Inside PublicI

Published — November 6, 2017 Updated — November 15, 2018 at 11:06 pm ET

Intern with the Center for Public Integrity and learn investigative journalism

We’re looking for our next crop of watchdog journalists. And we pay.


Please note: we are not currently accepting applications for internships. Check back here for updates on when our application process will open again.

The Center for Public Integrity is pleased to offer paid summer internships in Washington, D.C., to train the next generation of investigative journalists.

Sometimes the application process can be daunting. That’s why we’re making it as clear as we can so you know our expectations for what makes a stellar candidate.

What do interns at The Center do?

The Center for Public Integrity is one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. The Center is also the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting.

Interns do largely the same work as our staffers. They analyze data, report and write stories that follow our mission statement: serve democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of public trust by powerful public and private institutions.

Does that sound like something you’d be interested in doing? Then please apply. If selected, you’ll work hard, learn a ton and have a lot of fun.

Here is some of the work our recent interns have produced:

Am I eligible for an internship?

The Center for Public Integrity welcomes applications from undergraduate students entering their junior or senior years, recent graduates, graduate students and professionals looking to change careers. You must be authorized to work in the United States.

The Center for Public Integrity is committed to hiring employees from diverse backgrounds. People of color, women, LGBTQ and differently abled people are strongly encouraged to apply.

What is the application deadline?

Dec. 10, 2018, for summer 2019 internships.

How long do these internships last?

Internships last 12 weeks. Internships will start in May or June, depending on the intern’s schedule.

What are the hours?

Summer internships are full-time (40 hours a week). The Center follows a 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday schedule.

You guys pay, right? RIGHT?!

That’s right! Interns are paid $16 per hour. Interns will also be paid a $500 signing bonus to help them get settled while waiting for their first paycheck.

Cool. How do I apply?

Candidates should email their applications to intern coordinator Joe Yerardi at

All candidates must submit the following:

  • A cover letter
  • A resume
  • Contact information for two professional references
  • Three examples of your work

Your cover letter should be a statement of purpose. We’re interested in what you’re passionate about and why you’re passionate about it.

  • Tell us what you care about and what you like to work on.
  • Tell us why this opportunity will help you reach your potential.
  • Tell us how you will contribute to our news organization.
  • Tell us if you have a particular interest in one of our core coverage areas: business, data journalism, the environment, immigration, national security, politics, technology or workers’ rights.

Your resume should list all relevant work experience, including previous internships, freelance reporting jobs and positions at student news outlets. It should also list any relevant skills like speaking a language other than English or experience working with particular software or programming languages (Excel, SQL, Python, etc.).

Your two professional references should be able to speak knowledgably about your qualifications to work at the Center. Reporters and editors at previous internships, advisers to student publications and professors tend to be good references.

Examples of your work should include stories that have been published in professional or student outlets. Please include hyperlinks to these stories if they are available online. If they’re not available online, please include them as PDF files. Applicants with GitHub accounts are encouraged to include links to relevant repositories showing the data and programming work they did to report their stories.

What’s the selection process?

After you email us a resume, cover letter, contact information for two references and three examples of your work, you’ll receive an email thanking you for your application. Our selection committee will then read through all the applications. We’ll reduce the list to several finalists.

If you’re one of the finalists, you’ll get an email from us informing you of this. Over email, we’ll figure out a good time for a few folks from the Center to conduct a Skype interview with you. Be prepared to talk about the materials in your application. Shortly after that, we’ll make our decisions. We’ll follow up with all applicants, including non-finalists.

I’m still not sure whether I’m good enough to apply. Should I?

There’s no such thing as a “perfect applicant.” If you’ve read this far, you’re obviously interested. And if you’re interested, then you should definitely apply. We can’t promise that we’ll hire you but we can promise this: If you follow the instructions outlined on this page, we will give your application serious consideration. So if you’re on the fence about applying, please go ahead and send that application in. We want to see it. And good luck!

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