Journalism interns in South Africa

Intern on a Journalism placement in South Africa

Live and work in Cape Town and get valuable practical work experience as a journalist

At a glance

  • Learn from an experienced journalist and get involved with every stage of producing an article.
  • Write for an online magazine, the Cape Chameleon, which is funded and run by Projects Abroad.
  • Build a separate online portfolio which you can use for future job applications.

Start Dates: 

Completely flexible dates

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

One Week


Anyone aged 16 or over can join

Is a Journalism placement in South Africa right for me?

This project is perfect for anyone interested in getting practical journalism experience and building a portfolio for their CV.

At the Cape Chameleon, you’ll learn from an experienced journalist and write online articles. You’ll get involved in every stage of writing a story, from brainstorming topics, to conducting interviews. You’ll learn skills like planning and improve your writing, which will help you in any career you pursue in the future.

You don’t need previous experience to join. Our staff is there to help you if you need it, and you’ll have a journalist supervising your work. We encourage you to ask questions and be proactive to get the most out of your internship.

The Journalism internship in South Africa runs throughout the year, and you can join at any time for a minimum of one week. We encourage you to stay longer to get more involved in the work.

A journalism intern in South Africa collecting photographs for a story

What will I do at my Journalism placement in South Africa?

You’ll work at the Cape Chameleon, an online publication funded and run by Projects Abroad and an experienced journalist.

You’ll get involved in a range of daily tasks that will offer up great insight into the inner workings of a contemporary publication. These include:

  • Research, interview, and write content for online publication.
  • Explore various styles of writing for your online portfolio.
  • Go to events and tours in and around Cape Town.
  • Conduct relevant picture research to support your stories.
  • Create photo or video stories.

Your work will focus on the following areas:

A blog post on a topic you are passionate about

Brainstorm ideas, conduct research and find the story that you wish to tell. Bounce off ideas with your editor and your peers and bring that idea to life.

An article about an organisation

Find an organisation that you truly care about and tell their story. Interview members and discover their challenges and ambitions. Choose a topic related to that organisation and share it with the world if you like. This is your platform to engage with your audience and get them involved in making a difference.

A review of a place or event

Cape Town boasts an eclectic mix of events and tours that will inspire you and leave you with a unique knowledge of South African culture, art and history. Your editor will arrange tours and events that you’ll have to cover. Step out of the office and spark that creativity.

An essay dissecting a controversial topic

Controversial in our editorial sense means an essay that explores a topic that stirs conversation. Topics such as; Rugby and the female form – tackling equality, body positivity and the modern woman, the issue of pad privilege, the ethics of pedigree breeding or modern masculinity. 

A profile on an interesting person or place

There are many inspirational people and places in Cape Town. Discover new places, be curious, meet new people and learn what it takes to become a great journalist.

Photo research

Imagery will be an essential part to the stories you publish. You will either take photographs yourself, to accompany your work. Or you can research, find, and license pictures yourself through an image library.

Photo or video reporting

If you’re a budding photographer, the placement will give you the chance to explore your photographic skills. You will get to take photos to accompany your stories, or for a standalone photo spread.

Video enthusiasts will also get to film, edit, and publish their own video content, if they want to.

Where in South Africa will I be working?

Cape Town

You will work in Cape Town - voted the best city in the world for the seventh year in a row.

Your internship will be with the Cape Chameleon online magazine, which provides positive, solution-driven reporting to the community via the internet. They believe that changing the headlines can change the world. 

However, it’s not all business in the city. Capetonians enjoy cutting edge art and a vibrant music scene alongside true culinary gems. And while you’re here, you’ll have the opportunity to experience everything the city has to offer.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our South Africa Arrival Procedures page.

A typical day as a journalism intern in South Africa

A typical day on this project runs from 9am to 4.30pm from Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 1pm on Fridays.

Your role will depend on your previous experience, as well as your enthusiasm and level of initiative. The onus is on you to prove yourself. You should dress the part and take the job seriously. Journalism is an extremely self-motivated field. However much you put in, you will get out.

Your daily work will be broken down into several aspects of the reporting process. You’ll be working with other interns and your supervisor to brainstorm story and article ideas. You will pitch this idea to the editor using a pitch letter. Once it is approved and on schedule, you’ll start working towards completing your article.

You’ll then do appropriate research, identify and talk to sources, and setup interviews. You could find yourself doing interviews using Skype, email, or face-to-face.

Afterwards, you’ll collate your work and write your story. A deadline will be set for submission, and an editing process will follow. With your supervisor, you’ll go through a multi-draft process to refine and improve the quality of your piece before publication.

There are a lot of educational events to attend outside the office. These include parliament tours, breakfast talks and press clubs.

But it isn’t all work and no play. During your free time in the evenings and over the weekends you’ll have ample free time to explore Cape Town with other interns and volunteers. Go for a hike on Table Mountain, sample delicious food at one of the many markets or visit Robben Island.

A local man is interviewed by a student doing a Journalism internship in South Africa.

What are the aims of this Project?

The main aim of this internship is to give you practical journalism work experience in South Africa and encourage communities to support organisations who make a difference in Cape Town. You’ll also learn directly from journalists with years of experience in the field.

This will help you build an impressive portfolio, and add valuable experience to your CV. Your internship will also give you great points to talk about in interviews and applications.

South Africa is a major player in media on the African continent. Its broadcasters and press reflect the diversity of its people. The Cape Chameleon further refines this view by actively reporting on issues affecting the country and its people.

Join our Journalism internship in South Africa and kickstart your career in journalism today.

Students doing Journalism internships in South Africa create materials for a creative workshop.

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

Food and accommodation

You'll stay with a host family in Cape Town. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of South Africa and have a truly unique experience.

We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

Your programme fee includes three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.

Leisure activities and free time

Known as the Rainbow Nation, South Africa has a diverse mix of cultures. Our projects are based in Cape Town, a region filled with an exciting variety of activities to do during your free time.

You can catch a wave at Muizenberg beach or just relax in a seaside restaurant. There’s plenty of local cuisine to try, including delicately spiced Cape Malay curries and the creamy milk tart dessert.

South Africa has a difficult past, which you can learn more about at the District 6 Museum and Robben Island.

For an awe-inspiring experience, you can spend the day getting lost in the towering silos that make up the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa. Finally, no trip to Cape Town would be complete without a cable car ride up iconic Table Mountain.

We run many different projects in South Africa, so there’s sure to be other volunteers in the country with you. So if you want to travel with a group, you’re sure to find like-minded people who’ll join you on your adventures. 

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

When you apply you only pay £195, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options, fundraising advice, and scholarships available.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 01273 007 230 to see if we can offer a discount.

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