Have you ever wondered what goes on behind every head title of a New York Times newspaper? How much time goes into every story, or what the number of different jobs there are behind the scenes? Lucky for you, the New York Times offers a program that allows you to throw yourself into the middle of what their employees experience every day, with the School of The New York Times Summer Program. It offers a chance to witness the progress of a multitude of different jobs being performed by experts in their field, and a chance to explore the city with a journalist’s view. Residential, or visiting, spending a couple of weeks in New York is never a bad time, and being able to stay in a dorm and learn while doing so is an added plus.
Aspiring journalists and writers all know the New York Times. Many Americans know the New York Times, with it being the third best selling paper in America, and one of the oldest. A chance to explore the inner workings of the paper is what the Summer Program is all about, with students staying at dorms. It lets kids get to know each other and the program leaders, and be able to explore New York City, and everything it has to offer. The program has lots of different courses and classes available, and the program itself is two weeks long. The academy welcomes all writers in grades 10-12, and you can apply on the School of The New York Time’s website.
On a day to day basis, the program looks similar to a college course, with the in person classes taking place on a campus, and kids staying in dorms, and usually residing in Fordham University, in the Bronx. In the two week program, there’s an orientation, and then you show up to class everyday, in the morning and afternoon. Class might be on campus, or out exploring the city and meeting native New Yorkers, some journalists and some not. In the evenings, there are lots of social gatherings, like game night and different contests. For residential students who already live in the area, the program still retains a lot of curriculum, but the dorms and campus are not included, with the visiting students staying in the dorms, but both sets of students will learn together. With tours of Central Park, and admiring the city lights at night, the program gives so much to kids who truly want to explore New York.
The program has not changed considerably since the virus, with a lot of the instruction and curriculum remaining the same online as it would be in person. Online learning for this program was introduced because of the virus, but might stay, considering the expensive nature of in person classes, and the accessibility that an online option provides. The same set of skills will be taught, including writing, and other assets needed to be a successful journalist. “So much of the course is honing your writing skills and your communication skills that you would learn in a classroom anyway, and a huge component in it is access to experts in these industries, depending on the class you take,” says Rachel Ely, Director of Admissions and Enrollment. “We’ve had magazine editors, style writers for the NYT come in to speak. People are much more available, since the online aspect is allowing people to communicate better,” she says. A large number of different writers and editors are able to speak with the kids from the program, which helps kids with communication skills. “ A much bigger pool of people have been able to get a hold of classes, and come in and share with the students. The application process is pretty much the same for online than it would be for normal in person, where it would be still receiving the classes you pick, and the different professionals you wish to learn from,” Ely shares. The school is looking for kids that are striving to be the best writers that they can be, and open themselves up to the city that has a million stories to capture and bring to everyone else every week. The application asks two essay questions, although additional writing samples are welcome, such as articles written in a school newspaper, or an essay you are proud of, like a work sample. Ely states that she encourages submitting a work sample, as it would be beneficial for the submitter, because the board of admissions don’t know everything about the applicant, and the work sample could help give that information, such as background.
New York City is a staple city for birthing successful people, and the main newspaper of the city is offering a chance to observe and learn about it. “We started our Flagship program in New York in 2014, and it became quite successful so we started a D.C. campus (the NYT’s DC summer program), however with covid, we are only planning an online version for this summer, but we are not opposed to exploring reopening in New York if health officials allow,” Ely states. “This program is so great for building connections to professionals and learning how to correctly get in touch with these professionals,” she says.
School of The New York Times is a great place for young journalists that are searching for the jumpstart to their career, and what a better place to do it than New York.