Type Investigations, formerly the Investigative Fund, is organizing the Ida B. Wells Fellowship to promote diversity in journalism by helping to create a pipeline of investigative reporters of colour who bring diverse backgrounds, experiences and interests to their work in 2019.
Type Investigations holds an annual competition in the spring to select the fellows, who will be expected to publish or air their findings in a U.S. media outlet within one year of the start of the fellowship.
The fellowship honours Ida B. Wells, the pioneering African-American activist and investigative reporter who, during the Jim Crow era, led the nation’s first campaign against lynching. Born into slavery and orphaned at age 16, Wells not only dispelled stereotypes regarding rape and lasciviousness that led to black men and women being lynchedper cent but revealed that often these victims’ only “crimes” were threatening white supremacy through acts of resistance or achievement. She continued her reporting in the face of death threats.
Studies have shown that diverse editorial staffs are essential for producing reporting that is relatable, relevant, and actionable for all audiences. But nearly 90 years after Wells’ death, women and people of colour still struggle for acceptance, credibility and opportunity as investigative reporters.
People of colour constitute less than 23 percent of all newsroom jobs, according to an annual survey by the American Society of Newsroom Editors, and 19 per cent of supervisors; their presence is even smaller on investigative teams. Women are also underrepresented, with 42 percent of newsroom jobs. Survey data indicates that fewer than 10 per cent of journalists come from a working-class background.
Worth of Award
- The one-year fellowship helps reporters complete their first substantial work of investigative reporting by providing a $16,000 award and editorial guidance from a dedicated editor at Type Investigations, formerly known as The Investigative Fund.
- Fellows will also receive funds to cover travel and other reporting costs, and the costs associated with attending the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors conference, as well as a one-week data reporting boot camp.
- They will enjoy access to research resources, legal assistance, professional mentors and assistance with story placement and publicity.
- Journalists of colour are strongly encouraged to apply, as are other reporters who believe their presence would contribute substantially to diversifying the field of investigative reporting.
- The fellowship is open to entry-level or mid-career journalists.
- Recent journalism school graduates, journalism students or journalism interns are eligible to apply, as are reporters in other fields seeking to pivot to investigative reporting.
- Applicants may be freelance journalists or journalists currently employed by a media outlet.
- They’ll be selecting five fellows for 2019. This fellowship is a one-time educational opportunity and is non-renewable.
They are looking for reporters:
- who have great story ideas, a passion for holding the powerful accountable, and an appetite for digging.
- with the demonstrated ability to produce a narrative feature for print or broadcast.
- who would relish the opportunity to closely collaborate with editors.
- with the persistence, attentiveness to detail, and organizational skills to complete a major project within a set timeframe.
How to Apply
- Before applying, we encourage you to check out investigations we have produced in the past at typeinvestigations.org and also to do a thorough search for previous reporting related to your story idea.
- Please be clear about how your project has the potential to uncover or expose something new and have real-world impact.
- The application for this fellowship is online through their website.
Deadline: The 2019-20 Ida B. Wells Fellowship application will be open through March 1, 2019.