During the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists have needed to digest complex, and often unfamiliar, scientific and public health information to provide accurate and reliable reporting for their communities. They have also been tasked with combating the spread of dis- and misinformation, which the World Health Organization has identified as a priority for ensuring acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines and controlling the pandemic.
Many communities across Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean continue to be hard-hit by COVID-19, largely due to a lack of equitable access to vaccines. In this context, the IWMF will develop and support a cohort of journalists from low and middle-income countries in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean with expertise in vaccines and immunization. Established with the support of the Sabin Vaccine Institute’s Immunization Advocates program, this Initiative will allow the IWMF to provide journalists with learning, funding and mentoring opportunities to cover urgent issues, like vaccine acceptance and demand and the impact the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine is having on routine immunization programs.
The IWMF will select a total of 30 journalists to participate in our Global Health Reporting Initiative this year. From September to December 2021, our cohort will participate in a virtual course that will increase access to global and regional experts, trusted sources and evidence-based information on vaccines and immunization. Following the course, the IWMF will also provide cohort members with competitive grants, paired with mentoring from senior reporters, in order to support clear, comprehensive and factual reporting on vaccines and immunization. This Initiative will enable journalists to provide communities with essential information through accurate and timely reporting.
The USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2021 National Fellowship will offer training, reporting grants of $2,000-$10,000 and six months of mentoring by veteran journalists to help journalists and their newsrooms report deeply and authoritatively on the health, welfare and well-being of children, youth, families and communities, as viewed through the lenses of COVID-19 and systemic racism. At a time of continuing collective national trauma, the 2021 National Fellowship will provide journalists a chance to step back from breaking news and take a deeper look at how the coronavirus pandemic laid bare pervasive social and economic inequities in the United States and the lasting health effects of systemic racism and exclusion. Fellows will learn from nationally renowned health experts, policy analysts and community health leaders, from top journalists in the field and from each other. Participants will “graduate” with a multitude of story ideas and sources and a thorough understanding of the root causes of ill health and disparities in outcomes and why the pandemic is having a disproportionate effect on people and communities of color. Now in its 14th year, the National Fellowship annually offers five days of informative and stimulating discussions, plus reporting grants of $2,000-$10,000, engagement grants of up to $2,000 and six months of expert mentoring as Fellows work on ambitious explanatory or investigative projects. In all its training institutes, the Center emphasizes impact journalism, solutions journalism and community engagement approaches that help journalists to make a difference. To ensure the health of participants as the nation continues to confront COVID-19, the National Fellowship will again be offered a a virtual program over Zoom. The Fellowship will be held for six hours a day. In addition, Fellows will be required to participate in four remote programs once a month from August through November 2021. For our 2021 National Fellowship, the Center is soliciting project proposals to investigate and to explore the racial, ethnic and geographic health disparities that are emerging each day for vulnerable children, youth and families as the pandemic proceeds; unequal access to economic relief and recovery opportunities; the performance of local, state and federal government agencies and nonprofit organizations during the crisis; how communities of color are faring differently; what risks “essential workers” continue to face; and policy options to address the longstanding weaknesses in our social safety net that have been thrown into sharp relief by this crisis and that create uneven outcomes and opportunities for our nation’s families. Each Fellow must commit to the publication or broadcast of the project by December 31, 2021.Click here for a list of the 2020 National Fellows and links to their profiles and project descriptions. Click here to read the hundreds of impactful stories that our Fellows have produced over the years, spurring community conversations, influencing policy and winning journalism awards along the way.
In conjunction with the National Fellowship, we administer two funds that underwrite specialized reporting on domestic health and social welfare issues and a third fund that underwrites community engagement efforts:
The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalismis a competitive grants program that supports substantive reporting on community health issues in underserved communities. Each Hunt grantee participates in the National Fellowship and receives a $2,500 to $10,000 grant, instead of the National Fellowship’s $2,000 stipend, to support reporting on a community health topic. The Hunt Fund supports investigative and explanatory projects that will broaden the public’s understanding of community health – examining how poverty, race, ethnicity, pollution, crime, and land-use and urban planning decisions influence the quality of life of residents as well as innovative ways to address these disparities. Past grantees have explored themes including environmental health; chronic disease and its disproportionate toll on certain communities; access to care for diverse communities; health reform innovations and challenges; and transportation challenges that interfere with prospects for good health. The Hunt Fund is supported by donations from The California Endowment and relatives and friends of the late Dennis Hunt, who co-founded the Center for Health Journalism.
