The Dow Jones News Fund (DJNF) provides paid summer internships in data journalism, digital media, business reporting and interactive news editing for juniors, seniors and graduate students.

DJNF offers interns with an intensive week-long training taught by leading journalism professionals. The deadline is Nov. 1.

Tierra Smith, NABJ student council member, spoke with Linda Shockley, the managing director of the Dow Jones News Fund, to provide additional advice for NABJ students who are interested in applying for the internship program.

When applying for the internship program, students are required to take an editing test and write an essay, which serves as a major component of the application process.

Shockley said students should self-edit, rewrite, avoid procrastination and invest in writing a well-written and insightful piece.

“All of these things speak to how you are as a journalist,” Shockley said.

While writing an engaging essay can be challenging, Shockley also said students should be confident in their abilities and should not fear that they are not good enough.

“You have to believe it and make it so,” Shockley said. “You start with the positive affirmation then you take the necessary steps.”

Part of students being confident in themselves is knowing when to ask for help and being proactive in finding ways to improve their skillset.

Shockley said it is important for students to be realist of their skills and improve in the areas where they need work on.

“There is no excuse,” Shockley said. “There are many online journalism resources for students to enhance their skills. All students have to do is set aside time everyday to get better.”

The internship program also requires students to take a test or “qualifying exam.” Depending on the internship, students are required to edit passages, write headlines and answer current event questions.  At some universities, professors administer the test annually. At others, students must coordinate with a professor to administer the test.

Shockley, who has worked with the DJNF for more than 28 years, said that students must have the foundational ability to write and think critically. She said the only way students will improve with their writing skills is to practice.

“You must continue to work at it,” Shockley said.

For additional advice, tips and information about the DJNF, check out the YouTube channel at

To apply for the internship program, go to The deadline to apply is Nov. 1.

Tierra Smith serves on the NABJ Student Council as the Region III student representative. Smith is earning her Master of Mass Communication (MMC) at Louisiana State University and will graduate in May 2017. Smith is also an alumnae of the Dow Jones News Fund Internship Program. To contact her, email her at and follow her on Twitter @ByTierraSmith.