About the SCPA Foundation
The South Carolina Press Association Foundation encourages talented young people to enter the newspaper business and provides training and growth opportunities for working professionals. Click here to read more about the Foundation.
SCPA Foundation Scholarships and Internships
The Foundation's internship program provides a meaningful, hands-on training experience for students interested in news reporting, copy editing, photojournalism, advertising or visual communications. Our internship program
prepares students for careers at S.C. newspapers after
they graduate... in fact many former interns now work
full-time for a S.C. newspaper.
Three or more interns are placed each summer at daily and weekly SCPA member newspapers, allowing students an invaluable real-world training experience. If selected as an intern, you would be placed at a newspaper near the area or areas you put on your application. We will place you in a good learning environment, but we cannot guarantee you placement at a particular newspaper. Newspapers are given interns on a rotating basis.
This is a paid internship. Each internship is 10 weeks and pays $4,000. You do not have to sign up for school credit to have this internship. However, if you want, the internship would qualify for class credit at most schools.
Internships are open to student journalists who attend a four-year college in South Carolina or reside in South Carolina and attend a four-year college elsewhere. Rising juniors and seniors, and recent college graduates
are eligible to apply.
The Foundation also awards up to
three scholarships each year to S.C. college students interested in pursuing newspaper careers. The premier scholarship, worth $3,000 per academic year, is named for the Foundation's first president, the late Frank R. Mundy of the Greenwood Index-Journal.
Scholarships are open to student journalists who attend a four-year college in South Carolina or who reside in South Carolina and attend a four-year college elsewhere. Rising juniors and seniors are eligible to apply.
The deadline to apply for 2015 internships and scholarships has passed. Applications for 2016 will be available in the fall. If you have questions about the scholarship or internship program, contact Jen Madden or call (803) 750-9561.
Meet the 2014-2015 SCPA Foundation Scholars and Interns
Meet the Mundy Scholar, Hope Falls of Clemson University
In 2014, the Foundation awarded one Mundy Scholarship worth $3,000 to Clemson University senior Hope Falls. Falls is majoring in graphic communications and minoring in business administration.
While at Clemson, she has served as director of creative services, news layout editor, and managing editor for the student newspaper, The Tiger. Falls is originally from Virginia but she has spent much of her time in the Lowcountry interning at The Island News in Beaufort.
"I love the challenge of capturing one's attention with a simple – often black and white – page of text and images. Newspapers lack the ability to print bright, colorful images so the story lies within strong headlines, strong content, and overall, strong layout," Falls said. "After devoting hours behind a computer screen designing an ad or layout, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the beauty of the ink laid down on newsprint. In a way, my work comes alive each week as I flip through the pages of the newspaper and when others enjoy it as well, it inspires me to continue to grow and learn more about newspaper layout."
Meet the 2014 Foundation interns
Avery Wilks, USC, Intern at the Aiken Standard
Avery Wilks, a senior USC Honor’s College journalism major, spent his summer as an SCPA Foundation intern at the Aiken Standard. He covered stories and took photos that ran in all sections of the paper.
“I wrote general assignment stories, ranging from short promos for local events to in-depth features about emergency rescues and animal shelters,” said Wilks. “I also worked a week on the copy desk, shot my own photos and learned how to cut video.”
Through the course of his 10-week internship, Wilks said he found that his judgment as a reporter improved through taking assignments from concept to completion.
“Getting to go out on a vague assignment and turn it into an in-depth feature was something I enjoyed and something I did quite often in this internship,” Wilks said. “My news editor, Haley Hughes, would come to me with a tip, not knowing much about what the actual story would be. I'd go out, spend a few hours figuring out what the story was and how I should tell it so people would really want to read it. Then, I had to return to the newsroom to write.
“Developing that type of awareness about what will make a good story, and then having just an hour or two to compose that story, sharpened my news judgment. I feel like I'm finding stories everywhere now, even just walking down the street.”
Melissa Hanna, editor of Aiken Standard, took notice of Wilks’ skills and work ethic.
“Avery is an amazing writer - actually better than many I've seen with professional experience. He offered up his own story ideas, willingly accepted and completed his assignments on deadline, and turned in wonderful pieces. He also picked up design/layout quite well.”
Hanna went on to say how happy she was with Wilks as an intern, “I'd gladly hire him as a permanent part of our staff.”
Even with the long hours, Wilks said his internship was a great fit.
“It certainly sharpened my interest in a newspaper career. It was my first time working in an actual newsroom, and I really enjoyed it,” Wilks said. “It’s the first job I've ever had where I wasn't watching the clock. Time seemed to fly by, even working 10-hour days. I never had a problem waking up in the morning to do it.”
Frances Parrish, Winthop, Intern at The Greenville News
Frances Parrish, senior journalism major at Winthrop University, interned as a reporter for The Greenville News this past summer. Parrish covered the Greer and Taylors communities during the course of her internship.
“I worked for The Greater Greer News, one of the weekly papers operating out of the office.” Parrish said. “I had a requirement of three stories a week for the paper. I also took video and photos for my articles and wrote an article for the daily paper as well.”
Parrish’s job gave her a chance to experience the full workload of a reporter, while also showing her the benefits of covering smaller communities.
“With experience as editor for The Johnsonian, it was great for me to experience more of the reporting side of a newspaper, and to see what is required of a reporter in a daily newsroom,” Parrish said. “Writing for the community newspaper strengthened my love for community journalism. I was able to meet some incredible people and cultivate professional relationship with them.”
Covering two communities was a large undertaking for an intern, but Bill Fox, managing editor of The Greenville News, said Parrish played “a meaningful and valued role in the newsroom.” Her hard work did not go unnoticed.
“Frances was thrown into the deep end from Day 1,” Fox said. “She was asked to assume the role of a full-time reporter and cover several communities, writing three and four stories a week, as well as taking photos and videos. She succeeded admirably.”
Fox, who said Parrish “produced consistently strong journalism,” thinks she will continue in the newspaper business.
“Frances has a bright future in journalism, whether in print, digital or even broadcast.”
Ciapha Dennis, Winthrop, Intern at The Moultrie News
Ciapha Dennis, senior journalism major at Winthrop University spent his summer interning at The Moultrie News in Mt. Pleasant for 10 weeks. Dennis worked as a reporter, a position which included photo and video components, in addition to social media duties and online content management.
“I wrote and captured photos for multiple stories relating to arts and culture, politics, sports and community-related events,” Dennis said. “I also copy edited articles, recorded, edited and posted videos for our website, edited and distributed our weekly newsletter, conducted social media posts and engaged with East Cooper residents at various events.”
The staffers of The Moultrie News cultivated an environment for Dennis to hone his craft.
“The feedback I received was always constructive,” said Dennis. “Our publisher, editor, copy editor, sports reporter and online content manager would give me pointers in regard to capturing quality photos, writing strong content and giving our readers a respectable story.”
Sully Witte, editor of The Moultrie News, who described Dennis as “a breath of fresh air,” helped make his internship a learning experience, while also treating him like a regular member of the staff.
“Ciapha worked closely with every member of the news team to review writing, photography and video tips. He sat in on all staff meetings and training as well,” said Witte. “We helped him to better understand AP Style requirements and the importance of engagement when using social media.”
The real world experience and training helped increase his interest in a newspaper career.
“There’s no better way to learn your craft than to delve into the field itself,” Dennis said.
Invest in the future of our industry
The Foundation's internships and scholarships are provided by contributions from you! Your donation is critical. Over the past few years – which have been challenging financial times for all – donations to the Foundation have been significantly down, making it more difficult to fund our internship and scholarship program.
Support the Foundation's valuable work by sending your tax-deductible contribution today. A gift of any amount will make a difference to the future of the Palmetto State's newspaper industry.
To give, click here to make a secure credit card donation to the Foundation.
| Smoak Scholarship Fund for newspaper professionals|
The Smoak Scholarship Fund is now available through the S.C. Press Association Foundation to help newspaper professionals pursue business educational opportunities. This award is presented in remembrance of Joseph M. Smoak, longtime vice president and general manager of The Evening Post Co. in Charleston. Smoak was president of the Press Association in 1991 and is remembered for his sharp newspaper business acumen. He died in 1993.
Rather than provide an annual scholarship to one or two individuals per year, the SCPA Foundation Board has created a plan that will allow for a larger number of people to receive educational assistance through the Smoak Scholarship Fund. This help can be for such things as tuition assistance, scholarships to business seminars or workshops, or other educational opportunities that may be available.
This plan allows member newspapers, on behalf of current employees, to request one-time assistance for an employee who is pursuing additional education or training opportunities. Unlike the current scholarships awarded by the SCPA Foundation to aspiring journalists, and in keeping with Mr. Smoak’s background, all Smoak funds will be awarded only to students or professionals who are interested in the business aspects of the newspaper field.
The Smoak fund now has sufficient assets to distribute up to $6,000 per year. Scholarship awards are not limited to a particular school or type of program, and the percentage of program costs covered will be dependent upon both the number of applicants requesting assistance and upon the perceived relevance of the program under consideration. Priority will be given to assist as many applicants as possible.
All member newspapers are eligible to request educational assistance from the Smoak fund. To apply or for more information, contact Bill Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (803) 750-9561.