Internship Application

Who We Are

Founded in 2021, we are a Kansas City-based Black news startup seeking talented reporters, opinion writers, editors, broadcast journalists, and digital creators. We are a Black nonprofit community media platform employing innovative digital and community-building strategies to engage Gen Z and Millennials across the midwest. (This is a paid opportunity)

Reaching over 10 million people and growing our social media audience 250x to over 25,000 followers in our first year, The Defender is the fastest growing Black media startup in the country. Most recently, we were featured in the #1 journalism publication in the United States, Harvard’s Nieman Labs.

Our advisor board includes prominent individuals such as Gwen Grant, the President of the Urban League KC – and Louise Story, Former Chief Product and Technology Officer at the Wall Street Journal.

A Few of Our Achievements

Our national stories have received attribution from The Washington Post, NBC News, USA Today, The Shade Room, Hollywood Unlocked, Baller Alert, COMPLEX, US News, BET, Dailymail, AP, Black Enterprise, and more. More achievements include;

  • Recognized by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce as a Small Business Superstar.
  • Awarded startup funding of $25,000 by Indie Capital
  • 5 new Black Student Unions formed as a direct result of our coverage of racial incidents that occured in schools across Missouri and Kansas.
  • Our coverage brought massive attention to a landmark case, where the first Kansas City cop in the department’s 147 year history was convicted for killing a Black man.
  • Followed and retweeted by The Pulitzer Prizes

What You’ll do 

  • Play an integral role in breaking stories and writing content for a nationally recognized Black-owned media organization
  • Write stories and produce content that likely would not as readily be published at mainstream, less diverse media outlets. 
  • Collaborate and ideate with a diverse team of writers, artists, creators and organizers.
  • Develop future-proof skills in digital content creation, superb writing, analytics and more.

Who We’re Looking For (any of the below)

  • Skilled writers with a unique voice. We especially recommend English, Journalism and Communications Majors to apply. 
  • Passionate about issues of racial justice, politics, arts & culture, hip hop, health and wellness, or technology (not exclusive to these).
  • Entrepreneurial and eager to help shape the vision and creation of a Black media startup.

Possible Topics

  • Politics
  • Arts & Culture
  • Climate
  • Woman/Gender Studies
  • Housing
  • Justice
  • Policing
  • Hip Hop Culture
  • Fashion
  • Nightlife
  • Technology
  • Health & Wellness
  • Business

This is a highly competitive opportunity and we will be filling up to 4 positions.

Does any of this interest you? Let us know in the form below and we will reach out. (We’re friendly!) We welcome all and especially encourage women, lgbtqia+, Black and POC, and impacted folks to apply.

Short apply form:

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