By: Mallary Jean Tenore
The media plays an important role in telling stories about tragedies, trauma, and communities or individuals who are facing adversities. And yet, too often, these are the main stories we see and hear from the media. Images & Voices of Hope is working to change that — by providing media practitioners with an opportunity to tell stories about how people and communities are finding hope, resiliency and restoration in the aftermath or midst of difficult times.
If this type of storytelling interests you and you have a strong story idea, we encourage you to apply for Images & Voices of Hope’s Restorative Narrative Fellowship.
ivoh’s fellowship is an extension of the organization’s work around Restorative Narrative — a genre of stories that show how people and communities are making a meaningful progression from a place of despair to a place of resilience. (You can read more about Restorative Narratives, and find related examples, here.)
The fellowship, which will run February 1 through August 1, will provide five fellows with a stipend to spend six months telling Restorative Narratives in various communities. As a fellow, you’ll have the opportunity to help change media — and the people and communities that media serves — for the better.
We encourage you to read the FAQ below and apply if the fellowship seems like the right fit for you.
Who can apply?
The fellowship is open to media practitioners of all kinds — photographers, journalists, gamers, documentary filmmakers, marketers and those working at the intersection of media and the arts. Both freelancers and employed media practitioners — in the U.S. and abroad — can apply. Freelancers will be required to find a home for their projects, while those employed at media organizations can work on their fellowship project with the intent of publishing it on their organization’s website. ivoh requests permission to republish the work in its entirety – or if that’s not possible, a condensed version of it.
What will I get out of the fellowship?
The fellowship provides:
–A stipend. Each fellow will receive a $2,500 stipend for financial support and to cover costs associated with their work for the fellowship. These costs may include travel, data analysis, research expenses, and more. Half of the fellowship will be paid upfront, and half will be paid upon the completion of the project. Fellows can choose to pursue one big project or a series of smaller projects, and they can work independently or in collaboration with other media practitioners, with the understanding that only the fellow will receive a stipend.
–High-level coaching. Throughout the six months, fellows will receive storytelling coaching from Jacqui Banaszynski, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, longtime editor, and a professor at the University of Missouri. Jacqui will work closely with each fellow to help them learn more about the restorative narrative genre and determine how to tell stories within this framework. Fellows and their respective media organizations will maintain editorial autonomy throughout the storytelling process, and final responsibility for the project’s delivery.
–Training workshops. Fellows will meet one another, ivoh staff, and their story coach during two training workshops, which will bookend the fellowship. The training workshops will offer up time for rich dialogue and will give fellows a chance to learn more about the restorative narrative genre, receive feedback on their projects, and engage in 1:1 coaching sessions with Jacqui. The first training workshop will be held in early March, and the second will be held in timing with ivoh’s annual media summit in late June.
–Speaking opportunity. Fellows will be required to present their projects and share lessons learned during ivoh’s annual media summit, which attracts media practitioners from around the world.
–Ongoing recognition and support from ivoh. As a fellow, you’ll become part of a growing cohort of Restorative Narrative Fellows from around the world. You will be introduced to past fellows and the larger ivoh community, which is comprised of individuals who care about how the media can help strengthen and empower people and communities.
What’s expected of fellows?
Fellows will be expected to:
-Complete their project within the six-month deadline, barring any extenuating circumstances.
-Attend and actively participate in the two training workshops and ivoh’s annual media summit.
-Interact on a monthly basis (or more, if needed) with their story coach to seek feedback and share updates on how the fellowship project is progressing.
-Take part in one group call with the fellows, story coach and ivoh staff each month.
-Sign a letter of agreement, and have their editor/boss sign it, as a show of support for the fellowship and as an indicator that the fellowship guidelines/expectations are clear.
Is there a timeline of events?
Here are important dates to consider before applying:
–November 28, 2016: Application deadline (See the online application in the "Further official information" link below this article)
–January 1, 2017: Winning fellows notified
–February 1, 2017: Fellowship begins
–March 3-5, 2017: First fellows training workshop at the University of Texas’ Belo Center for New Media in Austin
–June 22-25, 2017: Second training workshop & ivoh’s annual media summit, to be held in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
-August 1, 2017: Fellowship ends
Who are some of the past fellows?
This will be the third iteration of ivoh’s fellowship. Our former fellows come from a variety of media sectors and are from around the country:
–Dan Archer, VR/AR/interactive storyteller and founder of Empathetic Media
–Jake Harper, WFYI public radio reporter
–Christa Hillstrom, YES! Magazine editor
–Ben Montgomery, Tampa Bay Times reporter
–Heidi Shin, public radio reporter & producer
–Moses Shumow, documentary filmmaker & a professor at Florida International University
–Alex Tizon, journalist and University of Oregon journalism professor
–Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press columnist
–Elissa Yancey, journalist & University of Cincinnati journalism professor
Here’s what some of our fellows had to say about their experience:
“Through ivoh I’ve been able to reframe the way I tell stories about communities that have experienced trauma. I’ve also gained a valuable community of like minded journalists and storytellers, who are committed to telling these types of stories. I’d recommend the fellowship for anyone who has been on the front lines with this kind of storytelling!” — Heidi Shin
“For me, the Restorative Narrative fellowship could not have come at a more opportune moment. I had been working in Miami’s Liberty City for a few years, and particularly in the Liberty Square public housing project, and I knew that I wanted to tell the deep, rich story of this community and the people who call the development home. My partnership with ivoh was the perfect way to pursue this project. The organization’s goals for telling meaningful stories about afflicted communities that go beyond the headlines, the mentorship and feedback from the other fellows, the guidance from Mallary and her excellent team — it all added up to an enriching experience that I will not soon forget and a documentary film that I am proud of and eager to share.” — Moses Shumow
“I don’t think you can be restored without acknowledging the richness that your experiences have given you, and for me, this felt like the work that needed to be done. I feel like I have benefited so much and worked really hard, but also learned a lot about the transformative power of storytelling. We talk about it a lot, but I actually saw it happen. That to me was incredibly gratifying.” — Elissa Yancey, who brought her fellowship story to the stage and who wrote about how the fellowship restored her faith in storytelling.
For more information click "Further official information" below.
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