University of Michigan Announces the 2020-2021 Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellows

August 06, 2020

  • 2020-2021 |
  • knight-wallace |


The University of Michigan announced today the Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellows for the 2020-2021 academic year. A cohort of 11 journalists from a range of backgrounds and experiences will participate in the newly created working fellowship, a reimagined Wallace House program designed to support ambitious reporting projects and adapted to the remote needs of Covid-19.

The Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellowships will provide an academic year of support and collaborative learning for journalists to pursue and publish rigorous projects examining pressing public challenges ranging from the responses to the prolonged pandemic to persistent social justice issues surrounding race, ethnicity and inequality. Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellows will remain where they live while participating in weekly remote workshops, professional development sessions and seminars with University of Michigan faculty and experts.

“Finding a meaningful way to adapt our fellowship to meet this moment was essential. Directing our experience and resources toward direct support for journalists allows us to have an immediate impact in a moment when substantive reporting is of vital importance,” said Lynette Clemetson, Director of Wallace House. “The robust response we received to this newly structured Reporting Fellowship is a testament to the desire of reporters to serve the public and help move society forward.” 

The Reporting Fellowship is designed to benefit both working journalists and U.S. newsrooms. Each Reporting Fellow will pair with a local or national news organization to develop and publish their reporting project. The support of the fellowship allows news organizations to pursue ambitious journalism that they may not have the staff or funding to support independently.

“We are in an unprecedented time,” said LaSharah S. Bunting, Director of Journalism at Knight Foundation, a supporter of the fellowship programs. “These Reporting Fellowships allow individual journalists and news organizations to offer in-depth reporting to their communities on the critical issues of the day.”

Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellows will receive a stipend of $70,000 for the academic year plus an additional $10,000 in supplemental support to cover extra costs including health insurance, reporting equipment and supplemental travel-related expenses.

This adapted fellowship takes the place of the traditional, residential Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Knight-Wallace Reporting Fellows and their reporting projects:

Lisa Armstrong, multimedia journalist and associate professor, New York City
Reporting Project: Covid-19 in Correctional Facilities
for The Marshall Project

Sindya Bhanoo, independent reporter, Austin, Texas
Reporting Project: Distance Learning and Inequality in Public Schools
for Mission Local

Valeria Collazo Cañizares, investigative journalist, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Reporting Project: Waterless Island: Converging Crises and the Water Shortage in Puerto Rico
for Telemundo

J. Lester Feder, independent journalist, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Reporting Project: Inequality and the Transformation of the Cities and Suburbs of the Midwest

Alissa Figueroa, senior editor and producer, Baltimore, Maryland
Reporting Project: Police Reform Five Years After the Death of Freddie Gray
for Type Investigations

Mya Frazier, independent business reporter, Columbus, Ohio 
Reporting Project: Private Power: The Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Working Poor
for Bloomberg Businessweek

Ted Genoways, independent writer and producer, Lincoln, Nebraska
Reporting Project: Food Security and Worker Safety on the Front Lines of the Pandemic

Mario Koran, contributing reporter, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Reporting Project: Barriers to Learning in Three Marginalized School Districts Upended by the Pandemic
for The Guardian US

Chris Outcalt, independent magazine writer, Denver, Colorado  
Reporting Project: The Powerful Forces Behind Medical Fraud

Nicholas St. Fleur, independent science reporter, Palo Alto, California 
Reporting Project: Racial Bias in Science, Health, and Medicine
for STAT

Mazin Sidahmed, co-executive director of Documented, New York City 
Reporting Project: The Role of Local Police in Federal Immigration Enforcement
for Documented

More about the Reporting Fellows and their reporting projects »

Read the Reporting Fellowship news announcement »

About Wallace House

Wallace House at the University of Michigan is committed to fostering excellence in journalism. We are home to programs that recognize, sustain and elevate the careers of journalists to address the challenges of journalism, foster civic engagement and uphold the role of a free press in a democratic society. We believe in the fundamental mission of journalism to document, interpret, analyze and investigate the forces shaping society.

About Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit