Beginning this summer, ProPublica will invite up to 10 news editors from media companies across the country to participate in a yearlong investigative editing training program, led by the newsroom’s award-winning staff.
As the nation’s premier nonprofit investigative newsroom, ProPublica is dedicated to journalism that changes laws and lives and to advancing the careers of the people who produce it. The goal of this program is to address our industry’s critical need to diversify the ranks of investigative editors. Building a pipeline of talent is a priority that serves us and our industry.
“ProPublica was founded to create journalism that spurs real-world change,” said Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica’s editor in chief. “We are incredibly excited to play a role in training the new, diverse generation of newsroom leaders. Behind almost every great story, there’s a great editor whose passion, patience and craft made all the difference. We look forward to expanding the pipeline of people who do that essential work.”
The program will begin in June 2023 with a weeklong boot camp in New York that will include courses and panel discussions on how to conceive of and produce investigative projects that expose harm and have impact. The editors will also get training in how to manage reporters who are working with data, documents and sensitive sources, including whistleblowers, agency insiders and people who have suffered trauma.
This program is funded through the generous support of the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, which supports organizations — whether in journalism, film and the arts — whose work is dedicated to social justice and strengthening democracy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is this?
The ProPublica Investigative Editor Training Program is designed to help expand the ranks of editors with investigative experience in more newsrooms across the country, with a focus on people from underrepresented backgrounds.
What kind of experience can you expect?
The program kicks off with a five-day intensive editing boot camp in New York, with courses and panel discussions led by ProPublica’s senior editors, veteran reporters and other newsroom leaders. The boot camp will include hands-on editing exercises and opportunities for participants to workshop projects underway in their own newsrooms.
Afterward, participants will gather virtually every two months for seminars and career development discussions with their cohort and ProPublica journalists. Each of the participants will also be assigned a ProPublica senior editor as a mentor for advice on story and management challenges or on how to most effectively pursue their own professional aspirations.
What skills should I expect to learn?
- How to evaluate story ideas and determine the right scope, length and time for getting it done.
- How to manage a reporter through a complicated accountability story and communicate feedback in ways that build trust and confidence.
- How to edit investigative drafts, spot holes in reporting logic, organize a narrative and guide the reporter through the fact-checking process.
- How to work collaboratively with research, data and multimedia teams to elevate an investigative project.
When is the boot camp?
The five-day, all-expenses-paid boot camp will be held June 4-8, 2023, in New York, with remote sessions via Zoom throughout the year.
Is there a virtual option for the boot camp?
We are planning for the boot camp to be held in person. If a participant cannot attend, we will consider remote alternatives.
Will I be responsible for my expenses in New York?
ProPublica will cover participants’ expenses for meals, travel and lodging during the boot camp.
How many participants will be selected each year?
Up to 10 journalists.
What if I can’t make it this year?
ProPublica plans to offer this training in 2024 and 2025 as well.
Who is eligible?
The program is open to all, but we especially encourage people from traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.
The ideal participants will have:
- A minimum of five years of journalism experience, either as an editor or as a reporter primarily doing work with an investigative or accountability focus.
- A strong grasp of the basics of editing, storytelling, structure and framing.
- Experience managing a team of journalists or a complicated multipronged reporting project.
- An accountability mindset: You don’t have to have been on an investigative team, but we are looking for people with an eye for watchdog reporting and editing.
Am I eligible if I live outside of the United States?
Our program is open to all, but our goal is to improve the diversity of investigative editors in the United States and we’ll focus participation accordingly.
What is the Logan Family Foundation?
The Jonathan Logan Family Foundation is a philanthropic foundation that supports organizations — whether in journalism, film and the arts — whose work is dedicated to social justice and strengthening democracy.
How do I apply?
The application period opens on Feb. 1, 2023, and closes on March 13 at 11:59 p.m. EST. You can apply via this link.
How can I learn more about the program?
We’ll be hosting an informational webinar on Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. EST. You can register and submit questions in advance here.
What if I have other questions?
Send an email to Talent Director Talia Buford at [email protected].