TheFund for Journalism on Child Well-Being,supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, underwrites substantive reporting on vulnerable children and families. Each grantee participates in the National Fellowship and receives a $2,500 to $10,000 grant, instead of the National Fellowship stipend, to support investigative or explanatory reporting on the impact of poverty and childhood trauma, including youth as they transition into adulthood. Reporters may also choose to examine the performance of the institutions and government and private programs that serve these families. We’re interested in proposals for projects that look at child welfare and child health and well-being, including, but not limited to, the impact of toxic stress; the intersection between partner violence and child abuse; the role of policy in improving prospects for children, including those in juvenile detention; and innovative approaches to the challenges that children in underserved communities face.
The Community Engagement Fund provides supplemental grants of $2,000 to underwrite innovative community engagement strategies. Click here to read more about how we define community engagement and what we’re looking for in community engagement proposals.
Who Can Apply:
The National Fellowship is open to professional journalists who work for or contribute to print, broadcast and online media outlets throughout the United States, including freelancers. Applicants do not need to be full-time health reporters, but should have a demonstrated interest in health, social welfare or child and family issues, broadly defined to include the health of communities (see more below).
We prefer that applicants have a minimum of three years of professional experience; many have decades. Journalists writing for ethnic media are strongly encouraged to apply. Proposals for collaborative projects between mainstream and ethnic news outlets receive preferential consideration, as do projects produced for co-publication or co-broadcast in both mainstream and ethnic news outlets. Freelancers are welcome, but need to have a confirmed assignment and should earn the majority of their income from journalism. Applicants must be based in the United States. Students and interns are ineligible.
Each applicant must propose a substantive report project that can be completed in the five months following the Fellowship session. For the 2021 National Fellowship, we will consider proposals for projects that:
Investigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 and associated economic problems on disadvantaged populations, essential workers and communities of color
Expose critical community health issues or explore the influence of social, economic and environmental factors on health, including social class; exposure to crime and violence; urban development, transportation or city planning; barriers to health care resources; exposure to toxins; and racial, ethnic, economic or geographic disparities.
Explore child welfare, juvenile justice and child health and well-being issues, including, but not limited to, the impact of chronic stress and childhood trauma on child development; inequities in the juvenile justice system; the intersection between partner violence and child abuse; childhood obesity; the role of policy in improving prospects for children; and innovative solutions to the challenges facing children in underserved communities
Investigate threats to the health and social welfare safety nets or illuminate health care innovations and reforms that benefit disadvantaged populations.
Knowledge and Skills: During field trips and seminars, participants hear from respected investigative journalists and leaders in community health, health policy and medicine.
Workshops provide practical reporting tips, expert sources, community engagement strategies and informed policy perspectives on the circumstances that shape health or ill health in communities across America, with a focus on children. Participants also gain insights into how to document health and demographic trends in their local communities through innovative storytelling and data visualization techniques.
Financial Support and Mentoring: National Fellows each receive a reporting stipend of $2,000 to offset the costs of ambitious investigative and explanatory journalism or grants of $2,500 to $10,000 from our two topic-focused journalism funds. The grants are payable either directly to the Fellow or his or her media outlet. Journalism fellows also receive six months of mentoring from senior journalists as they usher their projects to completion.
How to Apply
Click here for details about what’s required in an application. Please contact Martha Shirk at CAHealth@usc.edu if you have questions about your eligibility or what we’re looking for in a project proposal. We strongly encourage a conversation in advance of applying.
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Wallace House is once again turning our Fellowship model outward with the Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowships, a remote-format, working fellowship program for the 2021-22 academic year that will fund ambitious reporting projects focused on the major challenges of our time and responses and efforts toward a reimagined future.
