Even when The Rider News publishes its final issue of the academic year this spring, the newspaper business still won’t recede to the back of David Pavlak’s mind. The co-sports editor at the University’s student weekly, Pavlak is also the recipient of a competitive New Jersey Press Foundation paid internship this summer. One of just five students selected by the NJPF, the junior Journalism major from Bloomingdale, N.J., will spend eight weeks working for The Record of Woodland Park, which covers Bergen, Passaic and eastern Morris counties.
After being informed of the $400-per-week internship opportunity by Dr. Dianne Garyantes, assistant professor of Journalism and faculty adviser to The Rider News, Pavlak decided to apply.
“After reading through everything, I figured, ‘why not?’” recalled Pavlak, who collected letters of recommendation, as well as a few clippings of his work, and submitted his application during the University’s winter break. “I heard from the NJPF a few weeks ago notifying me that I had been selected and that I would be working with The Record.”
NJPF internships are made possible through memorial scholarship funds created to develop the next generation of journalists in New Jersey. The Foundation offers paid summer internships to college students interested in pursuing newspaper careers. The opportunity is open to those who attend colleges or universities in the state, or New Jersey residents who attend other United States institutions.
Pavlak said that the internship will have him covering a range of events and issues that affect readers of The Record. “Some nights, it will be a town hall meeting, while another night might be a sports event,” he explained. “Some nights it may just be about helping to edit and lay out the paper, but it will be an experience that gives me a little taste of everything, to really round me out in each individual area of newspaper work.”
He added that his reporting will also likely be included in the Herald News, which effectively publishes as a Passaic County edition of The Record. The parent publication is the flagship daily newspaper of the North Jersey Media Group, which also operates NorthJersey.com, and is more colloquially known as the Bergen Record, despite dropping the “Bergen” designation from its name more than 35 years ago. A recent tally of readership showed that The Record and the Herald News have a combined circulation of 179,477 on Sundays and an average daily circulation of 158,152.
Pavlak says that a review of prior NJPF internship recipients gave him a sense of perspective about his accomplishment.
“They all came from very good schools, such as NYU, Syracuse, Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” he explained. “I was just very humbled and excited to be selected for the internship, knowing that it has a history of stiff competition.”
Though the NJPF internship is not inherently related to sports, Pavlak says he would ultimately prefer to work in sports journalism.
“My parents were really the catalysts for helping me find my niche coming into college,” he said. “I had played sports my whole life, and also had the skills to write, so the simple solution was to put those two things together.”
Besides serving as co-sports editor of The Rider News, Pavlak also interns with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers in their public relations department, and has also worked the New Jersey Outlaws hockey club and for Pinstripes Plus magazine, which covers the Trenton Thunder of minor league baseball. In addition, Pavlak writes for two active New Jersey Devils news blogs, Kukla’s Korner and Devils101.
“I like to keep myself busy and submerge myself in every possible opportunity that presents itself,” Pavlak said. “After graduating, if I end up doing anything in sports, I can consider myself a lucky guy.”