Solitary Watch offers interns an opportunity to gain reporting, research, and outreach skills while working on an important domestic human rights issue. Individuals with a background or interest in journalism, law, and criminal justice, including formerly incarcerated individuals and others directly impacted by the criminal justice system, are especially encouraged to apply, as are those interested in utilizing media to advance social justice.

We work with only 1-2 interns per semester/season. WE ARE CURRENTLY REVIEWING APPLICATIONS FOR SPRING 2020 INTERNSHIPS (for Washington DC only). We will be accepting applications for summer 2020 internships beginning March 1 (for Washington DC or New York).

Interns work a flexible part-time schedule. The minimum time commitment is 8 hours/week during the school year and 15/week during the summer; more is welcome.

Spring interns must be available to work one morning or afternoon a week in a home office in Cleveland Park. Most of the work will be performed independently and remotely, keeping in close touch with the site editors—veteran reporter James Ridgeway (DC), editorial manager Valerie Kiebala (DC), and independent media editor Jean Casella (New York)—by email and phone. We strongly prefer interns in the New York or DC metro areas to allow for weekly face-to-face meetings, but for the summer internship, exceptionally well-qualified interns in other locations may be considered as well.

Because interns work largely on their own, this internship is not for everyone. Please think carefully about your ability to work independently and set your own schedule, but still complete tasks and meet deadlines.

This is generally an unpaid internship, but transportation costs, Internet, telephone, and any other expenses will be covered. A small, part-time stipend may be offered to formerly incarcerated people who qualify for the internship, but another source of income will still be needed.

We are happy to fulfill the supervision requirements of any college internship program.

Description of Work:

Interns conduct research, create original content for Solitary Watch, and assist in building the reach and readership of the site. Along with minimal routine administrative work, interns will generally have the opportunity to:

• Report and draft at least one original news story

• Assist with research and reporting for investigative projects

• Research and draft fact sheets and material for reports

• Research and update resources on solitary confinement

• Update databases and mailing lists

• Correspond with people in prison

• Conduct outreach using social media


• Ability to work independently and see projects through from beginning to end (essential!)

• Attention to detail and accuracy

• Strong interest in prisoners’ rights / human rights / civil liberties

• Excellent writing and online research skills

• Basic web posting and social media skills (no coding)

• Own computer and cell phone

• Reporting experience and/or video or graphic design skills are a plus

Application Process:

Please email your resume, a cover letter stating why you are interested in this internship, one writing sample, and contact information for one reference to Valerie Kiebala at valerie@solitarywatch.org.

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