We are offering ten Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowships for accomplished journalists with different backgrounds and experience to report on our most pressing issues, from social shifts precipitated by the pandemic to the nation’s deep political divisions to persistent social justice issues surrounding race, ethnicity and inequality. Selected Fellows will not be required to leave their news organizations or places of work. This remote fellowship will maintain our multidisciplinary approach and cohort-based philosophy.
Published or produced work is a requirement of the Reporting Fellowship. Applicants must submit a detailed reporting proposal related to the seismic challenges we now face. Areas of focus can include but are not limited to science and medicine, the economy, law and justice, business, race and ethnicity, education, inequality, technology, the environment, and entertainment and recreation. Areas of coverage can be local, national or global.
We hosted a Q&A webinar on February 19 to discuss the application process. Interested applicants and newsroom editors who would like to know more about this opportunity can watch the recording on the webinar on-demand here.
A Q&A webinar for editors was held on April 1 at 12:30 PM ET. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.
The Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship for the 2021-2022 academic year is a working fellowship featuring
An eight-month program focused on supporting ambitious, in-depth, innovative journalism projects examining our most pressing public challenges including but not limited to social shifts precipitated by the pandemic, the nation’s deep political divisions and persistent social justice issues surrounding race, ethnicity and inequality
A remote structure that allows reporters to remain where they live
A cohort of ten Fellows selected from a pool of experienced journalists from a variety of beats and expertise
A $70,000 stipend to support reporting and fellowship participation dispersed monthly from September 2021 through April 2022
An additional $10,000 in supplemental support to cover extra costs including health insurance, reporting equipment and travel-related expenses
Weekly remote seminars with University of Michigan faculty and subject matter experts from a wide range of fields
Professional development and supplemental skills workshops
Subject to public-health guidance, one-week Fellowship Cohort sessions held at Wallace House on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor with travel, lodging and hosting expenses covered by the program
A year-end symposium at the University of Michigan highlighting work produced during the fellowship
Who Should Apply
This program is open to staff, freelance and contract journalists. Applicants must have at least five years of reporting experience and the work history and editorial support to manage a major, long-term project.
Applicants must be either a U.S. resident or a legal resident residing in the U.S. or its territories. Uncertainty around international travel and visa restrictions makes it difficult to sponsor non-U.S. residents at this time.
Applicants who are staff journalists at established media outlets must be able to demonstrate managerial support to focus on an in-depth reporting project for their organization and participate in all fellowship activities from September 2021 through April 2022, the period of the fellowship.
Freelance journalists who apply must have a record of high-level work for established media outlets. Freelance applicants must also have a detailed proposal of where they would place the project, or if possible, an organization committed to publishing the reporting project
Published or produced work is a requirement of the fellowship. The output should match the proposed project and form of journalism. For instance, a documentary filmmaker might complete one film during the period of the fellowship; a long-form magazine writer might produce one or two published pieces; a community-based or enterprise reporter might produce a project that appears weekly or monthly. The fellowship is not intended to support daily beat reporting that would be produced regardless of fellowship support. It is also not intended for book writing.
All work produced during the fellowship will be owned by the media organization for which it is produced and will carry an agreed-upon acknowledgment of support by the Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists at the University of Michigan.
Journalists selected for the Reporting Fellowship are still eligible to apply for the traditional residential Knight-Wallace Fellowship in the future.
How to Apply
Interested candidates can apply for the Reporting Fellowship through our online portal. It will be open until May 3. Applicants should read this section carefully before starting an application.
In addition to providing professional background information, a resume and three work samples that demonstrate the applicant’s ability to successfully pursue the project, applicants will be required to submit:
A reporting proposal of up to 800 words addressing a coverage topic or project they plan to report and implement during the fellowship. Proposals should be broad enough to allow for deep exploration and storytelling over eight months but focused enough to provide structure.
Details on where the reporting will be published or broadcast
A personal statement of up to 600 words examining the applicant’s inspirations and motivations to apply for the Reporting Fellowship
For journalists employed by a news organization, written confirmation from the employer that the applicant will be permitted to make the fellowship reporting their primary focus
For freelance or contract journalists, if possible, written confirmation from a news organization partnering with you on your work. If you have not secured a publishing partner, please provide a realistic proposal for potential published partners.
Names, affiliations and email addresses of two professional references who can speak to the applicant’s ability to produce and complete high-quality work within the time frame of the fellowship
The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm ET 11:59 pm, May 3.
Deadline for responses from two professional references is May 7.
Reporting Fellowship offers will be extended at the end of June.
When is the application deadline?
Applications are due before 11:59 pm ET on Monday, May 3. Responses from two professional references are due on Friday, May 7.
Who is eligible to apply?
Journalists applying for this special fellowship must have at least five years of reporting experience and be currently working in some aspect of journalism for a news organization or as an independent journalist.
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The John B. Oakes Award and its $5,000 prize is given for outstanding environmental reporting across platforms. Print, radio, broadcast and digital reporting are eligible for the award. All entries must have appeared in the U.S. during 2020. The entry fee for each nomination is $50. Entry fees are non-refundable.
How to Enter:
All materials should be formatted and uploaded as PDFs or as URLs. Links must remain live through September 2021.
The Grist Fellowship Program is a paid opportunity to hone your skills at a national news outlet and deepen your understanding of environmental issues. The experience is designed to give early-career journalists with a demonstrated interest in environmental issues the experience to succeed in climate and environmental media. We offer real-world experience at a fast-paced news site, training in a variety of skills key to a journalism career, and exposure to the leading sustainability thinkers and theories of our time.
After six months of working full-time at Grist and gaining key skills in environmental journalism, fellows have gone on to outlets including The Atlantic, The Verge, Wirecutter, Outside Magazine, Atlas Obscura, Greentech Media, and of course, Grist.
Fellows are paid $3,334/month. As limited-term employees, fellows are also eligible to participate in Grist’s health benefits programs.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Shorenstein Center fellowships are remote/virtual for the 2020/2021 academic year. We hope that by Fall 2021 we will be able to safely return to in-person learning, teaching, and research work at the Center, and will invite fellows to join us in Cambridge as usual. However, final decisions on the Fall 2021 semester are pending, and will likely not be made until spring or summer.
Since the Shorenstein Center’s founding in 1986, the Fellowship Program has been central to its mission examining the intersection of media, politics and public policy. The purpose of the Joan Shorenstein Fellowship Program is to advance research in the field of media, politics and public policy; facilitate a dialogue among journalists, scholars, policymakers and students; and provide an opportunity for reflection.
The Joan Shorenstein Fellowship Program is designed to provide journalists, scholars, politicians and policymakers with an opportunity for reflection. A Fellowship offers busy professionals the time and resources needed to think, research, and write on issues central to our media and politics.
The primary focus of a fellow is to research and write a paper on a media/politics topic. The Shorenstein Center strives to create an environment for fellows to do their best work, with faculty support, weekly discussion meetings with peers, and all the resources that Harvard has to offer, including world-class libraries and leading experts on a vast array of subjects.
During the semester fellows will attend regular events hosted by the Center, including thought-provoking speakers from the media and social gatherings. Fellows leave the Center having made lasting friendships and important professional connections.
It is our hope that fellows come away from their time at the Shorenstein Center having contributed to the field in a substantive way, and having embraced all the opportunities and activities that present themselves on a daily basis as a part of Harvard University. In an era when the noise of the constant news cycle leaves little time for reflection, the Shorenstein Center’s Fellowship Program aims to provide the space to think critically about our media and its role in our society; to shape the debate and understand which questions deserve the most attention; and to create a vibrant and long-lasting community of scholars and practitioners dedicated to meeting the challenges faced by our institutions.
Who should apply?
Since 1986, the Fellowship Program has brought hundreds of journalists, scholars and politicians from around the world to the Center. Past fellows include journalists from local, national and international TV, radio, print, and digital media; media and civic technology innovators; nonfiction authors; political advisors and policymakers; leading academic scholars in fields such as media research and political science; and policy analysts.
