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CNN, a basic cable and satellite television channel, broadcasts from a few major U.S. cities and their Video Journalist Program is designed for entry-level hires.


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Are you a news junkie? Do you write for your college newspaper? Have a radio show on your college station? Upload your own videos to YouTube? Whether you want to be behind the camera, in front of the camera, or in the editing room, CNN offers an entry-level development program for new college graduates that will put you where the actions is. Many entry-level employers expect you to have a clear picture of what you want to do; they want you to pick a career track and apply for it. At CNN, entry-level hires who are interested in the technical or editorial aspects of broadcast journalism are brought into the Video Journalist Program and are given a chance to develop their interests before they commit to a career path.

CNN Video Journalists are hourly, non-salaried employees in the Atlanta, GA office who are expected to work 40 hours a week (often including holidays) and are eligible for overtime. Many people who start out as Video Journalists receive promotions within 6 to 12 months. All Video Journalists are expected to move up or move on after 24 months. This is a position that requires hard work, but offers significant opportunities to make strong impressions and advance one’s career rapidly with superior performance. Because this position can be a grind, Video Journalists are given 4 weeks of vacation time per year.

Video Journalists fill many roles at CNN and its affiliate operations. These jobs include floor directing, teleprompting, script distribution for live broadcasts, and production support. The best Video Journalists are often rewarded with hands-on training with experienced professionals in a variety of areas (media coordination, video editing, assignment editing, writing, producing, audio operation, electronic graphics operation, and master control operation).

If you want to pursue a career in broadcast journalism, CNN is the place to start. The Video Journalist program offers a phenomenal chance for hands-on experience and training with a defined route in a variety of broadcast journalism career paths. Many of CNN’s leaders have gone through this program, and it is likely that tomorrow’s leaders will begin as Video Journalists as well.

If you’d like to apply for the Video Journalist position, you’ll probably be a little confused about how to apply. This is what Personal Finance blogger Ramit Sethi calls “failure of the last mile.” CNN has an excellent page telling you about how great their Video Journalist program is, but they don’t tell you how to apply. They’ve run the first 25 miles of the marathon and then stumbled on their face with a mile to go. Because Time Warner (Turner Broadcasting’s parent company (who is CNN’s parent company)) has chosen to use an Applicant Tracking System that is not user friendly, we can’t link directly to the Video Journalist position. You need to go to the Time Warner Job Search Page, click “Search openings,” and then type in “Video Journalist” as a keyword. That should bring you to the job listing where you then need to click either the “Save to cart” or “Submit to job” button. Then you need to create a login with your e-mail address and a password to register for Time Warner’s career site. After you do that, you should be able to apply. We’re not messing with you, it’s really this hard to apply for the job. It should be worth the effort, but come on Time Warner, get your act together.

Note: On April 21st we revisited entry-level jobs at CNN.

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

Have you heard anything about the Video Journalist position at CNN? Found an easier way to apply? Leave a comment and tell us what you’ve heard.


28 Responses to “CNN”

  1. Sarah says:

    Ah, I tried applying for an internship for this summer. Sad I didn’t get it, but yes the whole process was very complicated and confusing. It took a while to actually find CNN internships. Hopefully I’ll have more luck in the future! Working for CNN is the ultimate dream job.

  2. Janet Akomo says:

    Same here.Would love to join cnn internship program, Ijust do not know how.

  3. petro says:

    I am a recent college graduate from south africa…is the program open for someone like me and if so, what are the a,b,c’s in applying for the position?

  4. Hi Petro,

    I don’t know. You’ll have to contact CNN to find out if they accept international graduates for the broadcast journalist program.

  5. Nicola says:

    Thanks so much for that info. I have been trying to figure out for ages how to apply for that position but the website is strange. This is a huge help.

  6. T says:

    Hey Petro,
    I have recently graduated from a Uni in the Uk with a Masters in Journalism. Just been accepted for an Internship and maybe something more with CNNI in London. For internships for intl folks, ure best bet would be London or Hong Kong. In addition to those two, they also take interns in Dubai, New Delhi or Berlin Bureau. But u will have to contact those individually. The only way to do it is contact the internship co-ordinators in London or HK and go with it, its a long and very competitive process. You will have to prove that you have a work permit as well. I wouldnt bother applying for US internships unless u are a US citizen or graduated from a US uni. I hope that helps, give it a shot..goodluck!!

  7. Paul says:

    Hey all,
    Love this page, really helped. however im currently studying Media Production in Ireland and would love to be part of the video editing team or likewise at CNN. Are CNN that fussy about international graduates applying for jobs there? It is also my dream job and who knows someday i might wanna settle down in the states but once i have a secure job there. i dont graduate for another 2 years but i wanna be organised and its not that far away. I would love some feedback… thanks :)

  8. saj says:

    I emailed HR about the Video Journalist position for recent graduates and asked if they would accept foreign applicants (I’m in Australia). The response was to go ahead and apply and that I’d be contacted if they found my application interesting. I haven’t applied as yet, because the position seems to have closed. It was there last month but not now! :O

  9. Sunshine says:

    Where did you get the HR number?

