McGraw Centre Accepting Applications for Business Journalism Fellowship

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Jane Sasseen
Executive Director of McGraw Center for Business Journalism

The McGraw Center for Business Journalism is now accepting applications from journalists for its Fellowship Programme which provides experienced journalists with grants up to $15,000 and the editorial support needed to produce deeply reported enterprise and investigative stories that delve into critical economic, financial or business issues across a wide array of subjects.

The Fellowship is aimed at applicants with proven ability to report and execute a complex project in their proposed medium; ideally, as well as candidates who have a strong background or reporting expertise on the subject of their project.

Applicants do not need to be a business reporter to apply; many of the previous Fellows have been generalists, or cover beats such as health care, education or the environment. Others have focused on issues such as economic inequality or corporate accountability.

Proposals from both freelance and staff journalists in all forms of media – text, audio, photo, and short-form video are acceptable as well as those that combine formats to create a multimedia packages.

Projects should focus on important local or regional topics, as well as those that tackle compelling national or international stories or report on under-covered communities or issues. Journalists of color and those from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Fellowship is not residential. Even outside of the current pandemic, all McGraw Fellows work from their own offices.

The Fellowship provides a grant of up to $15,000 for each project. The exact amount will depend on the time it takes to complete the project and the expenses needed. Freelance journalists may use some of the funding as a stipend for living expenses during the Fellowship.

Editorial supervision is provided during the Fellowship, Mentorship support is given to Fellows to develop their projects during the reporting phase as well as frequent edit of completed stories.

Fellows are also assisted with placing articles in established print, audio or digital outlets. The stories run on the McGraw Center website as well and can be found on the Fellowship Stories page.

The Fellowship is open to anyone with at least five years professional experience in journalism. Work by freelance journalists is supported as well as by reporters and editors currently working at a news organization or a journalism non-profit. In the latter case, reporters and editors can apply directly in the name of their organization.

Applicants should submit a well-focused story proposal of no more than three pages through the accompanying online form.  It could be a pitch meant to be submitted to an editor at a newspaper, magazine, audio or digital outlet and should contain enough preliminary reporting and documentation to demonstrate that the story is solid.

The proposal should highlight what’s new and significant about the story, why it matters and what its potential impact might be. The proposal should also note where significant stories on the subject have run elsewhere and how the proposed piece would differ.

Applicants should also briefly outline a proposed reporting plan and a timeline for completing the story. And while applicants don’t need to have a media outlet lined up for their story before they apply, if there is any, it should be indicated in the proposal.

In addition, applicants should enclose three journalism samples. The samples should be professionally published work that showcases their ability to tackle an in-depth story in the proposed medium. Applicants should also provide us with an up-to-date resume.  No references are required at the time of application, but those who are chosen as finalists will be asked to provide references from two editors or others familiar with their work. Freelance applicants for whom getting references is a problem can discuss alternatives with the McGraw Center.

No budget is required at the time of application. Applicants chosen as finalists will be asked to provide an estimated budget at that time.

Answers to questions can be found at Frequently Asked Questions, as well as more information on the current Fellows and their projects here. The Fellowship Stories page contains links to all of the stories they have published. Applicants with further questions should please contact mcgrawcenter@journalism.cuny.edu.

Applications are accepted twice a year. The deadline to apply for Spring 2023 Fellowships is March 31, 2023 while that of Fall 2023 Fellowships will be due September 30, 2023. Time-sensitive projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis outside of the deadline periods. Interested applicants that have a project that might qualify should please contact mcgrawcenter@journalism.cuny.edu.