Successful former fellows have come from a variety of backgrounds and career stages. The Shorenstein Center is committed to diversity, and actively encourages applications from all demographic backgrounds, and across the political spectrum.
Am I eligible?
Applicants for Shorenstein Fellowships must be a working journalist, politician, scholar or policymaker currently or recently active in the field. The guidelines below offer further detail; however, if you unsure if you are eligible we encourage you to contact our staff to discuss further.
Journalist: Reporters, editors, columnists, producers, media business executives and related, with a minimum of five years of full-time experience either at professional news organizations or as a full-time freelancer (not including work completed as a university student).
Politician: Someone who has campaigned and been elected to a national or high-level state office, or communications professionals within politics and policy, e.g. speechwriters, press secretaries.
Scholar: Tenured or tenure-track professor employed by a college, university or research institution in political science, political communication, journalism, international political communication, or a field relevant to the Shorenstein Center’s areas of inquiry.
Policymaker: High-level official in a cabinet office or adviser to a candidate for national office.
Applicants should not have participated in another fellowship within the two years prior to their preferred semester.
Applicants must be fluent in English – listening, reading, writing and speaking. Non-native English speakers must provide TOEFL or IELTS score.
What is expected of a fellow?
Applicants must be available to be in residence, full-time, for one semester (September through December or February through May) in Cambridge, MA. Unfortunately we cannot consider requests for remote or nonresidential fellowships.
The Fellowship is a full-time appointment, and applicants are expected to commit to the work of completing their primary research project and engaging in the life of the Center, its activities and events. It is understood that busy modern professionals will have occasional essential obligations, and the Center aims to be considerate and flexible in such circumstances. However, any applicant with professional, personal or travel commitments that would require significant time away should consider applying when their schedule allows for the full commitment of a fellowship.
What will I be working on?
The primary deliverable for a fellow is a research paper in a style similar to a magazine essay, journal article or book chapter examining the influence of the media on politics or public policy in the domestic or international arena. Fellows’ papers are published on the Shorenstein Center website, and many have been cross published or excerpted in a variety of high-profile media outlets and academic journals, or have become the basis for a longer book. The quality and originality of an applicant’s research proposal is a key deciding factor in their potential selection.
Fellows who are journalists, policymakers or other practitioners will often seek to write papers that represent provocative or speculative arguments designed to stimulate debate among the wider community. Fellows who are university scholars usually write a paper based on original research with a well-supported and fully-documented conclusion.
Financial assistance and other resources
Fellows receive a stipend of $30,000, paid in monthly installments at the end of each month over the 4-month semester. Travel and living expenses are not covered by the Shorenstein Center.
Fellows are provided with a workstation in the Shorenstein Center fellows’ suite, a computer, phone, Harvard email address, and a Harvard ID allowing access to libraries and other resources.
Fellows are also able to select a paid Harvard Kennedy School student research assistant (eligible to work up to 10 hours per week) to work on their projects.
Life as a Shorenstein Center fellow
In addition to their primary research project, fellows participate in a range of activities throughout the semester.
Fellows begin their time at the Center with a series of orientation activities and welcome events, including a reception to introduce themselves to the Kennedy School and wider Harvard community. Fellows can hold office hours with students throughout the semester, and meet with fellows and faculty from other areas of the School.
Fellows are given a workstation in the Center’s offices to use as a home base, with a laptop computer. The Center’s office has a kitchen, lounge areas and private phone booths available for use. Many fellows have enjoyed spending time working across the Harvard University campus, particularly its historic libraries which offer vast collections of books and rare materials as well as a convivial place to work.
On Mondays, fellows gather with faculty and their peers for a weekly lunch meeting in which they present their research to the group to discuss progress, argue the case for their theses, listen to feedback, and shape the direction of their papers. Tuesdays feature the Center’s popular Speaker Series, bringing high-profile journalists to campus to engage in lively Q&A discussions on timely news topics, followed by a private lunch with fellows.
