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Apply now for Code Switch's mid-career fellowships

<strong>Apply to be a Code Switch fellow! </strong>Ideal candidates are mid-career journalists and a track record of dedication to covering stories about race.
LA Johnson/NPR
Apply to be a Code Switch fellow! Ideal candidates are mid-career journalists and a track record of dedication to covering stories about race.

We're excited to announce that applications for the Code Switch Fellowships Class of '22 are now open. The deadline to apply is September 15, 2022.

We launched the fellowships last year as a way to help develop experienced journalists interested in telling thoughtful, nuanced stories about race and identity from people and places we might not otherwise hear. Our fellows produced three of our most compelling episodes of the past year: how "Pretendians" hurt real Indigenous people and communities, tackling racism through therapy and the experience of POCs with albinism.

This year, there are two fellowships designed to allow experienced, working journalists to develop and report an in-depth story about race, identity and social justice. The story will air on the Code Switch podcast and radio show, with editorial help and support from the editors and producers at Code Switch and NPR. We'll work with your current employer to coordinate schedules, timing and publication.

Fellowships are open to all mid-career journalists and storytellers. If you're at an NPR member station in the U.S., we'd especially love to hear from you!

Here are the details:

What we're looking for in a fellow

  • Ideally, you're a mid-career journalist and already have a story in mind, but could use guidance and resources to report.
  • You would benefit from weekly check-ins with a dedicated editor, training on how to report, script and produce sound-rich narratives, and working with a team that has expertise covering race and identity.
  • You might have a track record covering stories about race, working in audio or both.
  • You're excited to spend 6-7 months working on one story, from ideation to reporting, scripting and production.
  • What you should expect

    These fellowships are designed to be flexible, so that fellows can continue working their current jobs while crafting their stories for Code Switch. Fellows will receive a stipend of $12,000 to cover travel and reporting affiliated costs, worked out in conjunction with the fellow's current employer. Up to two candidates will be selected.

    How to submit an application

    Applicants must submit a detailed proposal for the story or project they wish to pursue and the resources and financial support they'll likely need to complete it. Applicants should submit their proposal and a resume (attached as PDFs) to codeswitch@npr.org, with the subject line "Code Switch Mid-career Fellowship Application."

    The deadline for applying to this reporting fellowship is September 15, 2022. If you have any questions, reach out to the Code Switch editors at codeswitch@npr.org with the subject line "Mid-career Fellowship Questions" and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

    Here's some advice from last year's fellows

    Our first two mid-career fellows were Kamna Shastri and Isabeth Mendoza. Shastri explored how people of color with albinism conceptualize race and Mendoza used therapy as a lens to tell the stories of two Latinx people struggling with anti-Blackness.

    After six months of reporting and crafting their stories, we ask our inaugural fellows for their advice for future fellows:

    "Pick a topic that you're really excited about, even if other people have said no," says Mendoza. "If you believe in it, pitch that because you're going to need that fire burning up until the very end."

    Shastri says it is important to trust your experience as you go through the process.

    "As a fellow you're learning, but you're also bringing the expertise you have gained up until this point," says Shastri. "Find a balance because nobody else can tell that story but you."

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Christina Cala is a producer for Code Switch. Before that, she was at the TED Radio Hour where she piloted two new episode formats — the curator chat and the long interview. She's also reported on a movement to preserve African American cultural sites in Birmingham and followed youth climate activists in New York City.
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