Pat Buchanan, conservative writer and former presidential candidate
David Broder, of The Washington Post, “dean” of national political
reporters (Broder died March 9, 2011)
Rick Berke, The New York Times
Eleanor Clift, Newsweek, and Dan Balz, The Washington Post
Ann Compton, ABC News, and
Bob Merry, former Congressional Quarterly publisher.
Hon. Bob Dole, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader
Sam Donaldson, ABC News (retired), a long-time supporter of the program, with Jessica Peck Corry of the Winter/Spring 2000 Class.
Tom Brokaw, former NBC Nightly News anchor, met with students in one
of our early classes
A Washington Semester for Future Political Reporters
The Politics & Journalism Semester is a program of the Washington
Center for Politics & Journalism. The Center brings a dozen
college student journalists, whose career goal is political reporting,
Students learn about campaign, governance and interest group politics
in twice-weekly seminars, featuring political consultants and operatives,
elected and party officials, and national political journalists.
They receive practical experience and exposure to national politics
as reporting interns in major Washington news bureaus.
Two 16-week classes are conducted each year, Fall
(September to December) and Winter/Spring (February to May.) Note: There is no summer session.
$3,000 Stipend, No Tuition or Fees
Students each receive a $3,000 stipend to assist with the cost of
locating and living in Washington, DC for four months. They pay no tuition or other fees. Students must
make their own Washington living arrangements.
Students accepted for a semester program are obligated to work full
time for news bureaus to which they are assigned, and to attend
In each class, three students are designated as the "Helen
Thomas Political Journalism Intern," the "Tony Payton Political Journalism
Intern,” and the "Alan Baron Political
Journalism Intern," under special endowments established to honor the
former White House correspondent, Helen Thomas; the late Tony Payton, a former journalist
Republican political consultant; and the late political
analyst and Democratic political operative Alan Baron, a native
of Sioux City, Iowa.
Academic credit for the semester is assigned at the discretion of
each student's school.
The program is open to undergraduates, graduate students and recent
(within one or two years) graduates; participants must be at least
second term juniors. Applicants must demonstrate substantial interest
in political journalism as a career goal. Strong preference is
given to those with reporting, writing and producing experience
at school or other papers and broadcast outlets; published writing
samples (from college or other publications) are essential for
Application and Selection
Interested students apply through participating schools of communication
and journalism (see our list of colleges on this site.)
The nominating committee at each school may propose up to two students
per semester; the nominees are then interviewed (by telephone)
by the program director. Fall semester students are notified by
late April, Winter/Spring class members by late November. Applications
are accepted directly only from students or recent graduates of
other schools. Specific procedures and forms are available from
participating schools, as well as on the "Application" page of this site. Nominations are due by the first Friday
in April for the Fall semester and the first Friday in November
for the Winter/Spring term.