Ed note: It's a good thing when places soften their rejections with compliments. If the idea's pitched elsewhere in the future, they can truthfully claim that the Knight News Challenge called it "a good idea."
Dear [name redacted],
Thank you for your recent application [project title removed] for funding through the Knight News Challenge. We have reviewed your request, and unfortunately, we must decline your application at this time. Even though you submitted a good idea, it does not meet the specific requirement of using the latest innovations in technique to inform communities.
Because there are thousands of application and only a few of them advance, we are able to choose only the most innovative ideas. These are new kinds of technologies or techniques, usually things we have never heard of before.
Please understand this does not reflect on the quality of your work. This is an extremely competitive contest. Even good applications can be declined. This particular contest can select only a tiny fraction of the most promising, innovative applications that expand digital news and information in defined geographic communities.
You can read more about the Knight News Challenge here: http://www.newschallenge.org
If you have other ideas that fall within the guidelines for the News Challenge, we encourage you to submit them.
We appreciate the value of your work and wish you success in attracting support from other sources.
Knight News Challenge Staff
|Wired's internship program|
Thank you for your interest in Wired's editorial internship program. We received a record 400 applications for four spots, and I'm sorry to say that you were not selected. Should you be interested in applying in the future, we'll next be seeking interns in November 2009; watch Mediabistro.com for details.
We appreciate your interest in Wired Magazine and wish you all the best.
Senior Editor, Research
When another contributor to this blog posted a rejection from the MetPro/LAT training internship, I had thought the letter looked familiar. Going back through my rejection archives, I discovered that the two letters - sent more than two years apart and written by the same man - are eerily similar.
Below the LATimes summer 2007 internship rejection letter, I've attached a copy of the 2009 MetPro/LAT rejection letter with the copied wording bolded.
Been sifting through the rejection archives. To send in your rejection letters (anonymity guaranteed) forward e-mails or scans to email@example.com
This Newsweek internship was unpaid and in New York in early 2008. Not getting the internship saved me a few thousand dollars.
I like that the letter contains the phrase "We need smart, committed people like you in our profession." In future cover letters, I'm going to find a way to work this in, the same way movie ads will take positive adjectives from movie critics and splash them across the page in big bold letters:
Thank you to our e-mail contributor from Pennsylvania for sharing in this cathartic enterprise.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <Enterprise@trm.brassring.com>
Date: [redacted], Feb [redacted], 2009 at [redacted]
Subject: Press Coordinator Position (1004229)
To: [Name withheld]
I am sending you this email as you either applied directly to NBC
Universal for the position of Press Coordinator, Job Number 1004229) or your resume was in our database and you were considered for this position.
We wanted to inform you that this position has been filled.
We would still like to maintain your resume/CV in our electronic database located in the U.S., hosted by a third party provider.
The database allows us to match the skills on your resume/CV against the requirements of other open positions. If a relevant match is made, a business representative will contact you to discuss the opportunity.
By initially sending in your resume/CV, you consented to your resume/CV being processed and maintained in our electronic database consistent with GE’s Candidate Data Protection Standards. You may review these guidelines at www.gecareers.com. If you no longer consent, please send an email to email@example.com requesting that your resume be deleted from the database. Please provide your full first name, last name, mailing address and home telephone number. Any emails sent to this address for any other purpose other than the above will not be responded to and will be discarded. Alternatively, you may send a letter to the address provided in GE's Candidate Data Protection Standards.
If you would like to know what other positions are available at GE, please visit www.gecareers.com. Job opportunities that are available and open to external candidates will be posted on this site. You can easily set up a job agent and be notified via email when available job openings that meet your criteria are posted to the site. Simply click on Expanded Search and then Job Agent and follow the instructions.
Once again, we thank you for your interest in GE and we wish you every success in your job search.
NBCU Human Resources
This application was a total pain in the ass, and the writing test took hours of copy editing and rewriting before I could even send in the application. I probably shouldn't have applied to this in the first place though, seeing as I cover sports and this is a two-year basic news writing position.
Thank you for your interest in MLB.com’s summer internship program for associate reporters. We had more than 400 applicants for 30 slots. We reviewed your resume, clips and essay, but unfortunately, you were not selected.
If you are still a student next Fall, you will be eligible for our 2010 internship program. In that case, I would encourage you to continue to gain more journalism experience and then apply again in November.
Again, thank you again for sharing your information with us and best wishes in your future career endeavors.
Assistant Managing Editor/MLB.com
MLB.com: Where Baseball is Always On
This is supposed to be an incredible opportunity, but I wouldn't know; that's two years in a row that I have been rejected. They don't even seem to be trying as hard anymore, as last year's rejection came by snail mail and this year they resort to a mass email. Glad to know that I am loved.
I bet that if I started taking performance-enhancement drugs to improve my writing, MLB would welcome me with open arms.
Thank you for applying to the IHS Journalism Internship program. Unfortunately, your application was not selected as a finalist. We had 650 applications this year and only 18 internships. The competition was very tough. I encourage you to apply again next year and to continue to apply to other IHS programs that might be valuable to you.
