Free Course: Digital investigations for journalists

Digital services and products touch nearly every aspect of our lives. They’re core to business, government, and social interactions, which means they’re essential elements of any investigation. Journalists need to know how to gather, monitor, analyze and make sense of the digital trail and presence of any person or entity.

First of all, note that this is an asynchronous course. That means there are no live events scheduled at specific times. You can log in to the course and complete activities throughout the week at your own pace, at the times and on the days that are most convenient for you.

Despite its asynchronous nature, there are still structures in place for the duration of the course. The material is organized into four weekly modules. Each module will be taught by one of the course instructors (Craig Silverman, Brandy Zadrozny, Jane Lytvynenko, and Johanna Wild) and will cover a different topic through videos, presentations, readings and discussion forums. There will be a quiz each week to test the knowledge you’ve gained through the course materials. The weekly quizzes, and weekly participation in the discussion forums, are the basic requirements for earning a certificate of participation at the end of the course.

This course is very flexible, and if you are behind with the materials, you have the entire length of the course to complete them. We recommend that you complete each of the following before the end of each week so you don’t fall behind:

  • Video lectures
  • Readings and handouts/exercises
  • Participation in the discussion forums
  • Quizzes covering concepts from video lectures and/or readings
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Ben Bagdikian Investigative Fellowship

The Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program offers a crash course in investigative journalism. Mother Jones fellows dive deep into every aspect of a national multimedia outfit—how to cover breaking news, how investigations happen, how we ensure accuracy and impact, and how awards are won. Fellows build on their reporting and research experience, working with reporters, editors, and our digital, audio, and art teams to master the inner workings of nonprofit news.

Fellowship positions include:

Mother Jones fellowships are full-time positions lasting approximately one year. New fellowship cohorts generally begin on the first Monday in December and applications are due October 1, unless otherwise noted. The 2020 fellowship cohort will begin the first week of December 2020 and run through November 29, 2021. Applications are due September 27 (see below for the application). Those who are still in school or are only available part-time are not eligible, nor can fellowships be used for course credit. Mother Jones is not able to furnish work visas for applicants from outside the United States. For additional questions regarding eligibility, please email us at

Fellows receive a $3,250 monthly stipend, supported by grants from the Irving Harris and Lannan Foundations and by the generosity of our contributors.

Mother Jones believes that a diverse newsroom strengthens the quality of our workplace and reporting. We strongly encourage people from all backgrounds to apply.

Position Descriptions

Editorial Fellowship (San Francisco and DC): The editorial fellowship is a demanding, research-intensive foray into investigative journalism. Fellows work closely with reporters and editors on fact-checking, research, and reporting. You’ll receive training in every aspect of the editorial process, from research tools and methods to media law, and have opportunities to learn audio and data reporting, explore magazine feature writing, and hone your investigative skills. You’ll attend regular skill-building sessions covering topics that span the operations of a media organization.

Editorial fellows in our San Francisco office, our headquarters, work closely on our award-winning bimonthly print magazine. (Mother Jones will not resume in-office work in 2020, but fellows should be prepared for a possible reopening of offices in 2021.) By fact-checking our investigations, columns, and other reported pieces, fellows re-engineer a reporter’s work and learn what it takes to report and put together a magazine story. Fellows in San Francisco also work on our website, podcasts, and are expected and encouraged to report on subjects including national politics, climate change, the justice system, reproductive rights, and culture.

Editorial fellows in our DC office get a research- and reporting-intensive foray into the life of investigative beat reporters and editors covering Washington. An immersive and fast-paced mix of fact-checking, web production, research, and blogging, the fellowship means working closely with our team of more than a dozen reporters and editors in the Beltway to learn the ropes of reporting breaking news, delivering investigative content, and promoting stories through social media and other outlets.

Fellows may also become involved in various digital projects—including contributing to our food and politics podcasts, working on our newsletters, and aiding with our Climate Desk partnership—depending on interest and need.

We are currently accepting applications for our December 2020 cohort in our San Francisco and Washington, DC offices. Applications are due September 27. To apply, click here.

Social Media Fellowship (San Francisco): Our all-star social media fellows create web content, keep us current on social platforms, and enhance our coverage of breaking news. This fellow will work closely with Mother Jones’ digital news team across our three offices. You’ll learn about every aspect of modern online publishing, collaborating alongside seasoned editors and reporters. Aside from helping promote Mother Jones stories, you’ll help fact-check our website. You’ll also attend regular skill-building sessions covering topics that span the operations of a media organization. Applicants should have experience with the back end of at least one CMS, a working knowledge of HTML and Photoshop, endless enthusiasm for digital storytelling languages, and facility and deep familiarity with social media.

We are not currently accepting applications for this position.

Digital Fellowship (New York City): Mother Jones is looking for a whip-smart fellow to join our digital publishing team in New York City. This fellowship is audio-intensive. We’ll immerse you in the process of turning our award-winning investigative journalism into richly textured, entertaining, and informative podcasts.

Working closely with the digital news team on every aspect of podcast creation, you will sharpen your skills in:

  • Finding and booking surprising guests, and being a cheerful ambassador for our shows;
  • Presenting thorough research and working with editors to shape scripted interviews;
  • Recording field and studio audio, and tracking down archives, news clips, and music;
  • Setting up tape syncs and other remote records;
  • Editing a variety of complex audio timelines, including mixing interviews, clips, and music;
  • Writing program materials, social media posts, and short articles for our website;
  • Keeping show calendars current and producers on task.

At the heart of this fellowship is learning from seasoned editors and producers how to make sharply focused digital content, backed by skill-building sessions covering topics that span the entire organization.

If jumping on breaking news before finalizing the mix for a long investigation, then finally locking in that one guest you’ve been chasing for days sounds like a fun, productive week on Earth (it does to us!), then this is the fellowship for you.

Applicants should possess:

  • Evidence of advanced multitrack audio editing in Adobe Audition;
  • Experience in audio recording skills in the field or studio;
  • The ability to work with a small team while lion-taming personalities across three newsrooms;
  • Organizational prowess to help us keep dozens of balls in the air, week in and week out;
  • Problem-solving skills. These postings always say “must be a problem-solver,” but in this case it’s especially true. We admire colleagues who can take on everyday production challenges and present solutions;
  • Newsroom basics: You know deadlines, you love deadlines; you’re a good writer. (We’re a magazine, after all.)

In addition to application basics listed below:

  • A cover letter should specifically describe how you’d like to reach podcasting glory;
  • Send us 3-5 brag-worthy audio cuts you’ve worked on—and tell us your role in the production;
  • A list of three podcasts you’re listening to now, and a sentence or two on what keeps you listening;
  • Tell us which audio production skills you’d like to improve.

We are not currently accepting applications for this position.

Strategic Communications Fellowship (San Francisco): This fellow will work with Mother Jones’ communications strategist—in collaboration with staff across the organization—to build buzz for Mother Jones investigations and breaking news, increase our impact, and engage with our audience. The communications fellow will assist in pitching television and radio appearances, building communication with key organizations and influencers, and identifying events and speaking opportunities for MoJo staff. He or she will help plan and promote Mother Jones events and test out new ways to engage with its readers, while also tracking Mother Jones’ impact and helping submit its journalism for prestigious awards.

This is a unique opportunity to learn and practice strategic communications, project management, and audience engagement skills while helping a major investigative reporting organization tell important stories and increase its impact.

We are not currently accepting applications for this position.

How to Apply

Mother Jones accepts new fellow cohorts twice a year, on June 1 and December 1, unless otherwise noted. Applications are due two months in advance of the start date, on April 1 and October 1.

To apply to our digital, online editorial, and social media fellowship positions, please submit the following to

  • In a single PDF, please send a cover letter, résumé (including the names and numbers of two references), and two writing samples.
  • In your cover letter, please clearly state which position you’re applying for, and in which office, as well as which start date you are interested in.
  • In the body of your email, please clearly state which position you’re applying for, and in which office, as well as which start date you are interested in.