Elsewhere on campus, the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum frequently features speakers from the highest levels of government for lively discussion and debate. The Kennedy School’s other Centers and initiatives regularly host experts in a wide variety of topics, and Shorenstein Center fellows are often asked to speak. And the wider Harvard University calendar features hundreds of activities and events each week, including lectures, panels, exhibitions, music, theater, film, sports and much more. Occasionally, fellows have audited courses, although this is dependent on the instructor’s policies, capacity, and the fellow’s own busy schedule.
Fellows receive a Harvard ID, which allows for discounted membership to Harvard’s athletic facilities as well as tickets to museums, exhibitions, movies, sports and the performing arts. Previous fellows have used their free time to explore the rich cultural and historical offerings of the Boston and New England area. Several fellows have brought their partners, spouses or families with them for the semester, many of whom get involved in a variety of Harvard activities open to the public.
Mid-March: Applicants or their references may be contacted for further information or interview. This is strictly informational; not all applicants or their references will be contacted and this should not be considered a sign of the success or otherwise of their application.
By early April: Applicants will be notified of their status.
Summer: The press release announcing the class of fellows will be posted.
September 7: Application deadline
End of September: Applicants or their references may be contacted for further information or an interview. This is strictly informational; not all applicants or their references will be contacted and this should not be considered a sign of the success or otherwise of their application.
Mid-October: Applicants will be notified of their status.
End of Year: The press release announcing the class of fellows will be posted.
Through personal research, seminars, networking events and discussions with your peers, you will further your understanding of journalism, the news industry and your place in it. While you are in Oxford, you will work on a project that will be of direct impact to you, your career, your newsroom and the wider media industry, bringing in what you learn during your time in the fellowship. This is a programme for working journalists and editors who will return to journalism after spending a few months with us.
We accept around 30 Journalist Fellows from around the world each year, each of whom bring fascinating insights and a wealth of experience to the institute. Here’s what is unique about our programme:
You will be embedded in a cutting-edge institution that is shaping key media debates. The Reuters Institute produces factsheets and reports on the main challenges of the industry.
You will be part of an institution with a global outlook. Our Journalist Fellows come from all over the world. They share ideas and experiences of working in different countries and different mediums.
You will be part of one of the world’s greatest universities. Oxford offers unrivalled study facilities, leading research centres, extensive learning support and a global reputation.
You will be just one hour from London by train, providing convenient access to some of the world’s leading news publishers like The Guardian, the Financial Times and the BBC.
New America’s Fellows Program invests in thinkers—journalists, scholars, filmmakers, and public policy analysts—who generate big, bold ideas that have an impact and spark new conversations about the most pressing issues of our day.
National Fellows advance ideas through research, reporting, analysis, and storytelling. We look for projects that are original and ambitious, with viable plans for their implementation. There is no set template for a successful fellowship project. Some projects focus on furthering a new public policy idea through either a domestic or international lens, while others illuminate longstanding dilemmas of American life from new angles. Our goal is to find bold, impactful thinkers and to fund them for a year; long enough to make progress on a book, develop a series of articles, produce a documentary, or work on another project that is accessible.
Support for National Fellows:
The Fellows Program aims to support National Fellows in three primary areas: provide funding to support talented individuals to pursue ambitious endeavors; build a community grounded in cohort gatherings that take place throughout the year; and provide access to platforms and partners that can support their work.
Stipends generally fall into the following levels: $15,000-$30,000. The mix of stipends offered each class varies widely depending on the type of applicants we take on and the funding we procure for that year. There is no need for candidates to address stipends, budgets, etc. in their proposal—you should use the space in your “Statement of Interest” to pitch your idea.
While you will officially become a National Fellow in September 2021, stipends will be paid in three installments starting in January of 2022 through August 2022 (consolidated to be paid during the 2022 calendar year).
The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism offers qualified journalists the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of business, economics, finance and technology, as well as gain a strong understanding of the business of journalism itself, in a yearlong, full-time program administered by the Journalism School.
Fellows typically take courses at Columbia’s graduate schools of journalism, business, law and international affairs; participate in off-the-record seminars with media, corporate and tech practitioners, and meet weekly with media CEOs, top editors, journalism entrepreneurs, taking advantage of Columbia’s access to New York’s media, business and tech ecosystem.
