Internships in human rights journalism

Internships in human rights journalism

Internships in human rights journalism

Applications now accepted for May-August and September-December 2024

Are you interested in joining the Upstream Journal as a content creator? Do you want to professionalize your desire to engage in human rights issues by developing journalistic techniques in research and interviews, and then writing and communicating to a general audience directly and effectively?  What about promotion of the magazine and its content, bringing the issues we explore to a wider audience while building your skills in social media?

Internships are available in four-month sessions, from September-December, January-April, and May-August.  


Interns do not need to have prior training in journalism; interns from a wide variety of backgrounds are welcome to work with the editor in a partnership to build the best products possible.  Stories in either French or English are welcome.  Following the experience of the COVID pandemic, we have adapted to a program in which interns can work remotely, so international applications are also accepted.

Intern responsibilities

An intern works with the editor to identify possible story ideas, do background research, conduct interviews, gather supporting images and decide the approach to take to the preparation of a magazine article. Then comes the writing and editing phase, re-working the text so that it succeeds in bringing aspects of the human condition to engaged readers.

The intern also prepares an episode, using recorded material from the interviews, for our podcast channel, Human Rights Magazine, along with a brief promotional video.

Internships require a minimum of 150 hours.  Extended internships are also available, requiring 300+ hours over six months or more.

Internships are unpaid. Students are encouraged to explore funding support or course credits that may be available through their school.

If you are interested in becoming a content creator with the Upstream Journal, please contact the editor, Derek MacCuish including the time frame along with a brief description of why you are applying and a CV.      Email:   dmaccuish [at]

Engaging with real-world issues through journalism has broadened my perspective and deepened my appreciation for the importance of accurate and impactful communication. Moreover, I would say that this internship has enriched my university experience by bridging the gap between my theoretical background and practical application (professionalizing my desire to engage with journalistic techniques).” – Intern May-August 2023

“Thank you again for this amazing internship opportunity. I learned a lot from you this summer and I can finally confirm that I want to pursue a career in journalism!” – Intern May-August 2023

“Thank you so much for your guidance and expertise over the summer. I learned so much about the world of journalism and I cannot thank you enough for this amazing opportunity!” – Intern May-August 2023

“During my time at Upstream Journal, I was fortunate to experience supportive mentorship and enjoy a collaborative peer work environment. Engaging with human rights issues of great interest to me not only enriched my passion for social justice but also equipped me with invaluable professional skills (research, critical thinking, cross-cultural understanding, advocacy, legal knowledge and more), ensuring a bright and purposeful trajectory for my future endeavors.” – Intern May-August 2021

“My experience with Upstream Journal allowed me to get a foothold in the field of human rights in which I am still invested five years later. During the internship, I had the opportunity to write an article on child labor in cocoa plantations in Cote d’Ivoire. I particularly appreciated the confidence and autonomy granted to me during this internship.” – Intern Sept.-Dec. 2018

“Interning at the Upstream Journal was a fun and enriching experience for me as I was able to be involved with researching, interviewing, and writing an article as well as contributing to social media through designing posts and infographics and editing a podcast episode. The experience helped me learn new skills and was of great benefit to my career. I would recommend this internship to anyone who is interested in human rights, journalism, or communications!” – Intern Sept.-Dec. 2021


“Interning for The Upstream, I gained valuable first-hand experience in journalism. I was lucky to have the support of my editor while researching, interviewing, writing, recording, and publishing my internship project. I was also given a great degree of independence while shaping the objectives of my project. I got to do research, had on-site visits, and talked to experts regarding an issue I was passionate about. I would recommend this internship to anyone who would like to discover how a career in journalism would be like!” – Intern May-August 2022

“Working at the Upstream Journal was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had. It gave me a platform to write about the issues that I care about the most while sharpening my skills in writing, investigation, communication, etc. Mr. MacCuish is a great mentor who inspired me and showed me the real ethics and dedication it takes to be a journalist. It was a great pleasure for me to work as an intern at the Upstream Journal, and this experience will continue to benefit my career and enrich my perspectives.” – Intern May-August 2022

“Upstream offers a free space to discuss the most controversial topics in the world. During the internship, you will be exposed to the most brutal realities on the ground through your interviews. Those narratives are cruel yet appealing. What I learned from the experts’ stories and insights still motivates me to be a change-maker nowadays.” Intern May-August 2022

“An internship with Upstream Journal is an amazing learning opportunity, particularly for individuals interested in pursuing journalism. Mr. MacCuish gave us complete autonomy to research and delve into a subject of our choosing. The highlight of my internship was conducting interviews with various organizations for my podcast. Additionally, we would have weekly discussions to assess our progress and determine the next steps for our projects, which greatly aided in guiding me in the right direction.” – Intern May-August 2021

“I feel as though I gained tremendously skills-wise, as I learnt to write more professionally and cleanly, especially since I was so used to overfilled academic jargon in university. I also enjoyed how one-on-one it was because it allowed for constant support and seeing my progress week by week! Overall, it was a fantastic experience and opportunity to have my first article published about something I am genuinely passionate about, and to work towards something I am truly proud of!” – Intern Sept.-Dec. 2022