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Washington Journalism Center Builds A New Era As New York City Semester In Journalism

01.06.2016 | Daphne Seah

Since 2006, the Washington Journalism Center (WJC) has trained and placed aspiring journalism students in countless internships. Students come from Christian colleges across the country to Washington, D.C. for one semester, and the program equips them to figure out if journalism is their vocation or calling.

The program was the brainchild of Terry Mattingly, Universal Syndicate columnist and now Senior Fellow of Religion and Media at The King’s College, in cooperation with Council for Christian Colleges & Universities in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Mattingly has since moved to New York and has re-launched the program under the auspices of King’s College, where the program welcomed its first cohort in Fall 2015.

In the renamed “New York City Semester in Journalism” (NYCJ) program, students have been taking courses with the McCandlish Phillips Journalism Institute (MPJI) at King’s with Mattingly and MPJI-NYCJ founding director Paul Glader. With more than 16 American and international partners, NYCJ’s pioneer batch of students comes from colleges such as Bethel University (Minnesota), Grove City College (Pennsylvania), Johnson University (Tennessee), Point Loma University (California) and Azusa Pacific University (California).

A Wall Street Journal veteran, national magazine journalist and associate professor of journalism at King’s, Glader says, “Landing bylines, clips and newsroom experience in NYC’s large media market is a huge boost to students’ careers. It is a huge boost to journalism programs who want successful alumni. We have partner schools signing up from around the nation and world because they are seeing the results of this program. Moving to New York is not easy for young journalists. This is a safe and controlled way to try out New York for a semester and to make connections if you want to land a job and move back to New York later.”

Besides visiting newsrooms like BuzzFeed, the Associated Press and International Business Times / Newsweek, as well as cultural-historical attractions like The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), Wall Street and the Financial District, NYCJ’s big highlight is a 14-week internship with news and media companies in the city.

This year, students interned at Straus NewsEmergency Physicians InternationalModern NotionOnFaithThe Christian Post and The Story Exchange, and successfully completed their program in Dec. For Emma Clark, who came from Johnson University and interned at both The Christian Post and MPJI, building confidence to ask for advice was one of her best lessons. She says, “Don’t be afraid of your boss, co-workers or anyone you come into contact with in your internships. They know more than you do, remember that.”

Mattingly adds, “Think of this as a bridge semester, between the strengths you gained in your college and the experience you had there. Now it’s time to climb out on that bridge and find out where you go next. The key thing about this program, like the one that worked for 20 years in Washington and is now in New York, you’re not going out to that bridge alone.”

“There are people here that have your back, there are students here who know what you’re going through and there is this unique set of students who are here with you from other schools. We got your back. Come here and find out if this is how God has wired you — if going into journalism makes sense.”