BuzzFeed News/Columbia Journalism School Investigative Reporting Fellowship For Journalists Of Color And Other Diverse Backgrounds

Are you an experienced journalist of color or other diverse background who wants to move into investigative reporting? Then apply!

In an effort to expand opportunities for journalists of color and other diverse backgrounds, BuzzFeed News and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism are sponsoring a year-long investigative reporting fellowship.

In recent years, diversity in the newsroom has regressed. According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the percentage of minorities in the newsroom fell from 13.7% in 2006 to 12.4% in 2013. Investigative reporting slots are traditionally considered plum jobs, and our observation is that investigative journalism is even more monochromatic than the rest of the newsroom.

The BuzzFeed News/Columbia Journalism School Investigative Reporting Fellowship aims to give mid-career journalists of color and other diverse backgrounds the opportunity to tackle big, investigative stories and to improve their skills by auditing courses at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. This fellowship is not for students or people just starting out in journalism. Candidates should have at least five years of professional journalism experience.

Most important, candidates must have a well-formed proposal for an investigative story or series that exposes a major abuse of power, betrayal of trust, or systemic problem. Candidates must also demonstrate that they have the sources, skill, and reporting plan to bring the story home. The story or stories will be published by BuzzFeed News and BuzzFeed.com, and we are open to co-publishing with the reporter’s home publication. The investigative reporting fellow will report to BuzzFeed News’ investigative editor.

The fellow will receive a stipend of $85,000, plus benefits and related expenses for one year.

2. Application Procedure:

Please submit the materials listed below by Nov. 1, 2014 to investigativefellowship@buzzfeed.com. Applications will be considered by BuzzFeed News editors and by Columbia Journalism School professors. The grant will be awarded by Jan. 1. The fellowship is a full-time position and fellows will have the opportunity to audit classes at the Columbia Journalism School. Current and former BuzzFeed and Columbia University employees and students may apply but will not be given special preference. Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.

3. Application Materials:

1. Résumé or CV

2. Five stories that represent your best work

3. Project proposal: Please devote separate sections to the following:
a. A one-sentence, compelling summary of your story
b. A description of the story that will make us salivate
c. Your sources (data, documents, and/or humans)
d. How you propose to get to those sources and report the story
e. Why you are the best reporter to do this story
f. Why you want this fellowship and how it will help you as a journalist

4. Three letters of recommendation: Please have your referees email their letters directly to us at investigativefellowship@buzzfeed.com using the subject line “Candidate’s Last Name Reference.” Your referees should attest to your journalistic abilities, your character, your ability to work with others, and your capacity to grow as a journalist and writer.

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