By: Joe Strupp
A new fellowship for education reporting has been announced by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
?The fellowship will enable education writers to spend a year at Columbia developing a long-form reporting project that advances the understanding of the American education system,? a release on the fellowship stated. ?Three fellows will be selected for the program, based upon their previous and potential work, demonstrated commitment to reporting on education issues, and the importance and originality of their intended projects. Proposals can take the form of a narrative newspaper story or series, a magazine article or a nonfiction book.?
The Spencer Fellowship for Education Reporting is utilizing a $2 million grant from the Spencer Foundation to fund the program for four years, the university stated. The foundation is a 45-year-old non-profit committed to providing ways to improve education.
The fellowship is open to professional educators, working journalists and ?candidates with a passion for education writing,? the release stated. ?It aims to provide writers with a break from the newsroom to delve into an important aspect of education reporting, and the research resources of a distinguished university.?
?Part of the power of journalism is its ability to generate informed public discussion on major issues,? said Nicholas Lemann, Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism. ?There is no issue more important than education. What we are trying to do here is help to shape and launch three ambitious and memorable works of journalism per year on educational topics ? works that demonstrate the way our profession, when practiced at its highest level, can bring public questions vividly to life.?
?The Spencer Foundation is committed to supporting programs that spur awareness of the challenges and opportunities in education around the world,? said Michael McPherson, foundation president. ?Working with this outstanding journalism graduate program allows us to continue to meet our goal of improving education at all levels.?
Applications for the 2008-2009 academic year can be downloaded from the school?s website at www.jrn.columbia.edu/spencer. The deadline is January 31, 2008. Fellows will be named by March 1, 2008. Recipients will receive a $75,000 stipend to cover fees and living expenses in New York.