Frequently Asked Questions | Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship

Frequently Asked Questions | Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship

What is the program looking for in a successful applicant?

Most important, we want to see your passion for journalism. We’re not looking for someone “testing the waters” as they look for a career. We’re looking to see if you’ve always known journalism was in your blood or more recently came to that realization. We want to see your effort in pursuing this professional goal. Whether that’s internships during college, time on a news outlet, freelance work done while working as a fry cook, it’s the intentionality and quality that counts not the pedigree. Show us that you care about the profession of journalism, tell us why it’s your calling, and help us understand how you plan to advance in the field.

How does the process of finding a journalism job work through the program?

Once accepted as a finalist, you are placed in our jobs portal and can apply to jobs posted there. The interview process for these roles is through the participating organizations. If you come to agreement with them, they hire you as their employee for the year.

What if I already have a journalism job that I like?

If you work for an organization that is participating in the fellowship program, you can apply for the fellowship and, if accepted and with your employer’s permission, you can continue in your role and take part in the fellowship. The employer would still receive the stipend award from the program for your participation.

If you work for an organization that is not yet participating, we hope you will still apply to the program. We are always eager to talk with organizations looking to provide new opportunities to their early-career (generally, the first five years in the field) employees. Many of our participating organization relationships have developed in this way. The employer also would still receive the stipend award from the program for your participation.

Who are the participating organizations?

You can find a full list of the participating organizations for the 2019-2020 cohort here.

How long am I hired?

Your hiring dates are between you and the employer. However, the stipend award to the participating organization is for full-time employment from June to June of the next year.

Whom do I work for? Who has editorial control of my work?

You work directly for the participating organization. They are your employer. The Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship has no editorial control or review of any of your work.

How much do I get paid? What is the stipend award?

Your salary is negotiated by you with the employer/participating organization and is generally commensurate to experience. The fellowship program provides a salary stipend to the employer of 60 percent of salary up to a maximum award of $50,000 per fellow.

Is it possible to audit the program if I’m a finalist and I don’t find job placement?

Unfortunately, no. The full-time employment in a professional newsroom is a key component in the program and the learning process.

How do I find the time to attend?

The program only makes two requests of your employer for participation in the program. First, that you be allowed the time to attend the three multi-day (three day), in-person summits. Second, that you also be scheduled to allow for the online classes on Tuesday afternoons. We get it. News breaks. But we hope you catch up by watching the recordings later if you miss out on a given day.

What are the key program dates?

Application Opens – November 2019

Application Deadline – February 2020

Fellowship Class Announced – May 2020

Program Begins – June 2020

When does the program begin?

The fellowship program begins with the opening summit June 2020, in Washington, D.C.

How do the summits work? Who pays for the travel?

The opening summit is at the Charles Koch Institute in Arlington, Va. (Washington, D.C., metropolitan area). The midyear summit is at the Poynter Media Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. The closing summit is back in the Washington area. Your travel is paid for by the program.

Who are the faculty and mentors in the program?

You can find a sample list of our faculty and mentors here. Keep in mind we are constantly updating and evolving our curriculum and faculty to best serve the interests of our current fellowship class. Is there someone you’d love to learn from? Let us know!

Do I get to choose my courses?

The fellowship includes training sessions that run from investigative journalism to podcasting to writing intensives to on-the-edge technology upskilling. We also offer media training, résumé workshops, and leadership seminars. We also encourage ideas from fellows!

Who are the sponsor partners?

The Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship is a partnership between The Poynter Institute and the Charles Koch Institute.

Poynter is a leading source of news, thought leadership, and teaching about journalism. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and to teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, and more. produces 24-­hour coverage of news about the news media. News University offers one of the world’s best catalogs of online journalism modules.

For more than five decades, Charles Koch’s philanthropy has inspired bold new ideas to improve American lives. Inspired by a recognition that free people are capable of extraordinary things, the Charles Koch Institute supports education and dialogue to advance these principles and challenge convention. We work to remove barriers to opportunity for all Americans, helping individuals transform their lives.

Who can I contact if I have more questions about the Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship?


View our nondiscriminatory policy.

Additional Resources

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Participating Organizations

The Charles Koch Institute partners with other 501 (c)(3) non-profit organizations that vary from small, public policy organizations to large think tanks.

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Application Process

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