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Office of Public Affairs: Science Writer for Public Affairs Internship

Project Description: The Smithsonian’s Central Office of Public Affairs has an opening for a science writer intern.  Term: 4 to 5 months.  Candidate will create content for Smithsonianscience.org—a website that highlights Smithsonian science news for the general public. The website is maintained by the Smithsonian’s Central Office of Public Affairs. Duties include reading papers published by Smithsonian staff in scientific journals and performing other general research; conducting interviews with Smithsonian scientists and staff; generating story ideas based on current events, breaking news and trending topics; meeting daily and weekly deadlines; editing and clearing copy; writing photo and video captions; assisting with posting articles to the website. Duties may also include creating multimedia content such as photos, video clips and short video stories. All duties aim to further the objectives of the Smithsonian’s Office of Public Affairs in promoting the scientific work of the Smithsonian’s staff.

Qualifications: Solid knowledge of the principles of journalism and experience in general feature writing is required. Experience writing about science in a variety of formats, including Q&A interviews and listicles is desired. Proficiency in AP style is preferred. Ability to creating multimedia content such as photos, video clips and short video stories is a plus.

Learning Objectives:

  • Reading and understanding published scientific papers
  • Translating complicated scientific research for a lay audience through short articles, Q&A interviews, listicles, etc.
  • Generating original story ideas
  • Interviewing experts in the field and in a museum setting
  • Posting text, graphics and video to a public website
  • Working with social media staff to  develop story ideas and incorporate the website content into the social media strategy

Stipend: $1,500/semester

For more information or to apply contact John Barrat at barratj@si.edu