Q&A: Digital Managing Editor Dania Kalaji talks interning at Dow Jones News Fund

Where did you intern this past summer and what was your position?

I interned with the Dow Jones News Fund, and I was a multi-platform editing intern at Bay City News. It’s a wire service based in Oakland, but I worked in San Francisco.

What did your day-to-day tasks consist of?

I was really supposed to be doing copy editing, so fact-checking stories before they go up, looking for AP style errors and making sure that a headline sounds good. It quickly became that I was doing basically everything. I did copy editing, but I was also doing reporting and some social media. I was like a digital producer. When a story would come in, I was curating it on WordPress, and making them look pretty with graphs and photos. A little bit of everything.

How did The Red & Black prepare you for what you did at your internship?

All of my work that I’ve done on The Red & Black has led me to that internship. I say that with full confidence because when I was a freshman and I started at The Red & Black, I honestly didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself as a writer. I was watching how higher up editors would do their work and how they would write, how they would edit and follow in their footsteps. I really think that my experience I had with DEI and being the DEI chair for a year helped me focus my stories during my internship and make sure that I have diverse sourcing and that I’m being sensitive in every story, whether it’s DEI-related or not. The basic reporting skills, like how to do a lead and what should go in your nut graph, I’ve taken from The Red & Black and I’ve applied it everywhere. I can thank The Red & Black for honestly everything.

What was unexpected about your experience?

I don’t think I realized how much trust the staff puts in their interns. One thing in particular that I can’t believe they would even let me do was the NBA Championship. The actual game was in Boston because it was the Celtics versus the Warriors, but they have watch parties in San Francisco at [the Warriors’] basketball stadium. [My internship] got me press passes with the NBA. They ended up winning, and it was insane. It was the most chaotic experience that I’ve had reporting live in journalism. I got to do a breaking news story about it and take pictures and interview people. In the end, I never thought that I’d be there. It’s really great how much trust they put in the interns and then you get rewarded afterwards when you see your work. It’s a really fulfilling thing to see.



Dania Kalaji interviewed actor Jimmie Fails during her summer 2022 internship program. (Screenshot Courtesy: Dania Kalaji)


What advice would you give to students seeking internships?

I’m the most firm believer that the earlier you start and kick off your journalism career, or if it’s graphic design, PR, advertising, videography, photography or sales, The Red & Black has all of that. There’s a little bit of everything. It’s not just this place where you’re learning to write and do basic reporting skills, but there’s so many other opportunities in creative services, in sales, making a name for yourself and learning how to do that before you go out into the real world. You can get in and feel like you’re in a real life situation because it’s taken seriously like it is real life. When you start as a freshman, you join The Red & Black and you’ll work your way up. Then, all of a sudden, you’re graduating and you have an internship with a really big company that you’ve always dreamed of working with. It honestly pays off. The earlier the better.

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