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 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 by Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. ET.
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. newsroom employees — 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’s what this program aims to address.
Who is 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 2021-22 school year. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need. The purpose of the stipend is to make college journalism accessible to students for whom it would otherwise be economically out of reach.
When does the program typically run? This year’s program will run from September to June, during which time mentors and program participants will be in contact by phone and email. Stipends of $4,500 each will be paid at the beginning and midway point of the program.
How do the mentorships work? Do I get to choose my mentor 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 students need to find their own housing for the week they are visiting ProPublica? No! Hotel accommodations for the week in New York will be provided by the fellowship program. The dates of that trip are to be determined.
If I have any questions that weren’t answered here, whom do I contact? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.