The Washington Post on Wednesday walked back a requirement for student internship applicants to have prior experience in a “major newsroom.”
“We’ve deleted a tweet that didn’t match the language in our FAQ on intern applications. We’ve also updated the language on prior experience. Experience in a major newsroom is not a requirement and all applications are considered,” said a tweet from the company that was threaded under Monday’s announcement of open internship roles.
The tweet linked to the Post’s frequently asked questions about the paper’s internships. The FAQ said, “It is preferred that applicants have had at least one previous professional news media job or internship.”
On Monday, the newspaper’s Twitter account shared that the open roles for next summer include reporter, photographer, videographer, multiplatform editor/producer, designer, graphic reporter/developer, social media producer and audio producer, then added, “Students must have had previous experience in a major newsroom.”
They must also be juniors, seniors or graduate students as of the application deadline on Oct. 6.
Condemnation came swiftly as career journalists condemned the requirement for what they said would be the exclusion of talented students at the expense of more privileged ones. Some, like Soledad O’Brien, suggested internships would go only to those whose parents already work in the industry.