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, this year, 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.
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. newsrooms — 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 is what this program aims to address.
Am I 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 2020-21 school year. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need. The purpose of the stipends is to make college journalism accessible to students for whom it would otherwise be economically out of reach.
Are high school students, recent college graduates or graduate students eligible for the program?
No, it is only available for students who will be juniors or seniors in college this academic year. High school students, recent college graduates and graduate students are not eligible for this program.
I’m not a U.S. resident. Am I eligible to apply?
No. The Emerging Reporters program is only open to U.S. residents.
What do you mean by U.S. resident? Can you make any exceptions to this rule?
U.S. residents are U.S. citizens or resident aliens. We will not be making any exceptions to this rule.
When does the program typically run?
This year’s program will run from September to June, with mentors and program participants in contact by phone and email.
How do the mentorships work? Do I get to choose mine 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 I get to work on stories with ProPublica?
Yes! As an Emerging Reporter, you will get to choose between helping on a ProPublica story or working on your own investigation with a mentor’s guidance.
Are there regular benchmarks that need to be met to qualify for continued funding?
No, stipends of $4,500 will be paid at the beginning and midway point of the program.
If I have any questions that weren’t answered here, whom do I contact?
Email [email protected] with any additional questions.