New York Times received 1,644 applications for 13 summer intern positions

After posting the Oregonian’s summer internship rejection letter, which noted that the paper received nearly 200 applications, I wondered about the numbers from other newspapers and fired off some emails. Here’s what came back:

New York Times: “We had 1,644 valid applications for 13 positions.”
imagesWashington Post: “We do not release this information.”
Wall Street Journal: “The internship programs for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires are integrated, which makes comparison difficult. It’s a highly competitive program — we usually have several hundred applicants.”
USA Today: “Our program is for credit only so it’s unpaid. Because of that, we don’t track applicant/intern numbers like I would assume a paid program might.”
Tampa Bay Times: “We had about 300 applications this year, give or take, for 11 slots.”

I’ve sent emails to other newspapers and will post their responses when/if they come in. Meanwhile, I received this letter from a young journalist — a Cleveland Plain Dealer intern last summer — who landed a dream job at Deadspin after being rejected by newspapers.

From DOUG BROWN: One year ago today, you wrote about my story for the Daily Kent Stater where I revealed that a major donor was a former Ponzi scheme leader and then withdrew his $1 million for the athletic department. That meant a lot to me and my confidence as a reporter, so I wanted to thank you for that. It helped me realize what I really want to do with journalism and the types of stories that are meaningful to pursue.

Brown

Brown

I’m now using the skills I developed at the Stater now to write college sports/public record stories for Deadspin, my favorite website for years. Two days ago, I published an investigative piece on the football abuse allegations at Washington State, and wrote the public records requests that lead to stories on the financial struggles of the Southern Miss athletic department and subsequent scheduling maneuvering of the football team.

This fall I sent out applications to like 20 mid-to-small level newspapers advertising reporting jobs; I didn’t even hear back from most and got rejected from the ones I hear did back from, and only got in contact with Deadspin out of desperation (not thinking I had a realistic shot of writing for them) and it worked out.

* Jan. 10, 2012: Kent State alum pulls $1M gift after student reporter asks questions (jimromenesko.com)

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