Ethnic and Community Press Fellowship 2010 – Developing an Education Beat
Download the Application Word Document
The Fellowship aims to promote critical thinking on public education issues and to develop a public education beat in NYC ethnic and community newspapers to help inform community members. Fellows are expected to produce a series of articles and a radio piece on public education for the newspapers where they are on staff.
The 9-month paid fellowship will expose participating editors and journalists to the issues involved in education reform efforts today in New York City. The Fellows will meet with Department of Education officials, community advocates (including critics of the current reform agenda), school administrators and nonprofit organizations involved in shaping the education system. In addition, the fellowship will include site visits to different school models in order to provide participants with an opportunity to observe, first-hand, what is happening during the school day and to speak to students, teachers, and principals in the school environment. During the 9-month program, fellows will gain in-depth understanding of the issues informing school reform, the various reform models being implemented in New York City, the challenges facing different student populations, the data used to evaluate reform efforts, and the early evidence indicating what is and is not working. Fellows also will become familiar with community, parent and student resources within the public school system and will become more informed about the way in which parents and community members can have a voice in the changes schools are undergoing.
A radio component has also been added to the syllabus this year. The specialized radio training will enhance the journalism skills of the Fellows by equipping them with the skills to report their stories to a radio audience.
The long-term goal of the Fellowship is to help develop an education beat for ethnic and community newspapers, where resources are limited, and to promote insightful and nuanced reporting for communities that rely on these periodicals as a main source of information, particularly for readers with limited or no English language skills.
Finally, in order to enhance Fellows' investigative reporting skills, the Fellowship's leaders will evaluate and critique written articles based on their substance, sourcing, clarity of expression and possible impact.
Language and Skills
- Fellows must be fluent in English
- The Fellows must be computer literate and own a laptop. They must be willing to bring their laptop to the seminars as and when required.
- The Fellows must be willing to use recording equipment (to be provided by NYCMA) and to return it to NYCMA at the end of the Fellowship. (The Fellows have the option to buy the radio equipment.)
- The Fellowship demands time commitment and punctuality from the Fellows
- The Fellows will have to attend two editorial seminars each month. Generally, one of the seminars each month will be dedicated to a speaker and/or site visit, and the other will be a discussion with the Fellowship leaders of the participants' articles. These seminars are usually 2 hours long.
- The radio broadcast training will require three-hour sessions and will take place in lieu of editorial seminars so as not to extend Fellowship attendance requirements.
- Participants are expected to attend all sessions. More than two absences will be grounds for termination of Fellowship participation.
Reading and Writing
- Fellows are expected to research both the speakers and the issues to be discussed prior to attending each session where they will interact with invited speakers.
- Each fellow is required to write 4 stories of 900 words each and one 3,000 words detailed in-depth investigative story about education related issues.
- Each Fellow is expected to complete a radio broadcast piece based on one of the stories written by the participant
Sponsoring organization's permission
- The Fellows need permission from their sponsoring media organization both to participate in the program and to publish the stories generated during the Fellowship in their publication.
- If meeting the criteria, Editors and Publishers themselves can also participate in the Fellowship.
- The sponsoring media organization of a fellow must be a member of the New York Community Media Alliance.
- If Fellowship is offered to a non-member, it will have to become NYCMA member before the start of the Fellowship. To become a member, please visit our website at www.indypressny.org.