To apply for the digital media fellowship, please submit the following to

  • A cover letter and résumé, including the names and numbers of two references.
  • Two writing samples (links to online versions preferred).
  • In the body of your email, please clearly state which position you’re applying for, and in which office, as well as which start date you are interested in.
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Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship

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.

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Journalists in Aging Fellows Program


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and the Journalists Network on Generations are welcoming applications — from journalists who represent mainstream or ethnic/community news outlets in the U.S. and who are covering/wish to cover issues in aging — for the 11th year of the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program.

The program will be conducted entirely online. Support is provided by grants from The Silver Century Foundation, RRF Foundation for Aging, The John A. Hartford Foundation, and the Gannett Foundation. Stories resulting from the last ten years are available on GSA’s website.

By 2030, one-fifth of the country’s population will be age 65+, with the fastest growing segment being ethnic minorities. Older people will soon equal the number of children under 18 as the U.S. becomes an “every generation nation.” The effects of this demographic shift permeate every aspect of American life — with important social, economic, and health implications. As we age, we develop unique needs but also make unique contributions to society.

The media have largely ignored these emerging stories, and most communities are poorly informed about the challenges and opportunities of the longevity revolution. Ageism is pervasive. For 10 years, GSA’s Journalists in Aging Fellows Program has fueled coverage of crucial and sometimes complex issues at a time when most news organizations have no resources to assign a reporter to cover aging.

Further, COVID-19 has not only dominated the news through the summer of 2020, but its effects will likely be with us for years — not only because of the tragic and mounting toll on older adults, but also as it widens existing cracks of age bias in America’s health and social infrastructure. Short- and long-term effects, ageism, nursing home workforce issues, the downsizing of older workers, ethnic and gender bias in healthcare and employment, the shifting nature of retirement, affordable housing, and the rise in older adult homelessness are all topics ripe for storytelling. Journalists will also need to track whether or not positive changes and opportunities emerge.

This program’s goals are to educate journalists about issues in aging, better allowing them to spread a new awareness to general audiences and ethnic or targeted communities (such as LGBTQ, disability, or gender-focused groups); and to disseminate accurate information about new scientific findings, policy debates, innovations, and evidence-based solutions.

Additionally, the program is structured to build three bridges: to connect working reporters with experts in the field; to link journalists new to the complex issues of aging with experienced age-beat reporters; and ultimately to channel reporters’ enhanced knowledge — fortified by current research — to their communities, in their own languages.

Dates and Venue

The program will conduct a short series of online educational sessions exclusive to the fellows on Wednesday and Thursday, October 28 and 29, and Wednesday and Thursday, November 11 and 12. Fellows will also participate in GSA’s 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting Online, which will take place from Wednesday, November 4, to Saturday, November 7, with content being available on demand afterward. (Note that Election Day is Tuesday, November 3.)

The GSA Annual Scientific Meeting represents a unique opportunity for reporters to expand and enrich their coverage of issues in aging. It will be the premier conference for an expected 4,000+ professionals in gerontology from more than 30 countries, and the schedule includes hundreds of symposia, papers, and posters — all featuring new research on nearly every topic in aging. Reporters will find ideas for new stories and fresh angles on existing topics from Alzheimer’s disease to Social Security and Medicare to the latest biological discoveries, as well as COVID-19. Some weeks prior to the conference, GSA will publish an interactive online meeting planner, which contains the full program schedule.


Fellows will be required to participate in a short series of exclusive background and issue-focused educational sessions scheduled the weeks immediately before and after the November 3 presidential election (October 28 and 29 and November 11 and 12). They will then have full access to GSA Annual Scientific Meeting sessions of their choosing (November 4 to 7, and available for later on-demand viewing). Fellows will also commit to completing one short-term story about any research-based aspect of aging and a long-term in-depth project of their own design. The latter must be summarized in a one-to-two page story pitch.

