Internship program falls prey to Postmedia restructuring

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Applicants for Postmedia's summer internships in Ottawa got bad news on Wednesday -- none of them would be getting the job because the program had been cancelled.

Phyllise Gelfand, the Vice President of Communications at Postmedia, confirmed that the internship program was discontinued as a result of a restructuring that saw Postmedia close its parliamentary bureau and lay off five staff, including reporters Mike D'Souza, Andrea Hill and Tobi Cohen. The politics desk is now based at The Ottawa Citizen.

"With the changes at Postmedia News, its internship program also ends," Gelfand said via email late Wednesday. She could not confirm how many interns would have been hired had the program continued.

The advertisement for the paid summer job posted in early January indicated that there would be multiple positions available, and that successful candidates would have had the opportunity to cover federal politics for 12 weeks and produce content to be published across multiple Postmedia platforms including The National Post, and The Ottawa Citizen.

A number of applicants were notified of the internship program cancellation on Wednesday afternoon via email.

J-Source also reported Tuesday that the status of the Michelle Lang Fellowship, which supports an early career journalist for a year including a six month stint at Postmedia’s Parliamentary bureau, was not entirely clear.

There are now fewer opportunities for young journalists in Ottawa. However, Gelfand confirmed that The Ottawa Citizen will continue its internship program.

As news leaked out about the cancelled internship, some disappointed applicants -- and members of the media -- took to social media to comment.

"Really sad side note to the Postmedia layoffs: they're cancelling their summer internships. Opportunities for students are drying up," tweeted Oliver Sachgau (@sachgau).

"Postmedia's internship is gone. Haven't seen any out of the @VancouverSun or @TimesColonist this year. Missing any others?" tweeted Arshy Mann (@ArshyMann)

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Photo: H.G. Watson

H.G. Watson was a candidate for the Postmedia summer internship program. 

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