2021 MIT Technology Review Covid Inequality Fellowships for U.S. Journalists
Deadline: March 21, 2021.
Early in the pandemic, some headlines argued that covid-19 was the great equalizer—because anyone, no matter their circumstance, could catch it. In reality, it was clear that the virus was affecting some groups of Americans in disproportionate, devastating ways.
Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Indigenous communities, and other people of color have been affected the most, and are dying at much higher rates. Incarcerated people have been left unprotected, and those in poverty have been among the hardest hit. Schoolchildren from poorer backgrounds are suffering the biggest educational setbacks, with lifelong repercussions.
They’re offering two kinds of fellowship.
- Freelancer fellowships: Apply for this if you’re an independent journalist who is not already attached to a specific publication. You may come from one of the affected communities you plan to report on, or you may know of an important story about a group you have gotten to know well.
- Newsroom fellows: Apply for this if you’re a staff journalist working with a specific outlet, who is looking for extra support to follow up on a story that is important to you and the readers you serve.
- Successful applicants will receive up to $7,500 to report and publish their stories.
- Work will be produced in conjunction with MIT Technology Review and published on our website—or co-published, in the case of Newsroom Fellowships.
- This money can be used to cover any or all costs related to the story, including your own time, reporting expenses, and travel (where it is safe.)
- These fellowships are US-only.
- Fellows must be legally able to work in the United States.
- Stories must be designed for text: although video and audio can be part of the output, your story will need to center around written journalism, which can include news reporting, narratives, or data.
- Projects do not have a minimum timescale, but drafts must be completed by the end of 2021.
- All stories will be subject to editing, fact-checking, and legal review
Here are some of the key things we’ll require in the first stage of the application process.
- A well-written outline of your story or project of no more than 750 words. We are looking for a compelling pitch that gives an overview of the people, places, information, and issues that you will be bringing into the spotlight.
- A reporting plan that includes (a) a proposed timeline and (b) an explanation of how you plan to report in a covid-safe manner on the communities you are focused on. Speed is not a factor in our decision, but it’s good to know how you plan to carry out the task of researching, reporting, and producing your story.
- A written personal statement (maximum 500 words) telling us about your prior work, relevant experiences and your connection to the community you’re proposing to cover.
- Three samples of original work. If this is not freely available online (for example, it is behind a paywall, or only available in print) please provide PDF files.
- Newsroom fellowship applicants will be required to submit a letterhead statement confirming that you have the support of your publication.
- Click here to apply now