Alison Krug recently completed a Dow Jones News Fund editing internship in Norfolk, Virginia. Krug is a 2017 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where she did an independent study on stylebooks. In this interview, conducted by email, Krug discusses her internship and offers advice on how to get one.
Q. Describe your internship. What was your typical workday like?
A. I just finished up a summer as the Dow Jones News Fund editing intern at The Virginian-Pilot. DJNF is a program that provides interns with a weeklong training bootcamp to brush up on grammar, style, headline writing and page design — all to help you prepare for your summer on a copy desk.
At The Pilot, I worked Tuesdays through Saturdays, typically from 4 p.m. to 12:15(ish) a.m. As an intern, I worked as a rim editor, editing stories and writing headlines and cutlines before sending them to the slot editor.
Q. What was the biggest challenge of the internship, and what was the greatest reward?
A. Learning the coverage area and all the local quirks was a huge challenge for me. Norfolk (where The Pilot is headquartered) is home to the largest Naval station in the world, so that meant spending a little extra time reviewing the newspaper’s military style guide.
The paper covers Hampton Roads, which includes southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Even at the end of my internship, I was still learning all the towns in the coverage area and all their quirks.
The greatest reward was probably every time I got a pun into the paper.
Q. What advice would you give to students considering applying for a Dow Jones News Fund internship?
A. If you’re going to apply for a Dow Jones News Fund internship (and you should), STUDY.
The DJNF application process consists of an online application and an editing test. The editing test includes sections on usage, current events and headline writing — and all previous tests (and their answer keys) are available online.
I took old tests, scrolled through some online grammar quizzes and had a lot of fun making a style and usage study guide for myself. (If making a style and usage study guide sounds fun for you, you might be a good fit for this internship).
What really sets DJNF apart is the training you receive at the editing bootcamp. It’s a great atmosphere and incredibly exciting to be surrounded by a group of other young copy editors passionate about grammar and AP style and all things copy. You end the week feeling very prepared to start your internship.
Q. Congratulations on completing the internship. What’s next for you?
A. I just wrapped up the internship a week ago and am highly employable! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, my Twitter is @alisonkrug and my desire to talk about grammar is endless.
UPDATE: Krug has accepted a full-time position as an editor for the Roanoke Times website.