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Are You an Aspiring College Journalist of Color? Apply to Our Emerging Reporters Program

Are you a college student of color interested in doing great journalism? ProPublica wants to help.

What is ProPublica’s Emerging Reporters program?

We’ve all seen the numbers showing dispiriting trend lines for minorities in journalism. According to the American Society of News Editors, minority employment stands at 13 percent at U.S. daily newspapers, a statistic that hasn’t budged in 10 years. Black employment dropped from an already small 5.4 percent in 2004 to 4.7 percent in 2014. While newspaper employment overall decreased by 32 percent over the last decade, papers’ employment of blacks fell by 40 percent.

And it’s not just that people of color make up a small portion of our profession. It’s also that the crucial early opportunities that serve to draw minorities into journalism may be drying up. The percent of minorities in internships at daily newspapers plummeted between 1994 and 2014, from 39 percent to 23 percent.

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 minority reporters who specialize in investigations. Without their voices, visions 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 that dissuade minorities from pursuing careers in journalism — especially investigative journalism.

To that end, the Emerging Reporters program provides $4,500-per-semester stipends, along with mentoring, and trips to the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting conference and our New York office, for five college students each year who work or want to work at college journalism outlets — newspapers, websites, radio stations or TV stations.

Check out our previousfellows.

Am I eligible for this program?

The Emerging Reporters program is specifically designed for African Americans, Latinos and other people of color. It is only for current undergraduate or graduate students taking full-time classes in the academic year and those who can 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 or recent college graduates eligible for the program?

No, it is only available for college or graduate students taking classes in the academic year.

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 program usually begins in August, with a weeklong visit to our New York office. It will run for the entire school year, 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?

Before your program begins, the program director will contact you to discuss your journalistic interests and experience. We’ll then match you with one of our journalists for the academic year.

Do I get to work on stories with ProPublica?

Yes! As an Emerging Reporter, you will likely be brought in to help on ProPublica’s ongoing investigations.

Do students need to find their own housing for the week they are visiting ProPublica?

No! Hotel accommodations for the week in New York will be provided by the fellowship program. The dates of that trip are to be determined.

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.

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