Media and Journalism Fellowship

Media and Journalism Fellowship

About the Program

The Media and Journalism Fellowship program is for aspiring and entrepreneurial journalists and storytellers. Our program offers media and creative professionals the opportunity to refine their skills while learning about the crucial role of free speech and a free press in our society.

As a fellow you will be employed by participating organizations and simultaneously immersed in world-class curriculum to develop your professional skills. The curriculum includes summits, online webinars, professional skills training, mentoring, and other projects. At the program’s conclusion, we expect you will have developed an understanding of the role you can play as a media and journalism professional and the responsibility you have as a member of the free press.

Program Vision

Understand who you are as a journalist and media professional, examine your role in a free press and its importance to a free society, and develop your professional skills to become an effective journalist and storyteller for the public.

What You’ll Experience as A Fellow

Your week will be focused on the hands-on experience provided by your partner organization and enhanced through the skills you’ll gain through our online programming. In years past, publications where participants were picked up have included The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Playboy, and USA Today.

Classes are led by our talented faculty as well as industry professionals and media experts with a curriculum that includes:

  • Lectures & case studies.
  • Speaker series with leaders in media & journalism.
  • Core professional skills.
  • Peer working groups.
  • Independent & group projects.
  • Mentorship opportunities.
  • Electives such as storytelling, pitching, podcasting, investigative journalism, script writing, and analytics.

Curriculum Snapshot:

Term 1: Role of Free Press in Society.

Enshrined in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, the First Amendment as applied to journalism gives certain rights and responsibilities to those publishing and broadcasting. Over this first term, the fellows build a foundational knowledge of the laws that support journalism and free speech. They cover the fundamentals of libel, copyright, newsgathering, FOIA, access, and other practical issues.

Sample courses include the following: Libel, Copyright, Practical Issues in Media Law.

Term 2: Journalistic Ethics.

The Poynter Institute presents a workshop examining many of the ethical questions that arise for journalists and media professionals in their day-to-day work. Sessions focus on bias and ethical decision making, styles of ethical decision making, source relationships, and covering difficult and sensitive topics.

Sample courses include the following: Basics of Ethical Decision-making, Source Relationships, A Reporter’s Bias Checklist.

Term 3: Telling Powerful, Honest Stories.

Fellows acquire a solid foundation in the basics of fair, factual reporting. This core unit will cover how to vet sources, usage and licensing, seeking truth, and pitching. Featured speakers will accompany this unit and will discuss the basics of good writing and reporting and finding original stories.

Fellows will also acquire a fundamental understanding of what makes for a compelling story. The course will cover the basics of good storytelling for all platforms, as well as more specific discussions of storytelling for platforms such as TV, digital, long-form, and opinion.

Sample courses include the following: The Components of a Story, So You Think You’re a Reporter?, The Big Interview.

Term 4: Having an Impact – Digital Media Intensive.

Fellows gain the practical skills and knowledge that anyone working in media today must possess. These include: how to leverage social media, how to write a compelling headline, how to use visuals to enhance a story, basic digital video shooting and editing, and how to effectively use Facebook. The fellows also receive a grounding in analytics to better understand their audiences.

Google provides an introduction to some of the many tools available to journalists on their platform, including training resources, best practices for search and research, using images, custom access to Google’s databases, data journalism, verification, and much more.

The fellows learn what good reporting looks like in an online world. More than just employing the tools in previous lectures, fellows learn the judgement necessary in the world of social media as well as the skills to avoid wheel-spinning in the process.

Sample courses include the following: Digital Tools to Improve Your Newsroom, Reading Social.

Terms 5–7: Professional Skills Electives.

There are three elective terms, allowing fellows to diversify their skill sets and embrace their personal interests.

Sample electives include the following: Working Sources, The Analytics Firehose, Original Reporting, Video for Television and the Web, Writing for Digital.

Our Faculty:

As our staff and faculty continue to grow, the below list is not exhaustive.