All articles must be published, broadcast, or posted through distributed or circulated news media entities rather than personal blogs, and will be required to include a note at the beginning or end crediting that it was written/produced with support from the fellowship. (Reporters will be provided text samples that may be adapted for different media.) The stories must reach an audience within the U.S.

Short-term story: Fellows must produce an initial story of no less than 500 words (or comparable broadcast length) about any research-based aspect of aging. Although reporters may draw from the vast number of peer-reviewed studies and expert presenters available to them at the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, they are not required to cite any aspect of the conference, and may develop their story from other verifiable research sources. This piece must be completed no later than Thursday, December 31, 2020, and scheduled to be disseminated by Monday, February 1, 2021. The story can be a news report, feature, or commentary/blog. Unlike the long-term project (see below), applicants need not propose a topic for the short-term story ahead of time, nor do they have to obtain advance approval from an editor/producer that the piece will be considered as an editorial assignment for publication or broadcast. The subject matter also need not be related to that of the long-term project. Selected fellows will be permitted to publish their short-term and long-term pieces through different media organizations, but it is still the Fellow’s responsibility to see that the pieces are published in such a case. Therefore, applicants should indicate where they expect to place the short-term story if it will appear in a different news outlet than the long-term project.

Long-term project: Each fellow will submit a proposal (of one to two pages) outlining a major story or series that she or he intends to research and write. The story or series should be of the fellow’s own design, documenting and explaining a pressing issue that elders and their families or communities are facing.

The project deadline will be Thursday, April 1, 2021, and it must be scheduled to be disseminated no later than Monday, May 3, 2021. As with the short-term project, the story or series need not be based on any aspect of the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, although reporters may choose to interview expert presenters or utilize articles published in GSA’s peer-reviewed journals.

Some preference will be given to application proposals on the impact of important news developments such as the COVID-19 pandemic, racial/ethnic equality, or post-election challenges, although the program remains open to story pitches related to the myriad ongoing under-reported stories of aging in America.

Fellowship applicants are invited to make proposals on a wide range of subjects, such as caregiving challenges; ageism; dementia and its impact; intergenerational activities; immigration; healthy aging (including wellness and physical activity); safety education (e.g., falls and fall prevention); health disparities; elder abuse prevention; depression and social isolation; hunger; medication challenges; lifelong learning; art and creativity for older adults; aging in place; age-friendly communities; older-worker issues (e.g., career retraining and encore careers); and civic engagement (mentoring, volunteering, or otherwise “giving back” to society). Projects may, but are not required to, reflect at least one element of ethnic or racial population diversity. This may include the involvement of diverse experts or facts about an issue’s effect on such distinct groups based on their race, ethnicity, gender, geography, or sexual orientation.

Both staff journalists and freelancers who apply must submit an agreement by his or her editor/producer to accept the long-term project proposal as an editorial assignment for likely publication or broadcast. Those who also serve as the principal editor/producer of a news outlet are also welcome to apply. These journalists need not provide a separate editor/producer’s assurance, but they should make their dual role as writer and editor/producer clear in the proposal. For cases in which the original media outlet does not release a project story, the Fellow is obligated to place it in a comparable news or information medium.


The stories resulting from this fellowship will first be published by each journalist’s media organization(s). GSA and the Journalists Network on Generations will then have the option to cross-post the stories — with full credit and links back to the primary publisher — and make them available to nonprofit websites in aging or the network of ethnic media outlets.

Reporters proposing stories to be published or broadcast in a language other than English must agree to provide an English translation to GSA within two weeks of initial publication. For audio or video productions, fellows must provide images with either a separate audio narration or written article based on the story in English. Multimedia slide shows should be provided with image captions in English. (All such stories would be cross-posted by GSA or the program’s nonprofit sponsors with links back to the story in the original language.)


Each fellow will receive a stipend of $1,500, with $500 to be paid at the conclusion of the program’s initial educational sesions and the remaining $1,000 upon publication/airing of the long-term project.

Selection Process and Eligibility

The fellowship selection panel will include experts in gerontology and editorial professionals.

