Yale students in any school can join the News at any point and contribute as much or as little as they like. No prior reporting experience is necessary; more than two-thirds of our current staff had no journalism experience before joining.
There are opportunities on each of our 20 desks, including written and multimedia reporting, opinion writing, production and design, audience engagement, and business and web development, among others. Students are welcome to contribute without joining our staff and are encouraged to explore different desks throughout their time at the News.
We offer stipends to staff members with significant financial need and high time commitments to the News. More information about financial accessibility is available here. The News also has seven affinity groups — for AAPI, Black, FGLI, international, Jewish, Latinx and LGBTQ staffers — to provide community and amplify the voices of contributors and staffers from underrepresented groups. The list of affinity groups and their leaders is available here; you can sign up for as many as you like on the interest form linked below.
With limited exceptions for our opinion, business and web development teams, joining the News does not require an application, but rather the completion of heeling requirements over the course of a semester. Those requirements are available here. They are designed to ensure that prospective staff members — known as heelers — receive proper training for their positions and understand the professional and ethical standards of the News. We are committed to working with all heelers to ensure that our requirements are manageable, and we are happy to accommodate individual circumstances as necessary.
Time commitments depend entirely on the interest and availability of each staffer, and every staffer’s path at the News is unique. Traditionally, reporters spend their first year working on general assignments — and, if they complete heeling requirements in the fall, focusing on a specific topic, or beat, in the spring. Most reporters spend their sophomore year with one beat; examples of beats are listed next to reporters’ names in the Newsroom Directory. The managing board is composed mostly of juniors, although sophomores often fill production and photography positions.
To get started, fill out this interest form to add your name to the appropriate mailing lists. You will soon receive emails from the relevant desk editors with opportunities to contribute, which include claiming general assignments on reporting desks and signing up for copy editing or production shifts. If it is your first time writing or reporting, you will receive detailed instructions and guidance from your editors before you begin working. You can also opt to be paired with an experienced staffer on as many stories as you would like. Additionally, as described in the heeling document, the News’ editor in chief offers weekly trainings to all heelers.
Our editors and staffers are always happy to talk about their positions, and you can direct any questions about joining staff to our editor in chief, Mackenzie Hawkins, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can’t wait for you to join the Yale Daily News family!