LaunchPad Fellowship for NextGen Journalists (Remote)

Renaissance Journalism   Oakland, CA   Contract     Other
Posted on May 28, 2024
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Our LaunchPad Fellowship for NextGen Journalists is designed to empower early-career journalists who are passionate about reimagining journalism and community storytelling through the lens of racial equity and social justice.

LaunchPad strives to help talented journalists from diverse backgrounds enhance their professional capacity, connect with colleagues and new mentors, broaden their career development skills, and produce community-centered, social justice-focused journalism with impact.

Our nine-month fellowship program is designed for early-career journalists from all media platforms who have the skills, expertise and desire to tackle an ambitious in-depth reporting/storytelling project on a critical social justice issue facing the U.S.

Fellows will work independently to conduct research, interviews and other reporting/producing activities needed to complete their proposed project. They will be challenged to delve deeply into their selected issue; to explore its real and human impact on our nation’s historically marginalized communities; to expose the systemic drivers that contribute to the problem; and to explore possible remedies and solutions.

LaunchPad Fellows Receive:

  • A $5,000 grant to offset living expenses while conducting their research and reporting.
  • An intensive, three-day in-person learning/training experience.
  • Skills-building webinars throughout the fellowship year.
  • Nine months of professional/project mentorship and coaching.

Apply Now (Deadline is July 12, 2024)

Job Requirements

Who is eligible for this fellowship?

We’re looking for talented early-career journalists from diverse backgrounds who have a demonstrated commitment to journalism and community storytelling through the lens of racial equity and social justice.  Those employed by a news organization, as well as freelance/independent journalists, are encouraged to apply. 

Specifically, the ideal applicant will:

  • Have at least three and no more than six years of professional journalism experience, either sequentially or cumulatively, in any medium (e.g., digital, print, video, audio, photo, multimedia).
  • Demonstrate an interest in and commitment to covering social justice and equity issues and to reporting in underserved local communities.
  • Have a publication plan. (You are required to provide a letter of support from your employer or, if a freelancer, a “letter of interest to publish” from a news outlet, before being accepted into the program.)
  • Be committed to and practice ethical and principled journalism, which is accurate, fair and thorough.
  • Demonstrate a serious intention to pursue a career in journalism.
  • Apply as an individual—not as a team or on behalf of a news organization.
  • Reside in the United States.

Integral to Renaissance Journalism’s mission is to diversify our nation’s newsrooms and to amplify the voices and stories of marginalized communities that have been historically underrepresented, misrepresented or ignored by the mainstream media. We strongly encourage early-career journalists from those communities to apply, including journalists of color, indigenous journalists, those from working-class backgrounds and LGBTQ+ journalists. We will also take into consideration the financial barriers and/or limited access to career opportunities that an applicant faces.

What will I have to provide when I apply?

  • A brief description of your proposed project.
  • A letter of interest and/or a commitment to publish from an editor of a news outlet (e.g., your current employer or, if you’re an independent journalist, from a news outlet).
  • A reporting/production plan and, if you have it, a budget.
  • Three samples of published work (any medium).
  • Two professional references.
  • Your résumé.

What are you looking for in my reporting project proposal?

We are looking for reporting projects that delve deeply and thoughtfully into a clearly articulated social justice issue or problem facing our nation. When conceiving your project, we encourage you to ask yourself: Is this an important, underreported story or issue that I feel compelled to investigate? What makes me uniquely suited to do this story? Is this a national problem with local angle? Is this an ambitious project, requiring six to nine months of work?  Will I have the time and ability to tackle and complete this project?

Specifically, we will be looking for reporting projects that:

  • Tell a new and untold story in an engaging way.
  • Investigate and unpack a complex social justice issue, looking at the policies, root causes, systemic drivers and historical factors that contribute to and intersect with an issue.
  • Center and amplify the voices, stories and experiences of local communities that have been overlooked or misrepresented in the media. 
  • Engage with new and diverse sources, revealing unique perspectives and life experiences.
  • Demonstrate a depth of knowledge and understanding of the topic and the community.
  • Explore sustainable and community-centered remedies and solutions to the problem.
  • Are ambitious in scope but that can be completed within the grant period.
  • Have a commitment from a news outlet to publish the project. 

Please feel free to contact us, if you have questions about your proposal or need help developing a project idea. You can reach us at launchpad@renjournalism[dot]org to set up a time to talk us personally.

Renaissance Journalism

1000 Broadway Suite #480
Oakland , CA