The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Business Journalism, an initiative of the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, began offering Fellowships to accomplished business journalists in the summer of 2014. Seven veteran journalists were awarded grants of up to $15,000 in the first year of the McGraw Fellowship; six more were named in 2015.
The aim of the McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism is to support in-depth, ambitious coverage of critical issues related to the global economy and business. In an age when many news organizations no longer have the resources to tackle complex, time-consuming stories, the Fellowships enable experienced journalists to do the deep reporting needed to produce a serious piece of investigative, analytic, or narrative journalism. You’ll find more information on the 2014 Fellows and their projects here, and on the 2015 Fellows here.
About the Fellowship
The McGraw Fellowship provides editorial and financial support to journalists who need the time and resources to produce a significant story or series that provides fresh insight into an important business or economic topic. We accept applications for in-depth text, video or audio pieces, and we encourage proposals that take advantage of more than one storytelling form to create a multimedia package.
Typically, we’ll award grants of $5,000 a month for one to three months; in exceptional cases, we’ll consider longer grants based upon specific proposals. We’ll look for applicants with a proven ability to report and execute a complex project in their proposed medium; ideally, candidates will also have a strong background or reporting expertise on the subject of their piece.
The McGraw Center provides editorial supervision during the Fellowship. We work with the Fellows to develop their projects during the reporting phase and frequently edit the completed stories. We also assist with placing the articles. In some cases, we partner with established print, radio or digital outlets; in others we will publish them as e-books or through the CUNY J-School’s book imprint. The stories also run on the McGraw Center website.
The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism is open to anyone with at least five years professional experience in journalism. Freelance journalists, as well as reporters and editors currently working at a news organization, may apply.
Applications will generally be accepted twice a year — in the spring and again in the fall. The spring deadline for applications is May 31, 2016; the fall deadline is November 30, 2016. However, we will consider time-sensitive projects on a case-by-case basis outside of the deadline periods. If you have a project that you think might qualify, please contact us email@example.com or 646-758-7781.
How to Apply
Applicants should submit a well-focused story proposal of no more than three pages through the accompanying online form. Think of it as pitch, much like you would submit to an editor at a newspaper, magazine, digital outlet, or radio station: give us enough preliminary reporting and documentation to demonstrate that the story is solid. The proposal should highlight what’s new and significant about the story, why it matters and what its potential impact might be. If the subject has been covered elsewhere, the proposal should note where those stories have run and how the proposed piece would differ. Applicants should also briefly outline a proposed reporting plan and a timeline for completing the story, and let us know if a media outlet is lined up to run the story.
In addition, applicants should enclose three journalism samples. The samples should be professionally published work that showcases your ability to tackle an in-depth story in the proposed medium. Please also provide us with a resume and references from two editors or others familiar with your work.
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