JTA Begins New Program to Train Journalists for American Jewish Press

Establishment of an internee-training program to help meet the critical shortage of trained newsmen for the American Jewish press was announced today by Robert H. Arnow. President of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. He disclosed that an initial fund had been created to finance the intern program and carry it through its pilot stages.

In its first stages, the plan will provide for the employment on the JTA staff in New York and Washington of American Jewish students attending schools of journalism in those areas. They will cover news assignments and perform other editorial functions under the supervision of the JTA editors. These student-interns will be employed on a full-time basis during their school vacations and on a part-time basic during the school year.

The operation will gradually be extended, Mr. Arnow said, to provide for the placement of interns from schools in other parts of the country on the staffs of leading American Jewish newspapers in their home towns or school areas.

“in this way,” Mr. Arnow said, “in addition to helping these newspapers overcome their critical staffing problems, these young men and women will be able to familiarize themselves with the problems of editing and publishing a Jewish newspaper and with the life of the organized Jewish community. It is our belief that a substantial number of these interns of ours will find enough of a challenge and enough of a promise in the Jewish press to be willing to make their careers in that area.

“in its third phase, the training program will send journalism school graduates to Israel for a postgraduate internee-study program there. The interns will combine the study of Jewish history and culture and of the Hebrew language with reporting from Israel for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. This will give him an opportunity to familiarize himself with the current situation and life in the Jewish State.”

After this interneship – reporting assignment, Mr. Arnow pointed out, “these young men and women will be uniquely prepared to fill positions of responsibility in the American Jewish press and to form a cadre of qualified, informed professionals. If some of these interns should ultimately decide that they do not want to build their careers in the field of Jewish journalism,” Mr. Arnow noted, “they will carry into the general press the understanding of Israel’s problems and of American Jewish life that they had acquired in their interneship.”

The JTA President declared that “a major problem in the American Jewish press today is the tremendous shortage of qualified young newsmen possessing the professional skills, the essential Jewish background and the commitment to take over in the American Jewish newspaper field as a pioneer generation of editors disappears.

“There is an increasing awareness in the American Jewish community of the role an informed, effective press can perform. I believe that this awareness will, increasingly, be reflected in the creation of economic conditions that will make the Jewish field as rewarding as other phases of journalism in this country. Given that basis, our present effort is directed to attracting qualified young men and women to enter the field.

“We have already established contact with the administrations of several schools of journalism with a view to selecting qualified candidates who can commence their interneship before the end of the year,” Mr. Arnow said.

Launching of the initial internee-training program was made possible through creation of a special fund by Maurice Linder, Hermann Merkin and Mr. Arnow.

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