Saudi National Digital Journalism Internship


Following the success of the initiative in 2021, NEOM Media Industries Sector and ITP Media Group (ITP) are collaborating to offer 35 students an opportunity to fast-track a career in digital journalism. After a four-week training period, outstanding students will be offered a six-month paid internship with ITP working from the ITP Media Saudi’s HQ in Riyadh. The students will get a chance to collaborate with leading global and regional media brands such as Time Out, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Arabian Business, and Esquire. Students showcasing exceptional skill and thought leadership will be offered full-time positions, either in Riyadh or one of ITP’s five offices spanning three continents

Starting in November, the program will be delivered by media consultancy, Media First, providing vocational training in the relevant skills required to work in today’s fast-moving media industry. The course will cover areas including new media, digital journalism and multiplatform publishing and the impact that this has on real-world communications, podcasts and video production, the fundamentals of journalism, multi-media storytelling and interview skills, as well as a special session on KSA media law conducted by law firm Al Tamimi & Co.

During the interdisciplinary course, students will be asked to work on a future media project. The aim of this will be to take a fresh look at the media landscape and offerings through the eyes of up-and-coming talent who embody Saudi’s future consumers. The process will give ambitious individuals a platform to learn new skills and create their own career opportunities.


ITP Media Group (ITP) reaches an audience of more than 104 million people across the Middle East and beyond through its leading websites, portals, social media platforms, events, conferences, award ceremonies, magazines, books and social media influencers agency.

ITP Media Group (ITP) made history when ITP Saudi launched in 2019 as the first independently owned media house in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) under the country’s new licensing rules. From influencer marketing to esports to magazines to websites to events and social video, ITP Saudi is the most dynamic and diversified media company in the country. In its first 12-months ITP Live, the region’s largest influencer agency, worked on some of Saudi’s most exciting events including Clash On The Dunes and MDL Beast. In 2020, ITP Gaming struck a milestone by launching PS5 on behalf of Sony PlayStation with an Ithra Tower projection for its viral digital campaign. The group also hosted the country’s first B2B gaming event – Digital Games Conference (DGC). In 2021 Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire Saudi were introduced to the country as the first ever international fashion and lifestyle magazines curated specifically to the taste of the local market. Across its wide-reaching platforms and internationally recognised brands, ITP will continue to create engaging content to capture the real essence of Saudi Arabia.


• Applicant must be a Saudi national
• Applicant must be between 20 – 30 years old
• Applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in journalism or relevant disciplines
• Applicant must be able to write clear, concise, objective and accurate material
• Applicant must have a high level of proficiency in written English
• Applicant must submit complete, accurate and comprehensive information
• Applicant must agree to participate in interviews and other selection processes including:

• Face-to-face assessment day in Riyadh on Saturday 12th November 2022
• Intensive training program in Riyadh Sunday 20th November – Thursday15th December 2022
• Six month paid internship January 2023



Registration is closed


The internship program begins with a deep dive into what journalism is and associated best practices.
During the first week students will discuss, explore, and learn;

  • Why journalism is important and ethics
  • The different types of journalism (news, features, lifestyle, fashion, consumer service,B2C/B2B…)
  • The different styles of journalism and how they can be used to inform, inspire, entertain etc
  • What content works best on what platform: print, digital, social, video, podcasts, events etc
  • The importance of imagery, storytelling, story structure, reporting styles
  • Interviewing skills
  • Where good ideas come from: the intersection of instinct, research, and data
  • How journalism can be commercialised across a range of diverse revenue streams


The purpose of this first week is to provide a foundation of knowledge that will then be built on throughout the rest of the course. For the following three weeks, the students will split into groups and get stuck into practical work where there is a real focus on learning by doing.

This begins with ITP Media Group and NEOM setting a series of briefs for the students based on real life business challenges and opportunities. In teams, the students are flooded with insights and expert opinions as well as doing their own desk research around the briefs. Using these insights, the teams come up with a handful of top line concepts, which are then pitched back to a small panel of leaders/department heads from ITP Media Group and NEOM. It is this panel that decides which concepts are explored in more detail by the teams during the rest of the ITP Media Group internship program.

It is crucial that the business leaders/department heads that are pitched to at this stage stay engaged throughout the process and act as mentors for the teams, guaranteeing buy-in and therefore the highest possible value from the investment in this process. This is a learning process for the business, as much as the students.

During the process, the teams explore each element of business/brand development including;

  • Analyzing the brief
  • Market insight/research
  • Consumer research
  • Product development
  • Branding
  • Competitor landscape
  • Marketing / Social media strategy
  • Revenue and business planning
  • Implementation
  • Pitch: during the final week, the teams pitch their concepts back to ITP Media Group and NEOM’s leadership team.


The aim of the internship is to leave ITP Media Group and NEOM with a range of developed new business opportunities which can be explored further after the course… or even launched. Seeing the students evolve and grow throughout the project also allows for great visibility of their skills and will ultimately identify which students will secure a full time job.


With over 25 years in the media industry Julian has led a wealth of iconic media brands and invented several new ones too, including the generation-defining pop-culture brand heat and the world’s largest entertainment news site, The defining element that has bound these together is his innate understanding of people - this means he knows how to bring out the best in any team. He is a positive force for any business, creating a dynamic and fun work culture, even in challenging circumstances. As a lateral thinker and innovator, Julian has a never-ending stream of big, transformative, creative ideas formed at the intersection of data and instinct. He is driven by a huge passion for encouraging and nurturing fresh talent into finding the confidence to articulate their own creativity and the motivation to bring it to life.


Julian specialises in leading projects that impact positively on individuals, business and society and has been involved in numerous projects that encourage young people to fulfil their potential, most notably on several educational programs which have defined the next generation of creative talent.


Julian created and teaches a module called The Business of Media at City University as part of their world renowned Masters’ degree in journalism. He is also currently completing his training to become a Business Coach.



Joely is an award-winning magazine editor and multiplatform content specialist who has spent almost 30 years working as a journalist and editor for some of the UK’s most widely read newspapers and magazines. She is skilled at bringing original voices to the brands she has launched or relaunched and has a passion for journalistic storytelling across a variety of content platforms. In her last role as Editorial Director for an award-winning agency in London she oversaw print and digital content for a total of 18 magazine brands.


Her passion is developing the skills needed to create content that connects with the readership whilst empowering teams to achieve more. For the last five years she has been asked to be a judge for a number of the industry’s prestigious awards including the British Society of Magazine Editor’s Talent Awards and the British Press Awards.


In her role at The University of Sheffield, Joely created, developed, and taught modules on making multimedia magazine brands, visual story-telling and digital journalism. She also co-leads the MA Journalism course which is accredited by the UK’s National Council for the Training of Journalists.


As part of her role at the Russel Group’s University of Sheffield she had mentored journalism students across both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She has also been involved in Student Voice panels ensuring she is as close as possible to the needs of the learning cohort. Joely prides herself on being able to identify and nurture talent through her teaching as well as through her emotionally intelligent workplace management style.

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