In scope and depth, it is the most comprehensive and rigorous business journalism fellowship in the world. Eligible Knight-Bagehot fellows (those with a B.A. degree from an accredited college) may also seek to qualify for a Master of Arts degree in journalism at the end of their year, if they opt to complete the course-work required for that degree.
The Fellowship runs during Columbia’s academic year from mid-August through May, and accepts up to 10 Fellows each year. Each Fellow receives free tuition, plus a stipend to offset living expenses in New York City and healthcare. For the 2020-2021 academic year, Fellows will receive a living stipend of $60,000 and health insurance. Housing is available in a Columbia-affiliated facility.
The fellowship is named for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation of Miami, which established an endowment for the program, and Walter Bagehot, the 19th-century editor of The Economist. The Knight Foundation has been the principal sponsor of the fellowship since 1987. The program also depends on grants from a number of other charitable foundations, corporations and publishing organizations for a significant portion of its annual budget. The sponsors have no role in the selection of fellows or the curriculum, which are entirely managed by the Director of the Program and the Journalism School.
O’Brien Fellows complete an in-depth reporting project of their choosing on a topic of state, regional, national or international interest over two academic semesters. See the Our Work section of our website for examples of the journalism produced by past fellows.
In the past, most Fellows have worked from a home base in the O’Brien newsroom in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Due to COVID-19 we are accepting applications for remote, partial residency and full residency arrangements.
Mentor and team with top Marquette journalism students in the pursuit of an investigative or explanatory journalism project.
Staff-employed or independent journalists welcome. Applicants should have at least five years of professional experience and produce journalism regularly as an employee or freelancer. Applicants may be connected to print operations, radio, television, websites, podcasts, online publications, wire services, or magazines of general public interest. There are no academic prerequisites.
Applications from international journalists are welcome.
Stipend and Benefits
A stipend of $70,000 for nine months for your salary, paid to your sponsoring organization, or directly to the fellow in the case of independent journalists.
A residency allowance based on family requirements for fellows moving to the Milwaukee metropolitan area for the duration of the fellowship: up to $4,000 for a single, married or partnered fellow, up to $6,000 for a fellow with one child, up to $7,000 for a fellow with two children, up to $8,000 for a fellow with three or more children. Fellows submit rent receipts from the rental property owner. The allowance is paid in equal monthly installments over the course of the fellowship.
A moving allowance based on family size and distance. The allowance, covering the move to and from Milwaukee, ranges from $2,000 to $4,000 in total. (Fellows from the Milwaukee metropolitan area are not eligible for a moving allowance.)
A travel and research allowance up to $8,000. This covers project-related travel as well as technology, data and document costs and equipment needs.
Employee benefits continue to be paid by the fellow’s employer, where applicable. Please contact us if you have questions on this.
Fellows and their spouses are eligible during the fellowship for tuition remission (up to seven credits) for courses offered by Marquette University.
Selection and Criteria
A proposal to produce a rigorous, multimedia public service journalism project with the potential to have major impact, lead to significant reform, and investigate and explain how individuals and groups can identify creative solutions to social problems.
The ability to complete the project during the fellowship.
The ability to integrate Marquette students as part of a reporting team.
The capacity to ensure the greatest possible exposure for the reporting once completed.
An advisory committee consisting of distinguished journalists and Marquette faculty and alumni will interview candidates for O’Brien fellowships in Feb. 2020 from a pool of finalists recommended by College of Communication journalism faculty.
Following those interviews, the advisory committee will send a list of recommended fellows to the dean of the Diederich College of Communication for final review.
The NABJ Global Journalism Task Force exists to increase and improve black journalists’ coverage of other countries as well as the African Diaspora by strengthening resources, maintaining an international sourcebook and fostering the idea that reporters need not be foreign correspondents to cover news in the world’s 195 countries. The task force recognizes groundbreaking work by African journalists with the annual Percy Qoboza Award and provides opportunities for foreign coverage through the Ethel Payne Fellowship.