Reporting Fellowship

ABOUT

WHO SHOULD APPLY

HOW TO APPLY

APPLICATION TIMELINE

FAQs

APPLICATION

About the Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship

 

Applications for the Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship are now closed.

Wallace House once again turned our Fellowship model outward with the Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowships, a remote-format, working fellowship program for the 2021-22 academic year to fund ambitious reporting projects focused on the major challenges of our time and responses and efforts toward a reimagined future.

We awarded Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowships to ten 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. Fellows are not be required to leave their news organizations or places of work. This remote fellowship maintains our multidisciplinary approach and cohort-based philosophy.

Published or produced work is a requirement of the Reporting Fellowship. Applicants submited a detailed reporting proposal related to the seismic challenges we now face. Areas of focus included but were 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 reporters and newsroom editors who would like to know more about the reporting fellowship 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. 

Read the Reporting Fellowship news announcement »

A Working Fellowship

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

Application Timeline

A Q&A webinar with Wallace House Director, Lynette Clemetson, and Associate Director, Robert Yoon was held at 12:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. PT on February 19. You can view 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 deadline to apply has passed and applications are now closed for the 2021-2022 year.

Deadline for responses from two professional references is May 7

Reporting Fellowship offers will be extended at the end of June.

FAQs

When is the application deadline?

Applications are now closed for the 2021-2022 year
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.

What are the residency or passport requirements for an applicant?

Applicants must be either a U.S. citizen or a legal resident residing in the U.S. or its territories. Uncertainty around international travel and restrictions makes it difficult to secure visas non-U.S. citizens at this time.

What do you look for in the reporting proposal?

The Reporting Fellowship is designed to produce ambitious reporting on major challenges we are facing and the possibilities for a reimaged world. The reporting proposal should address the coverage topic or project the applicant plans to report and implement during the fellowship and provide details on where the reporting will be published or broadcast. Proposals should be broad enough to allow for deep exploration and storytelling over eight months but focused enough to provide structure.

What news coverage, topics or projects qualify?

Reporting projects may examine any pressing public challenges or facet of society but should be timely and should involve capturing how the country and communities are grappling with change and moving toward solutions. These challenges could range from social shifts precipitated by the pandemic to the nation’s deep political divisions to persistent social justice issues surrounding race, ethnicity and inequality. Subjects could include but are not limited to science and medicine, the economy, law and justice, race and ethnicity, business, technology, education, inequality, the environment, and entertainment and recreation. Areas of coverage can be local, national or global. 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. We want to encourage ambitious reporting projects that step back from breaking and incremental coverage. As the world grapples with huge questions and complex solutions, we need journalists to investigate, scrutinize, analyze and explain the process and outcomes.

Does the work produced from the reporting project have to be published or aired by a U.S. based news organization?

The reporting project work can be released by U.S. based news organizations or news organizations outside of the U.S.

Can the Reporting Fellowship be awarded to a team of reporters to collaborate on a project?

A proposed project can be one that is executed in a collaborative manner. However, the fellowship is intended to be awarded to individuals only.

Is the $70,000 stipend intended to supplement or replace a staff reporter’s salary?

The stipend is paid directly to the Reporting Fellow on a monthly basis for the duration of the fellowship. Wallace House is not involved in the financial agreement made between the Reporting Fellow and their employer. Employers may continue to pay the Reporting Fellow their full salary, a portion of their salary or defer their salary while the Reporting Fellow is receiving a fellowship stipend.

Do I have to move or take a leave of absence from my job?

This is a working fellowship, and selected Fellows are not expected to leave their newsroom or place of work. The Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship will take the place of our traditional, residential Knight-Wallace Fellowship for the 2021-22 academic year, and it will maintain our multidisciplinary approach and cohort-based philosophy. Applicants are expected to work with an editor to develop and approve the project. You will be required to make the fellowship reporting project your primary focus for the period of the fellowship and to produce work that will be published, aired or released during the fellowship.

Do I need professional references? What information do my references need to provide?

Applicants are required to submit the names, affiliations and email addresses for two professional references. Upon submission of the application, links will be sent to the email addresses provided. The references will be asked to complete a few questions about the applicant including thoughts on the applicant’s ability to produce high-quality journalism within the timeframe of the fellowship. The professional references must respond to the reference request by May 7.

If selected for the Reporting Fellowship, can I apply for the traditional Knight-Wallace Fellowship in the future?

Journalists selected for the Reporting Fellowship are still eligible to apply for the traditional residential Knight-Wallace Fellowship in the future.

How many Fellowship Cohort sessions are planned?

Ensuring for safe in-person gatherings, we hope to gather the cohort for two in-person Fellowship Cohort sessions at Wallace House in Ann Arbor. Each session will be one week from Monday – Friday.

In addition, plans include a final symposium on campus at the University of Michigan at the end of the academic year. The symposium will be built around the reporting produced during the fellowship.

Who is responsible for the travel and lodging expenses?

Wallace House will cover airfare, hotel lodging and meals for the Fellows for all in-person Fellowship Cohort sessions. Any travel and expenses related to reporting must be covered from the fellowship stipend or by the media organizations publishing or airing the work.

Is participation in the Fellowship Cohort sessions mandatory?

Assuming the public health situation allows, all Fellows are expected to participate in the one-week in-person Fellowship Cohort sessions in Ann Arbor and share their work at a final symposium on campus at the University of Michigan. Wallace House will cover all travel-related expenses for participation in fellowship activities.

For More Information

For additional questions or more information about the Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship please:

Applications for the Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship now closed.

Our traditional, residential fellowship remains closed for the 2021-22 academic year. For information on applying for the traditional, residential fellowship in the future »