Charles Koch Institute Staff:

Deirdre Hughes, Director of Media Portfolio
Deirdre Hughes is a television and digital producer with 18 years of experience creating original content across multiple platforms. Before joining the Charles Koch Institute, she served as executive producer and head of video for Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Tech, where she launched and oversaw three live, daily programs. Prior to Yahoo, Deirdre served as executive producer of Lou Dobbs Tonight on the Fox Business Network and senior producer for CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, covering geopolitics, business news, and the political economy. She also produced CNN’s American Morning, a three-hour live, daily news program. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in radio, TV, and film.

Timothy McCaughan, Sr. Manager of Media Programs
Tim McCaughan comes to CKI with 20 years of media experience at CNN directing the White House unit as well as a top CNN.com property. While at CNN, he covered three U.S. Presidents and traveled to more than 40 countries and all 50 states. Recently, he’s run his own company providing executive-level communications and advocacy for numerous leading organizations.

Adjunct Faculty Highlights, 2017-2019:

Kelly McBride, The Poynter Institute, Senior Vice President.

Kelly McBride is a writer, teacher and one of the country’s leading voices when it comes to media ethics. She has been on the faculty of The Poynter Institute since 2002 and is now its senior vice president. Before joining Poynter, she was a daily newspaper reporter in the Northwest for 15 years. Kelly served as ESPN’s ombudsman in 2012 and 2013. She has been a featured speaker at SXSW, the Online News Association annual conference and the Aspen Festival of Ideas. Her side hustle is the Everyday Ethics podcast. The world’s largest newsrooms, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR and the BBC, frequently seek her advice for internal decisions and quote her expertise in their stories. She is the co-editor, along with Tom Rosenstiel, of The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century, which features essays by 14 thought leaders and practitioners, as well as a new code of ethics for journalists and people who care about journalism. She is a leading expert on covering sexual assault, suicide and mental health issues, plagiarism, and the connection between an ethical press and a strong democracy. Read more about Kelly and the Poynter Institute’s College Media Project.

Dan Lothian, Former NBC National Correspondent; Former CNN White House Correspondent; Little Park Media, Founder.

Dan Lothian is founder of Little Park Media and a contributing correspondent for the PBS show Religion & Ethics Newsweekly. Prior to launching his own ventures Lothian spent more than a decade as a correspondent at CNN, the last five years at the network as a White House Correspondent. Before joining CNN’s Washington bureau Lothian served as CNN’s Boston bureau chief and correspondent. He was a key member of CNN’s Peabody Award-winning “best political team on television.” He covered the 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential races traveling with more than a half dozen candidates.

Ashley Messenger, NPR, Senior Associate General Counsel.

Ashley Messenger is Senior Associate General Counsel at NPR, specializing in First Amendment and media law issues. She has previously served as Editorial Counsel to U.S. News & World Report, a Fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and litigation counsel in private practice. Ashley has taught First Amendment law at the University of Michigan Law School and media law at American University. She is the author of a textbook, A Practical Guide to Media Law, and is a former radio talk show host.

Rob Wallace, ABC News and CBS News, award-winning Producer and Senior Producer; Nxtact, Founder.

Rob Wallace is an award-winning producer and senior producer for ABC News’ 20/20 and CBS News’ 60 Minutes II. Rob’s broad and noteworthy body of work includes extensive reporting on a variety of topics from entertainment and human-interest stories to hard-hitting investigative reports. For over two decades, he was a senior producer with ABC News Anchor Barbara Walters for her ABC News Special Hours. Rob produced in-depth profiles of some of the most famous celebrities of our generation, from Elizabeth Taylor to Angelina Jolie to Oprah to Charlie Sheen, and interviews with international leaders including Libya’s Muamar Kaddafi and Syrian president Bashir al Assad. In network news television’s heyday, Rob’s reporting was seen by audiences as large as 35 million viewers. His body of work garnered most of the major television journalism awards: the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, several Cine Golden Eagle Awards, over 20 Emmy nominations and seven National News and Documentary Emmys for Outstanding Reporting. After leaving ABC News, Rob founded an innovative technology start-up called Nxtact. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and a golden retriever. Read more about Rob and what inspired his passion for journalism.

