host, editor, reporter and newscaster for 13 years until her passing in 2016.

We are seeking an early-to mid-career individual who has two or more years of experience in journalism or communications. Someone striving to strengthen their skills in media and can help diversify the talent pool within public radio. You have a life experience or background that will contribute to a broader understanding of the communities we serve, and you have potential to make notable contributions to the news profession. You must be a deft writer and know how to tell a compelling story. The goal is to give you full access to our newsroom, including our award-winning reporters, editors and photojournalists.

You'll participate in four rotations within the newsroom. The rotations will include reporting and digital production, and two other rotations that might involve show production, newscast writing/editing, or other areas of focus. A supervisor will be assigned to manage your overall experience. In addition, within each rotation, a mentor will be assigned to help with day-to-day assignments and guidance.


The Rotation

You will participate in four, three-month rotations during the year. The newsroom will determine two of the four rotations. The third and fourth rotations will be determined jointly by you and the newsroom based on your career interests and skills. As part of the overall rotation, you will receive hands-on training to continue to build upon your skill sets.


First Rotation: Reporting

This rotation will give you a solid foundation for subsequent rotations. Alongside our summer interns, you'll learn the basics of gathering sound, interviewing for broadcast, writing for radio, audio editing and production in our Dalet system, and collaborating with a team to bring your story to completion. You'll also gain insight on how the newsroom is structured and how our reporting teams work. You will start on our news hub, where you will learn the basics of chasing and reporting on the news of the day. Then you'll transition to reporting for our Race, Class and Communities team, where you'll help enhance our coverage of diverse communities in a fast-changing state. Minnesota's Somali and Hmong populations, for example, are among the largest in the nation.

By the end of the rotation, you will be reporting stories for our radio and digital platforms, including:

  • Newscast spots
  • Web briefs and stories
  • Radio packages for our two magazine programs, Morning Edition and All Things Considered


Second Rotation: Digital production

During this rotation, you will learn how to produce stories in our digital content management system (CMS), prepare photographs for publication, and hone copyediting and headline-writing skills. You'll also learn about our social media channels and prepare posts as well as work with our reporters to produce Facebook Live. There will also be room for the fellow to write digital-first stories, create video and photo stories.

By the end of this rotation, you will be able to:

  • Rewrite a radio script into a story ready for digital, attach photographs, and publish to the website
  • Write digital-first stories
  • Write headlines with eye toward search-engine optimization
  • Learn basics of online analytics via Chartbeat and Google Analytics


Third and fourth rotations: To be determined by you and newsroom during the fellowship



As part of the application process, you will be asked to propose a project that would deepen your expertise on a given topic. The topic could be content-driven or seek to enhance your knowledge about an aspect within public radio news. Our goal is to allow you to pursue the project during your time in the newsroom in addition to your other duties. Some project details might need to be revised.

Example 1: You propose to report on native-born American children who are enrolled in English-language learner programs in Minnesota schools. As time allows, you would spend part of the first rotation reporting and producing stories about the issue. On the next rotation working with the digital team, you could pitch new angles of the story with online video explainers, Facebook Live segments and other components. On the third rotation, you could work as a producer and help plan some call-in shows, for which you would book guests and help prepare the host for a robust live radio conversation on the topic.

Example 2: Say it's your goal to master audio storytelling. On your reporting rotation, you would learn what it takes to build sound-rich, smartly written stories. On the digital desk, your goal would be to creatively incorporate embedded audio into your digital stories. The third rotation could be spent improving the sound of our newscasts. A fourth rotation could involve working with our audio engineers.



  • Partial subsidy for onsite parking or bus transportation. Day-to-day transportation is your responsibility.
  • Eligible to accrue for sick and safe time off.
  • Eligible for health insurance as required under the ACA.



  • Participate in robust on-boarding experience.
  • Professional development: on-the-job training, intercultural development assessment, formal performance review feedback sessions, etc.
  • Opportunities to be mentored by one of our top professionals within public media.
  • Volunteering opportunities.


Required Qualifications:

  • Completed bachelor's degree or at least 2 years of professional relevant work experience
  • Additionally, minimum two years' experience in journalism or communication
  • Life experiences, fluency in more than one language, or extensive knowledge about an underrepresented community that will help diversify public radio talent or coverage
  • Strong writing, research and communication skills
  • Passion for telling distinctive stories and amplifying community voices
  • Awareness of current events
  • Demonstrated dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Self-motivation, resourcefulness, curiosity, creativity, accuracy
  • Proven ability to work efficiently and meet deadlines


Preferred qualifications:

  • Proficiency in Spanish, Hmong or Somali
  • Experience using audio production or editing equipment
  • Basic knowledge of issues important to Minnesota
  • Knowledge of HTML and working in a content-management system


Next Step in the Application

If you are interested in this fellowship, please propose a project that would deepen your expertise on a given topic. The topic could be content-driven or seek to enhance your knowledge about an aspect within public radio news. If you pitch a content-driven project, please be specific about your story idea and how it will distinguish itself from other media news coverage on the issue. Refer to the "Main Project" section for more information. Please include a cover letter (of no more than 2 pages) and include your project description.


Physical Demands and Working Conditions:

  • Must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Physical Demands:
    • Required to move about in an office environment and sit for extended periods of time.
    • Required to move about in the community.
    • Frequent use of hands for data entry/keystrokes and simple grasping.
  • Working Conditions:
    • Moderate noise level.
    • Occasional exposure to prevalent weather conditions.


Diversity creates a healthier atmosphere: All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply.

American Public Media
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