In particular, you might be interested in applying for the 'Journalism & the Free Society' summer seminar, June 6-12, 2009. This workshop will examine both nuts-and-bolts issues about media operations as well as broader philosophical inquiries into the role of communication, information, and media. The application deadline is March 31.
Journalism Program Director
Institute for Humane Studies
You've got to love any rejection letter that tries to further shill its product long after showing an applicant the door. That's about as classy as it gets.
Thank you for your interest in FOX Sports Radio.
You mentioned that you would be graduating in May. Unfortunately, since this is an unpaid internship, our company policy dictates that to participate proof of college credit from your institution must be provided. Please don't let this discourage you.....keep looking as there are other companies that will bring people aboard for the experience.
I wish you the best in all your future endeavors. Congratulations too on getting that diploma!
Fox Sports Radio Networks
Clear Channel Worldwide
You know that it's sad when you offer to work absolutely for free and they still say no... my life sucks. This is definitely a nice, personal letter though with a very quick turnaround time -- I only sent off the application last night!
WOW. And I thought I was going to be disillusioned by a rejection from Disney. The rejection in the previous post shows just how much they have changed in the last 70 years. Imagine: By 2079, my great-grandchildren may have a shot at getting a job at The Happiest Place on Earth!
I knew Walt Disney was supposed to be a racist, but he was apparently quite the sexist as well. But you have to appreciate the evil witch drawn below the signature for added effect; there's nothing like using one of Disney's most wicked early characters to drive the point home.
Thanks to Kelsey for the tip.
Thank you for taking the time to submit your resume for our opening.
While it is never easy to narrow a search and select a final candidate, we have recently completed the process. The position has been filled with the candidate we feel best meets the qualifications for the position at this time. Please note that while more than one applicant may meet the minimum qualifications of a position, the candidate selected is determined by overall skills, experience, and other relevant elements of professional background.
Other employment opportunities are available and we encourage you to review the vacancies posted on our website, www.espn.com/joinourteam. Again, thank you for your application and interest. Good luck to you in your search.
** Please note that this email address does not accept replies.**
The community news blogger in the west metro is soliciting three media interns for the upcoming spring semester to "write stories, create podcasts, and record and posting video related to the Wayzata Community."
The internships will be unpaid, but the students will be able to earn credit for the work that they do.
"They will be published in a way that posting something on a Myspace or Facebook page cannot replicate," Gustafson noted.Bullshit bullshit bullshit. Kudos to guy the who created Wayzata.com. He's trying something new and putting himself out there with his project, but don't expect quality from unpaid interns unless you're truly providing education or experience (or even name recognition) that can't be replicated elsewhere.
January 13, 2009
Thank you for applying to The Boston Globe’s summer intern program.
We are honored that you would consider the Globe as a newspaper where you would want to work.
You were not among the 11 students selected for The Boston Globe’s
summer internship program in 2008. The accomplishments of the more than 500 applicants made the selection process an extremely difficult one.
Best of luck in the coming year and beyond.
AME/Hiring & Development
Thank you for applying for an Orlando Sentinel summer internship.
Our program has been put on hold because of budget concerns. It’s still possible we may hire some interns for the summer, but we cannot make any offers at this time.
I wanted you to know about your status with us, and if we learn that we can move ahead with internships, you may hear from me again.
Staff Development Editor, Orlando Sentinel
Only the New York Times would send rejection letters on classy card stock. I guess they're the only ones in the industry who can afford it right now, so why not?
Our paths will cross again at some point, just you wait.
Three percent acceptance rate. This probably explains their small internship program: AJC is losing $1 million a week
One of several that has been cancelled this year.
Date: Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 9:55 AM
Subject: The Tampa Tribune 2009 summer internship program.
I bring you sad news regarding The Tampa Tribune's 2009 summer internship program.
Received 12/8/08. Surprisingly low number of applicants for such a large paper. Likely due to time-intensive application (two letters of reference, essay, clips, etc):
from: Peter Perl (e-mail address)
date: Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at (time)
subject: Message from The Washington Post Summer News Program
Dear Mr. (applicant):
This is to let you know that you have not been chosen for our 2009 summer intern program. We much appreciate the time and effort you took to participate in this application process. We had to make some very difficult decisions, as we received more than 450 applications for only 20 internship positions, a particularly intense competition.
I want to assure you that your application received a very serious reading by our panel of editors, and I hope you continue your pursuit of a journalism career. I wish the very best in that endeavor.
Assistant Managing Editor/Personnel
The Washington Post
1150 15th St. NW
Washington, DC 20071
Note: If you wish to confirm the contents of this e-mail, you may do so by logging in to your application account at http://intern.washpost.com .
Young journalists across the country know the thrill of sending out tens of applications each fall in eager anticipation of tens of rejection letters (followed, hopefully, by one phone call offering a job.) This blog will be chronicling the art form known as the rejection letter. To contribute, rejection e-mails and scans of rejection letters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . All applicant names and phone numbers will be edited out.