All staff and freelance journalists are eligible to apply except for past recipients of this fellowship.

Additional Information

For further details about how to submit an application, contact Program Co-Director and GSA Director of Communications Todd Kluss at or (202) 587-2839. For further details about fellowship requirements and potential stories, contact Program Co-Director and Journalists Network on Generations Program Coordinator Liz Seegert at or (718) 229-5730.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted in a single Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF file consisting of five components:

1. A cover letter containing:

  • Applicant name
  • Mailing address
  • Office phone
  • Mobile phone
  • E-mail
  • Employer (Freelancers must specify their length of affiliation with the outlet that will publish or broadcast the story.)
  • Employer address
  • Employer phone
  • Employer’s circulation and audience demographic (Please indicate whether this media outlet serves a general audience or a specific racial/ethnic community.)

2. A resume.

3. A one- to two-page story pitch describing the long-term project topic, how the subject will be researched and covered, the number of expected articles and their approximate length, relevance to the audience, and tentative publication date.

4. A letter or e-mail from an editor/producer agreeing to accept the long-term project proposal as an editorial assignment for likely publication or broadcast.

5. No more than three samples of published or broadcast journalistic work. For applicants submitting print samples, the full story text must be included in the application document. For applicants submitting broadcast samples, please include hyperlinks to these stories — either on a news organization’s website or a file sharing site such as — in the application document.

Applications that are not submitted in a single Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF file will not be reviewed. Business centers such as FedEx Office are able to provide conversion and/or scanning services. Please submit the file using a file name format of “LastnameFirstname.docx” or “LastnameFirstname.pdf.”

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Civil Unrest & First Aid Online Training

The ACOS Alliance is offering freelance journalists currently covering the protests in the US FREE access to a certified Civil Unrest & First Aid online safety training course provided experienced media safety trainers at Silk Road Training.

We understand the urgency for this training to be made available as soon as possible and we’ll be granting bursaries on a first come basis, providing that applicants are eligible for this course. We’ll be processing applications as these are being submitted and will respond to all applicants as soon as possible. Selected participants will have access to the course in less than 24 hours after being accepted.

Silk Road has produced this online course to build core skills for working in and around crowds, security forces and civil unrest as well as giving you life saving first aid knowledge. The learning is delivered through trainer led videos, interactive presentations and quizzes and will take approximately four hours – although the course will be entirely self-paced. This course is about assessing risk, implementing mitigation measures, designing contingency plans and giving you the skills to respond in an emergency. The course will help you to avoid personal violence and develop the ability to assess a crowd situation and learn about safe positioning and methods of safe extraction from an uncontrolled situation.

The modules can be completed in any order and there will be accompanying webinars scheduled so you can get any questions you may have answered – you will also be able to email and ask questions directly as you progress through the course. Webinars dates will be confirmed in advance.

Selected participants will have free access to the course for 30 days from the first day they log in. 

Participants must meet the following requirements:

  • Secure access to a laptop, computer or tablet; and a good internet connection. Participants should be able to log in to Silk Road’s training platform using a unique password, play videos, download materials, and connect to live webinars (camera and headphones or speakers needed).
  • Be a freelance journalist currently covering the protests in the US. 
  • Priority will be given to those who have not completed a safety training course before, however the course is open to freelancers in need of a refresher.
  • Complete the course in full. The ACOS Alliance and Silk Road are keen to evaluate the impact and performance of this course, and participants are expected to provide comprehensive feedback.

On completion of the full online course, Silk Road will provide participants with certification detailing their success. 

The ACOS Alliance (A Culture of Safety Alliance) is an unprecedented coalition of news organisations, freelance journalist associations and press freedom organisations working together to champion safe and responsible journalistic practices for freelance and local journalists worldwide. The Alliance facilitates collaborative initiatives to improve the safety of journalists exposed to danger. Submitting this form does not guarantee a bursary.

