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How Do I Get a Journalism Fellowship?

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  • Written By: Jessica F. Black
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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Requirements for a journalism fellowship differ greatly, and programs may offer fellowships to college juniors, seniors, or graduate students. Some journalism fellowship offers may be for graduates who have had three to five years experience in the field and are in search of research project funding. Those interested in a fellowship should research all available programs to determine various qualifications, which students should do during his or her first year of college. Due to the variations of programs, students should have a general idea of the type of program he or she is seeking in order to fulfill all necessary requirements in a timely manner.

Most students interested in applying for a journalism fellowship begin by enrolling in a four year undergraduate program. The first year usually involves enrolling in general courses with a heavy focus on English and writing subjects. A bachelor's of arts (B.A.) degree in journalism often includes coursework in mass media ethics, copy editing, advanced reporting, writing for broadcast journalism, and visual communication. Eligibility for a journalism fellowship typically requires students to excel in most of his or her journalism courses.

Internships are usually offered by most universities. Experience will enhance the student's knowledge of the industry and enable him or her to observe professional journalists. Fellowship programs in this field are extremely competitive, and students should gather as much experience and additional coursework as possible. There are a limited number of these fellowships, and students must excel in academics and internships to be considered.

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A general application is required, along with specific documents requested by the individual program. Most journalism fellowship requirements include professional recommendation letters, college transcripts, and a designated number of writing samples. The application process may be lengthy because students must carefully choose or create his or her writing samples, which can be time consuming. Once all of the materials are prepared and sent, the student will have to wait for an acceptance letter before being able to attend an interview.

Interviewers are generally looking for skills that are acquired through experience and coursework. This may include excellent communication skills, critical thinking, and well-rounded writing, editing, and research abilities. A journalism fellowship is generally considered a privilege because it offers uninterrupted periods of academic research, and students are often given a variety of topics to write about. Students who are not accepted into one program may have the necessary qualifications for another fellowship, and he or she should not be discouraged by rejection.

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