When I took over the RJI professional fellowship program, I changed the structure of the fellowships to include new deliverables such as monthly updates for the industry and a testing/implementation phase prior to the final product launch at the end of the 8 months. Through these changes we have increased communication and collaboration with newsrooms and journalists while being transparent about the process and progress of each project.

The 2021 Fellows produced some amazing resources for journalists such as Clayton Aldern’s DUG Guide, Kristen Hare’s revival of Obits in newsletter form to drive revenue and Dagmar Thiel’s Fundamedios Pay Gap Toolkit.

The 2021-22 Fellows are tackling a range of DEI issues in our industry from the promotion and inclusion of leaders of color in our newsrooms to collaborative reporting projects with incarcerated individuals. These projects tackle some of the most urgent issues in our industry today, striving to make it more equitable, accessible and inclusive inside our newsrooms and out.

I revived the RJI Student Fellowship program in 2020 when COVID-19 struck and a lot of our students were losing internship opportunities and a lot of newsrooms were losing funding. My RJI Student Fellowship Program partners newsrooms with students who are interested in launching or furthering innovative initiatives, completely remote and funded by RJI. Today this program is partially remote and partially in person, with the flexibility to change in the future as needed. Read more about the projects of the 2021 Student Fellows.

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