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Society of Environmental Journalists reporting grants

he Society of Environmental Journalists is now accepting proposals for story grants on:

  • Climate or conservation in North America
  • Water quality and availability in the United States
  • Mississippi River Basin, including agriculture, food, water and sustainability
  • Oceans and coasts globally, including fisheries, sea-level rise and coastal restoration

NEW: This FEJ round has a rolling deadline. Rapid Response Grants (including stipend) are available up to $2500 per individual or $5000 for team or news outlet projects.

This competition is generously underwritten by The Hewlett FoundationThe Bullitt FoundationWalton Family Foundation and other foundation and individual donors to the Fund for Environmental Journalism.

  • FEJ grants support development and dissemination of significant coverage that otherwise could not be completed.
  • Winning projects are selected by an independent jury of journalists based on newsworthiness, topical relevance, publication plan and track record of the applicant, among other factors.

Please read: FEJ Proposal Guidelines and Application Form

Sign up for FEJ info to receive announcements of upcoming competitions and other FEJ-related information.


Only people who qualify for membership in SEJ are eligible to apply for Fund for Environmental Journalism grants, that is, you must be a journalist, professor or student who is not employed to do any public relations work on environmental issues. If your work includes public relations writing, concerning environmental issues, please don’t continue. See guidelines.


If you are a member of SEJ, the application fee is waived. For nonmembers, the fee is $40. If you join SEJ before you apply for the fund, your membership’s first-year dues are $40 and the application fee for the fund will be waived subsequent to your being accepted into the membership.

In addition, entry fees will be waived for members of diversity journalism associations (e.g., National Association of Hispanic Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists, Native American Journalists Association, Asian American Journalists Association, South Asian Journalists Association, Association of LGBTQ Journalists). See guidelines.


Winning projects are selected by an independent jury of editors appointed by the Society of Environmental Journalists Board of Directors. SEJ maintains a strict policy of confidentiality with regard to story ideas submitted through FEJ competitions.

  • Grantees retain full editorial control of FEJ-funded coverage.
  • Donors have no right of review and no influence on story plans made possible in part by their contributions.
  • Binding agreements between donors and the Society of Environmental Journalists and between SEJ and grantees of its Fund for Environmental Journalism reinforce this policy of editorial independence.
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Journalists of Color: Apply for ProPublica’s Emerging Reporters Program

What is ProPublica’s Emerging Reporters Program?

The Emerging Reporters Program provides a $9,000 stipend, along with mentoring and trips to the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting conference and our New York office (or, this year, virtual programming!), for five students each year who work or want to work at college journalism outlets: newspapers, websites, radio stations or TV stations. Check out our previous fellows, and apply here.

Why does ProPublica’s Emerging Reporters Program exist?

People of color are underrepresented in our nation’s newsrooms. A survey by the American Society of News Editors suggests that people of color make up just a quarter of U.S. newsrooms — and that itself is only among newsrooms that chose to respond to the survey. Often, those numbers are even smaller in newsrooms focused on investigative reporting.

ProPublica has a vested interest in developing more minority journalists. Our mission is to shine a light on abuses of power, producing stories of moral force that provoke change. There are currently few reporters of color who specialize in investigations. Without their voices and points of view, there is every reason to believe that important stories are being overlooked. We believe the best way to bring about meaningful change is to take a holistic approach, tackling the obstacles to entering careers in journalism — especially investigative journalism. These include financial barriers and limited access to early-career opportunities. That is what this program aims to address.

Am I eligible for this program?

The Emerging Reporters Program is specifically designed for those who might find investigative journalism inaccessible. All students who will be juniors or seniors in college this academic year are eligible to apply, and African Americans, Latinos and other people of color are especially encouraged to do so. Participants are expected to take a full course load during the 2020-21 school year. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need. The purpose of the stipends is to make college journalism accessible to students for whom it would otherwise be economically out of reach.

Are high school students, recent college graduates or graduate students eligible for the program?

No, it is only available for students who will be juniors or seniors in college this academic year. High school students, recent college graduates and graduate students are not eligible for this program.

I’m not a U.S. resident. Am I eligible to apply?

