The 2021 fellowship is open to U.S journalists of color with at least three years of post-college work experience. Applicants currently working in a newsroom must receive the support of their employer; freelancers are also encouraged to apply. Fellows will continue to work in their newsroom or in their freelance position for the duration of the fellowship.
Sameea Kamal of the Los Angeles Times; Josh McGhee of The Chicago Reporter; and Monica Velez of The Fresno Bee were IRE’s 2020 fellows. Their projects will be published in spring 2021.
Bracey Harris of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, was IRE’s first fellow. As part of her fellowship, Harris explored the effects of school integration on black families in Mississippi, which led to an investigation published The Hechinger Report and The Clarion-Ledger in February 2020. The fellowship included training, mentorship and additional project support.
“From walking me through how to map out a long-term investigation and balance my education beat duties to recommending hands-on training to take advantage of during IRE events, my mentors have been a lifeline as I report on the most challenging project in my journalism career to date,” Harris said.
As part of the program, the fellow must propose and work on a well-developed project that benefits their community. A mentor network of IRE members will advise the fellow throughout the year or until the project is complete, whichever comes first.
The fellowship includes a suite of resources and training opportunities:
- One-year IRE membership/renewal
- Complimentary Boot Camp registration and support.
- Complimentary 2021 NICAR Conference registration and support
- Complimentary 2021 IRE Conference registration and support
- Access to complimentary IRE Data Service.
- Network of mentors who are IRE members
Fellowship applications are due Oct. 12. The recipient of the fellowship will be notified in November for a January 1 start date.