By Brandon L. Gates, MS in Broadcast Journalism ’12 Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
In a world in which newsrooms’ staff numbers are withering, the time to embrace the idea of convergence journalism is now. Some of the more seasoned journalists may remember the days of there being a definite line between reporting for print publications and broadcast news; with the introduction of new technology, the Internet and varied social media platforms, however, the lines are now overlapping and blurry – and while less conventional, it is an exciting time to be a journalist, despite vicious rumors that suggest there is no future in our field.
We all have heard how important being a multiplatform journalist is; yet a number of journalism programs, due to limitations in size, faculty and resources, may be unable to provide the experience. Fortunately, the folks at The Washington Post and NPR see a need for prospective journalists to be trained and well versed in both print and broadcast and they are offering such opportunity through The Stone & Holt Weeks Fellowship.
This fellowship is a unique meeting of the mediums and gives one fellow the opportunity to hone their reporting skills, while producing content for two of the nation’s most reputable news organizations.
The fellowship will consist of two sessions: 12 weeks at The Washington Post, followed by 12 weeks at NPR, in which fellows will learn how to report for print, web and radio. The fellow will produce original content that will be featured in print, on air and online and will be compensated $800 each week, before taxes. The fellowship does not cover housing or living expenses but the round-trip cost to travel to D.C. will be covered.
To apply for the fellowship you must have completed a bachelor degree by July 15, 2012. To be considered you must download and complete an application form, attach a cover letter explaining why you should be selected for the fellowship and what you have done to make this world a better place – a value shared by Stone & Holt, who the fellowship is named for. Applicants must also include a resume, an academic transcript and two letters of recommendation – one from a supervisor and one from a teacher or mentor.
Applications must be received with a postmark on or before April 30, 2012. Finalists will be notified in early June and invited for an interview with the fellowship committee. A selection will be made by the end of June and the fellowship begins after Labor Day.
All materials should be sent to:
The Stone & Holt Weeks Fellowship
635 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
The fellowship was established by The Washington Post and NPR following the death of Stone Weeks, 24, and Holt Weeks, 20, who both died in a tragic car accident in the summer of 2009. Their father, Linton Weeks, is a reporter at NPR and a former reporter of The Washington Post.
Experience, published works and weekly compensation – do I need to convince you any further to apply? Completion of the fellowship may not land a job at either organization, right away, but “All Things Considered,” (just a bit of NPR humor) this is a great opportunity to begin a promising career in journalism.