No. The Emerging Reporters program is only open to U.S. residents.

What do you mean by U.S. resident? Can you make any exceptions to this rule?

U.S. residents are U.S. citizens or resident aliens. We will not be making any exceptions to this rule.

When does the program typically run?

This year’s program will run from September to June, with mentors and program participants in contact by phone and email.

How do the mentorships work? Do I get to choose mine or is one assigned to me?

The program director will take into account the interests expressed in your application to match you with one of our great journalists for the year.

Do I get to work on stories with ProPublica?

Yes! As an Emerging Reporter, you will get to choose between helping on a ProPublica story or working on your own investigation with a mentor’s guidance.

Are there regular benchmarks that need to be met to qualify for continued funding?

No, stipends of $4,500 will be paid at the beginning and midway point of the program.

If I have any questions that weren’t answered here, whom do I contact?

Email with any additional questions.

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Poynter Institute Election Coverage Workshop

The Poynter Institute and its Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership are pleased to present a workshop aimed at elevating the journalism around election results and voter turnout in the 2020 elections. Misunderstanding, misreporting and even mischief after the polls close this November pose a real risk for the proper functioning of the democratic transfer of power.

There’s a good chance that the American public won’t have a quickly announced winner, due to delays from mail-in balloting driven by the coronavirus pandemic. If the race is close, it may take a week to declare who won in races across the country. During that wait, partisans might try to shape the social media narrative through misleading readings of voting returns.

We are inviting reporters, editors, academics, public officials, civic groups and election-watchers to apply to participate in a short series of topic-based panels on the 2020 elections. Journalists have a special obligation to report precisely, ethically, and authoritatively, rather than being swept up in rumors. Civic groups and elected officials, too, need to be conscientious in gathering verified, authoritative information to share with colleagues, the press and the public.

The discussions will help produce a report for wider dissemination to media practitioners and consumers. The conversation will expand beyond national races to touch on local newsrooms covering races pertinent to their communities as well.

As the 2020 national and local campaigns gain traction, it is time to challenge the industry to succeed in the highest standards of journalistic and storytelling excellence.

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Alicia Patterson Foundation reporting fellowship

Who can apply for a fellowship?

The Alicia Patterson fellowships are open only to U.S. citizens who are fulltime print journalists, or to non-U.S. citizens who work fulltime for U.S. print publications, either in America or abroad. Freelancers are welcome to apply. All applicants, including those being considered for the new Cissy Patterson fellowship for environmental or science topics, should complete the Alicia Patterson Foundation application. The aim of the trustees who established the foundation was to improve the quality of U.S. print journalism. Foreign journalists seeking fellowship help may want to consult the annual list of contest and awards compiled by Editor and Publisher magazine in New York City. That issue is published the last week of December each year and can often be found in business libraries. The magazine sells individual copies of the issue for $6 on-line.

Cissy Patterson Fellowship for Science and Environmental Writers

Beginning with the 2016 fellowship class, an additional fellow specializing in either science or environmental journalism will be added. This fellow will be designated as a Cissy Patterson fellow, in honor of Alicia’s aunt, the publisher Cissy Patterson.

No special application is needed. All fellows apply for the Alicia Patterson fellowship and applications that deal with science or the environment will be considered for this additional fellowship. Science and environmental topics will continue to be awarded Alicia Patterson fellowships.

Fellowship Proposal

A complete, typed statement not to exceed three (3) single-spaced pages, on how you would use an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellowship, and why. A brief summary of the four articles you will be required to write as an APF fellow should be included as part of your statement. Each candidate may submit only one proposal. Two applicants may collaborate on one proposal, for example, a writer and a photographer.

Submitting work samples

Reporters and Writers

1. Please submit three copies of three articles with publication date and place noted. To fit into the judges’ packets, they must be kept to 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Either reduce longer articles by copy machine reduction or cut and paste articles on several 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of white paper. Reprints from databases are fine.

2. Number multiple pages of any article. Please don’t use staples or fancy folders because we need to duplicate your material for the judges. You may submit originals or clear photocopies. Please don’t send books or chapters of books.

