Reporting Fellowship

Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship

ABOUT

WHO SHOULD APPLY

HOW TO APPLY

APPLICATION TIMELINE

FAQs

APPLICATION

About the Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship

Wallace House is turning our Knight-Wallace Fellowship model outward for the 2020-21 academic year to fund ambitious reporting projects focused on the major challenges of our time and responses and efforts toward a reimagined future. 

We are offering ten Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowships for accomplished journalists with different backgrounds and experience to report on our most pressing issues, from social shifts precipitated by the pandemic to persistent social justice issues surrounding race, ethnicity and inequality. 

The Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship will take the place of our traditional, residential Knight-Wallace Fellowship for the 2020-21 academic year in response to continued uncertainty about close gathering and in-person instruction. Selected Fellows will not be required to leave their newsrooms or places of work. This adapted fellowship will maintain our multidisciplinary approach and cohort-based philosophy.

Published or produced work is a requirement of the Reporting Fellowship. Applicants must submit a detailed reporting proposal related to the seismic challenges we now face. Areas of focus can include but are 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.

Read the Reporting Fellowship news announcement »

A Working Fellowship

The Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowship for the 2020-2021 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 from social shifts precipitated by the pandemic to persistent social justice issues surrounding race, ethnicity and inequality
  • A remote structure that allows staff reporters to remain with their news organizations and freelancers to remain in their place of work
  • 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 2020 through April 2021
  • 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 hold a U.S. passport, if working abroad.  Uncertainty around international travel 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 fellowship activities from September 2020 through April 2021, 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, on-campus 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 July 7. 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, written confirmation from a news organization agreeing to publish the work or details on securing a publishing partner
  • 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 »

Application Timeline

A Q&A webinar with Wallace House Director, Lynette Clemetson, and Associate Director, Robert Yoon, will be held on at 12:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. PT on June 19. RSVP here for the Q&A webinar or join the session directly here.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm ET 11:59 pm, July 7.

Deadline for responses from two professional references is July 14

Reporting Fellowship offers will be extended on July 31.

FAQs

When is the application deadline?

Applications are due before 11:59 pm ET on Tuesday, July 7.
Responses from two professional references are due on Tuesday, July 14.

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 based in the U.S. or hold a U.S. passport, if working abroad. Uncertainty around international travel 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?

The reporting project should address our most pressing issues, from social shifts precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic to persistent social justice issues surrounding race, ethnicity and inequality. Subjects can 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.

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. In addition to the reporting project, Fellows will participate in weekly seminars remotely and one-week Fellowship Cohort sessions at Wallace House, and will receive a schedule of stipend payments. We expect the recipient of the stipend to responsibly apply it toward the reporting.

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 2020-21 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 July 14.

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, on-campus 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 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 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?

All Fellows are expected to participate in the one-week 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:

Application»