Each summer, the Kentucky Press Association/Kentucky Journalism Foundation and the KPA Associates Division place a minimum of 24 college students in internship positions with newspapers and Associates members.

Students are deployed for 10 weeks to work in the “real world” with the hopes being that students will select a career in newspapers or public relations when they graduate.

The program began in 1993 with six interns placed and has grown to a minimum of 20 with KPA newspapers and four with KPA Associates members. In all, KPA and the KPA Associates pay more than $72,000 for the intern salaries each summer.

Students must either be a graduate of a Kentucky high school (if attending college out of state) or a student at a Kentucky college or university. They must have completed the freshman year. There is no stipulation on a specific major or career direction for students to qualify. Students apply to KPA and then host newspapers and companies interview students and select their intern.

In the summer of 2009, KPA/KJF placed 21 student interns and one faculty intern in newspapers across the state. The KPA Associates Division placed interns with the Bluegrass State Games, University of Louisville Communications office, Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations and J. Frank Publishing in London.

Newspapers receiving interns included Ashland Independent, Kentucky Standard, Beattyville Enterprise, Bowling Green Daily News, Oldham Era, Corbin Times Tribune, Corbin News Journal, Grant County News, Elizabethtown News Enterprise, Boone County Recorder, Georgetown News Graphic, Kentucky New Era, Lexington Herald Leader, Madisonville Messenger, Mt. Sterling Advocate, Murray Ledger and Times, Jessamine Journal, Richmond Register, Shelbyville Sentinel News and Tompkinsville News.

As the internship draws to a close, typically in mid-July, we ask the students to write about their experience, what they did, and what impact the internship might have on their career choice. Of all the interns placed in the program since its inception, more than 85 percent have said the experience encouraged them to seek a career in newspapers or public relations upon graduation.

Here are the interns for 2009 and their impressions from spending 10 weeks in the “real world.” Just click on the student’s name/mug to see their article.