3. Each part of series counts as one article, so it may be wise to choose only one part of a series and submit two other, unrelated articles in order to show diversity of topics.

4. Please do not submit any more than three articles. The judges will see only three and we’d rather you make the selection. The content of the articles, rather than date or place or publication, is most important.


Please send three copies of four samples of work you have edited, using the guidelines above. Attach a statement regarding your contribution to the finished product. If you also write, you may substitute two of your own articles in the four sample total.


Please submit one set of 8 to 12 samples. These can be published photographs or unmounted prints. No slides please. Samples cannot exceed 12 x 14 inches.

All Applicants

Please make sure the text from your printer is dark enough to generate readable pages when photocopied. Fancy presentation (folders, binding, plastic sheaths for articles, even paper clips) make our work harder. Also, fax copies do not reproduce well. Please don’t wait until the last day because we cannot use fax transmissions.

Please write atop the application form whether you are applying for a 12 or 6 month fellowships. Note: judges on rare occasion have awarded a six month fellowship for an applicant requesting a 12-month grant.

Remember, all applicants must submit application, clips, essays and budget in triplicate, in three separate packets. Photographers submit only one set of their prints. Please arrange your materials in three identical groupings, i.e. each group includes one autobiography, one budget, and one set of clips or work samples.


Have two (2) persons who are familiar with your work and your proposal submit a letter of recommendation directly to the Foundation by October 1. There is no set template for the letters; please ask recommenders to write about your talents, ability to overcome obstacles, etc. Please list the names and addresses of your references on the application form.

Professional Autobiography

A typed statement, not to exceed two (2) single spaced pages, to include reasons for going into journalism, journalistic experience, and future plans.

Estimate Costs

A detailed, typed budget statement, not to exceed one (1) page, to include two categories.

Projected fellowship Costs: Travel, books, short-term housing, etc.

Personal Maintenance: An estimate of living expenses for one year for yourself and your family (if any).

Where possible, list known costs; where not, estimate. Subtotal each category, then total both. At the bottom of your budget page, please indicate what funds, if any, would be available from other sources in support of your proposal fellowship year.

Application Hints and Advice

The foundation does not match salaries. The fellowship stipend is $40,000 for twelve months and $20,000 for six months and must cover your travel and research costs. You also must pay taxes on this income, which most fellows do by submitting quarterly payments to the IRS, as many freelancers do.

We ask that you submit a budget to see how you would accomplish your proposal. Although our project and living expenses may add up to more than the stipend, the Foundation only can provide either $20,000 or $40,000 to each fellow. If you are employed, it is customary for news organization to make up the difference between the stipend and your salary. Many newsrooms require applicants so seek approval of a leave before applying in order to receive the paper or magazine’s financial support. Please check with your newsroom managers first. However, your employer’s ability or willingness to give you support does not affect the selection process.

You will be notified during mid-November if you have been selected as a semi-finalist. Winners will be chosen during the first week of December. There usually are 5 to 7 fellows each year. Winners are expected to begin their fellowships within the first three months of the calendar year.

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Antiracist journalism workshop

Off the Coast of Gorée Island

As racism and the treatment of people of color in and out of newsrooms has surged to the forefront of conversations, against the backdrop of a pandemic that disproportionately impacts people of color, journalists face many questions: When do ‘objectivity’ and ‘neutrality’ mask inequity? How do journalists move from covering protests to systemically telling stories that root out racist treatment in health care, education and other social spheres? And how can journalists practice antiracism in their everyday work? 

Join us as Leah Donnella of NPR’s Code Switch, Cassie Haynes of Resolve Philly, and Robert Samuels of The Washington Post discuss “What would antiracist journalism look like?”

Registration now for this program, which will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, 2020.

Panelists will explore and help us understand: 

  • How the default frame of journalism/journalists is not neutral or objective
  • How to reframe the way journalism works so it’s actively antiracist 
  • How to broaden reach and audience by working more inclusively with community
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