Newhouse and LinkedIn editors partner to create summer fellowship for students of color

by Divya Murthy

April 30, 2019

Selected students will spend a summer working alongside editorial team in LinkedIn’s New York City office.

Newhouse students at the New York City LinkedIn offices
Newhouse NYC students visited the LinkedIn offices earlier this semester. Photo courtesy of Simone Oliver.

The magazine, news and digital journalism department (MND) at Newhouse is partnering with professional networking brand LinkedIn to create a Newhouse-LinkedIn Editorial Fellowship—the third in a series of partnerships created to offer opportunities to students of color with the goal of making media more diverse. 

Two students will earn the opportunity to work alongside LinkedIn editors at the company’s New York City office in the Empire State Building this summer. Over the course of the 10-week paid fellowship, students will create and produce customized content across sections and for newsletters using articles, video and data.

The partnership with LinkedIn comes after previous Newhouse collaborations with Time Inc. and Bustle Digital Group.

The initiative, created for students from traditionally underrepresented groups, was started by Melissa Chessher, chair of MND; Newhouse alumna Lisa Arbetter ’89, editor of Olivela and former editor-in-chief of People Stylewatch; and Newhouse alumna Cheryl Brody Franklin ’04, director of Newhouse NYC. Chessher, Franklin and Arbetter helped create the first partnership with Time Inc. in 2016.

“With every news cycle, I am reminded of how much work needs to be done in terms of creating more diverse newsrooms and how important it is that we play a role in fixing that problem,” Chessher says.

Talks of collaboration with LinkedIn have been underway for some time—Franklin and Chessher worked with Dan Roth, editor-in-chief of LinkedIn, for two years. Roth fast-tracked the process to create the fellowship by the start of this summer.

“Syracuse has a diverse student body, a strong community of alumni and a series of great fellowship programs already in action,” Roth says. “We wanted to start a summer fellowship program dedicated to providing an opportunity for students of color, and Syracuse was the best partner to do so.”

In addition to LinkedIn’s role as a platform to create and foster professional networks, Roth mentions that the company’s editorial team is also tasked with providing LinkedIn members “the news and views they need in order to talk about the things that matter.”

The fellows will get a chance to contribute to the department that interests them most, and some of their responsibilities, according to Roth, will include creating content packages around trending topics, working on editorial video series and drafting digital copy.

“LinkedIn has such a robust editorial side,” Franklin says. “They write stories, and readers are extremely engaged with the platform in terms of content consumption and comments. It’s an amazing opportunity for student journalists who will be working there. 

The LinkedIn editorial team in the U.S. is split between New York City and San Francisco and collaborates with editors in 11 other countries, which means fellows may have a chance to work with editors across countries and time zones. They will spend the summer researching, writing and cultivating voices alongside editors who have previously worked at Forbes, Fortune, Reuters, Wired and The Wall Street Journal, says Roth.

“On the editorial team, having a diversity of experience and backgrounds among our editors is how we ensure that we are creating content and conversations that appeal to all our members, not just a subsection within them,” Roth says.

Besides the chance to work with a diverse, international team, both Franklin and Chessher believe that students will also gain crucial reporting experience in an important content area. “What’s really exciting about this opportunity is the chance to give students business-focused reporting and writing experience,” Chessher says. “More and more students are interested in gaining that expertise, and we are fortunate to align with such a cutting-edge platform and provide that opportunity.”

Interested students will submit a résumé, cover letter and work samples to the MND department for consideration, following which four selected students will move on to the next stage of interviews conducted by LinkedIn. For Roth, the ideal candidate, besides having strong writing and reporting skills, is a self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit. “I hope that our fellows can come in the door curious and open-minded, learn a great deal over their 10 weeks here and leave with a better understanding of what the future of journalism might look like,” Roth says.

Students interested in applying for this opportunity should contact Jessica Tarrats, academic coordinator for MND, or Melissa Chessher, chair of MND.

Divya Murthy is a senior in the magazine, newspaper and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.