Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Summer internships available at Public Data Ferret

by June 15th, 2011

The online news and knowledge base site Public Data Ferret is offering three 2011 summer internship suitable for college undergraduate or graduate students who reside in Washington state and are majoring in any of the following subjects: digital media, journalism, political science, public affairs, or communications. If online government transparency is important to you, and you’d like to further develop your online portfolio of news work, using the written word, video or graphics, we’d welcome your letter (e-mail) of interest and work samples.

The internships are: news-writing; video storytelling; and data visualization.

WHAT IS PUBLIC DATA FERRET? Currently, Public Data Ferret produces objective blogged synopses of recent high-news-value government documents and data. (Site; earned media; parent non-profit – Public Eye Northwest). The synopses are written in a standardized and bias-free format we have developed to help make the work of government more clear to a general audience. The entries are archived at the Public Data Ferret site by jurisdiction and topic. Our material is drawn from freely available online sources of local, regional and county governments in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties; plus the State of Washington and the U.S. government.

The aim is to help fill important gaps in the news and information ecosystem and help encourage thoughtful non-partisan dialog around public policy, while accenting digital civic literacy, voluntary online government transparency and constructive engagement. Public Data Ferret is a Seattle Times news partner and also contributes to AOL-Patch sites in Central Puget Sound and the blog of the Washington, D.C.-based Sunlight Foundation. The founder and editor in chief is Matt Rosenberg, a Seattle-area journalist, blogger, public policy and communications specialist.


Starting not later than July 11; lasting through August and if desired, into September.

Job Descriptions
News-writing intern. Write entries for Public Data Ferret, according to established format, and based on recent, high-news-value online government documents and data. Assignments given by editor. Also may write analysis and overview pieces on selected topics in open government and civic collaboration, as assigned.

Video storytelling intern. Develop short (three- to five-minute) creative video narratives on news-related topics assigned by editor. Videos will be posted to YouTube or Vimeo, and then to Public Data Ferret or its parent blog site, Social Capital Review.

Data Visualization intern. Apply your expertise with current data visualization tools to content and assignments from editor. Familiarity with tools such as Google Public Data Explorer and Tableau Public is important.

Minimum time commitment: 15 hours per week.

Contact: Matt Rosenberg: matt (at) publiceyenorthwest (dot) org
(Send brief cover letter as an e-mail, with resume pasted into body of e-mail. Links to online published work also welcome. No file attachments, please).

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