Letters to Romenesko
From A COLLEGE STUDENT WHO DOESN’T WANT TO BE NAMED: I saw your post about internship application numbers [and] I’m forwarding an email sent to finalists for the Virginian-Pilot’s internship, which says they got 150 applications for 2 reporting spots. My understanding is they got a comparable number for design internships. Feel free to use this, but I’d rather you not list my name, as they’re still picking candidates.
From: Denise Bridges
Date: Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 6:23 PM
Subject: You are one of 10 finalists
I’ve got good news and not-so-good news. You ready? The good news is you have been selected as a finalist for a reporting internship at The Virginian-Pilot for summer 2013. You are one of 10 finalists. Considering that we started with nearly 150 applications, the fact that you made it to the finalist stage is indeed good.
The not-so-good news is we have just two reporting slots available, and it will take a little while longer to narrow the list from 10 to two. It’s not easy; we’ve got some great choices. Your application is being reviewed again, and we also making reference checks. If we need additional information, we will let you know.
We do not expect to have our reporting interns selected for another week, at least. So I ask for your patience just a little while longer as we take some time to choose the best match of candidates for our newsroom. I know you are considering other opportunities and you may not be able to wait. Please let me know if you decide to withdraw your application. But first, take a moment to bask in the glow of being a finalist!
Denise Bridges | Director of Newsroom Operations & Staff Development
From “BRICKS KARD”: Saw you had some recent posts with stats about the number of applicants to newspaper summer internship programs. A few years ago, a friend and I started a blog for catharsis and to chronicle rejection letters from jobs and summer internships during our senior year of college. The blog is now mostly defunct and not in great shape, but in case you want some numbers from previous years — rejection.blogspot.com.
Boston Globe had 500 applicants in 2009; Wired Magazine had 400 applicants for four spots; and MLB.com had 400 applicants for 30 spots. There are stats for a few other newspapers (WaPo, Institute for Humane Studies Journalism Program, Denver Post, AJC, Tampa Trib) in the blog posts.
This rejection letter from the Virginian-Pilot stood out for its tone.