  10. none says:

    In response to the last post by Sunshine. If you want to work in news media then don’t ask but find it.

  11. Well said; however, I doubt that CNN has made their online recruitment website almost impossible to use as a way to find people with good journalistic instincts.

  12. blank says:

    I tried to apply to the VJ program. I met with a recruiter at the NABJ convention, made all the way to the final round and then wasn’t hired. My friend also applied, didn’t get in and is now a CNN En Espanol’s Assignment Editor. I now have an entry-level job at a radio station in New York City. I don’t know anyone who made it through the program, but even the semi-finalists (like me) go on to land great jobs other places.

  13. Kazem says:

    Thanks for this information!! My brother was trying to apply for the Video Journalist position and it was very very confusing. Even his career services mentor couldn’t figure it out. We found the job listing on their site with your help. Thanks again.

  14. Lisa says:

    I tried searching for the video journalist position, following the ‘search openings’, then putting video journalist under the ‘keywords’ section – but it did not turn up any matches and I just got a notice to refine my search.
    Is this a position that’s only offered some of the time (like any other job posting on the site) or is it an ongoing program that you have to fill out an application for? After reading the description of it on the CNN website, it sounded more like something you could always submit an application to….

  15. Angela says:

    Hi,

    I am a student in a university in America. Last year, I received an internship opportunity with CNN in London. But, I couldn’t pursue the internship because I could not get a working visa for the UK.

    I was very disappointed because this internship was hard to obtain and of course a once in a lifetime opportunity. I couldn’t get a working visa based on the fact that I did not have a Certificate of Sponsorship, which CNN could not give me as it is only a 6 week unpaid internship, and CoS are only distributed to permanent workers. The UK Embassy requires even for interns to have a CoS.

    So, I advise you to look outside London for an internship opportunity with CNN as it is very, very difficult to get a working visa to the UK.

  16. Lorenzo says:

    Is the Video Journalist program still open? I can’t find it on TimeWarner’s website.

  17. pavni mittal says:

    Hi..i tried listing it the way you described it, but it dod not work.Also, they have sent me some reference number , the use of which i dont know!..pls. help.

  18. Austen Williams says:

    Same problem as Pavni… There is no place to actually apply for this position. Any suggestions?

  19. Erika says:

    Hi!
    I’d like to do an internship with CNN London, but I don’t find any contact information. Anyone can help me with that?

  20. Ritchie says:

    Hi. I applied to be a Video Journalist last week, and I’m pretty sure you can’t apply on turnerjobs.com or anywhere else online. You need to do a phone interview with a recruiter who will then send you all the application forms, and assignments. You can meet recruiters at college job fairs, career panels, or if you interned at CNN at any point in college (definitely keep in touch with at least one person).

  21. Jackie says:

    I have tried putting in the Video Journalist in the keyword but nothing is coming up. Is there another way to get to the search?

  22. Austen Williams says:

    Ritche-

    That’s what I figured. Can you give me a little bit of any idea of what the phone interview consisted of and etc? I actually interned with CNN in DC about two years ago and I’m not graduating and I’m in the process of using my contacts to apply to the video journalist position and any knowledge you have to give on what you know would be great.

  23. C.L.H. says:

    This is the tricky part. The VJ position is open maybe 3 times out of the year. And when it’s open, you have five days to apply before they take it off the site. I’m a current intern @ CNN in NY, finishing up my second internship. You have to check turner.com daily for the openings.

    Good Luck!

    • Kim says:

      How long did it take for them to contact you for an interview and what was the interview like? I applied for several summer 2011 internships at CNN about mid-March and haven’t heard anything!

  24. mike.p says:

    does anyone know how much this position pays?

  25. X says:

    I used to work there. The video journalist position paid about $24,000 a year in 2007. The position involves teleprompting, running scripts to anchors, working overnight and odd shifts, and getting sworn at by unhinged, maniacal bosses. There are many smart, talented people at CNN, but in the video journalist pool, everyone wants to move up because the job is so stressful, so there is a lot of backstabbing and viciousness. Some managers are professional, but others enjoy the power they wield over the little people and do what they can to keep them down. Office politics seemed more important to a lot of people than maintaining journalistic excellence. While some anchors are wonderful, personable, intelligent individuals, other on-air ‘talent’ acted like two-year olds. One woman used to ask video journalists to cut up her meals into bite-sized pieces. Overall, it was a miserable, miserable place to work. Even people who had been promoted into better jobs spent most of their free time complaining about co-workers and corporate culture.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    • Ms Brown says:

      Do you have any tips on how to get a leg up on the competition? Also do you know by any change who handles the applications for the position?

      I’m anal about my cover letter and can’t find out to whom to address it!!

  26. Rhonda says:

    To answer many of your questions, the position is only available a few times a year and it is listed on the turner site when available. If you don’t see it, keep checking since it will only remain posted a few days before it’s removed again.

    I however wanted to know how to find out who to address my cover letter to. I’m verrrryyyy anal about addressing to a specific person and not using anything general, however I can’t find any contact information on who to talk to in order to even find out who handles the applications for the position.

    I’m very much interested in the position. I know it’ll be grueling but you have to start somewhere right?

    PLEASE HELP!!

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