Jamie McIntyre, Former CNN National Security Correspondent; Washington Examiner, National Security Reporter.

Jamie McIntyre joined the Washington Examiner in 2016 as senior writer covering defense and national security. His newsletter, “Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense” goes out each weekday morning to thousands of national security professional and opinion leaders. An internationally known journalist with more than 40 years of experience, he served as CNN’s military affairs and senior Pentagon correspondent from 1992-2008 and Al Jazeera America’s national security correspondent from 2014-2016. McIntyre began his career in radio in 1976 at WTOP, the all-news station in Washington, and was a newscaster for NPR’s “All Things Considered” from 2011-2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, where he also serves as an adjunct instructor.

Additional adjunct faculty include:

  • John Gable, CEO, AllSides.
  • Dr. Kurt Gray, Associate Professor of Psychology, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Mike Ricci, Reason, Executive Producer; Fox News.
  • John Papola, Emergent Order, CEO and Executive Creative Director.
  • Peder Zane, Real Clear Investigations, Editor.
  • John Stossel, Fox News Contributor.
  • Jo Jensen, Founder, JO | CO
  • Kevin Goldberg, American Society of News Editors, Counselor.

Guest Speakers:

  • Eric Schurenberg, Mansueto Ventures, CEO; INC., former President and Editor-in-Chief.
  • Jason Riley, The Wall Street Journal, Columnist.
  • Ren LaForme – The Poynter Institute.
  • Al Tompkins – The Poynter Institute.
  • David Bohrman – Founder, Political Voices Network.
  • Nicholas Whitaker – Training and Development Manager, Google.
  • Amanda Muñoz – Strategic Partner Development, Political Publishers, Facebook.
  • Chris Temple, Documentary Filmmaker and Co-Founder of Living on One.
  • Kmele Foster, Freethink, Partner and Lead Producer.
  • Lily Wu, KAKE Wichita Crime Reporter.
  • Gabriella Schwarz – Managing Editor, Flipboard.
  • Nick Gelso – CLNS Media.
  • Adam Sharp, Twitter.

Important Program Dates

The Media and Journalism Fellows Program will begin accepting applications in the early fall. See our Application Process for the best dates to apply for the 2019 Media and Journalism Fellowship.

Program DurationJune 20, 2018 – June 2019

Media and Journalism Fellowship Program at a Glance

  • 33

    Class Size

  • $52,000

    Average Salary

Liz Wolfe Managing Editor at Young Voices sharing during media and journalism fellowship

At a very young age—and because the Charles Koch Institute and Young Voices were both willing to take a chance on me—I was able to supervise 60+ writers and, eventually, a staff of two assistant editors… I also had plentiful resources provided to me as I navigated the awkward mix of being editor and manager fresh out of college: managing internal conflict, resolving ethical issues, and building trust with writers were all things made easier with the Media and Journalism Fellowship staff's help.

Liz Wolfe, 2017 – 2018 fellow with Young Voices

What's in it for me?

A full-time job.

Hone your skills as a media or creative professional through a new or existing opportunity with a media company, publication, or non-profit organization. Salary is commensurate with work experience and educational background.

Professional networking.

Build a cross-country network of individuals through weekly classes and networking summits. After the program, you’ll join a network of over 3,000 educational program alumni, including our alumni who have been featured in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list of future leaders!

Robust curriculum.

Engage with faculty and other participants to understand the role you play in supporting free speech and a free press through interactive online programming and elective classes.

Mentorship and presentations from industry experts.

Learn from seasoned industry leaders such as Jamie McIntyre (Washington Examiner), Dan Lothian (NBC and CNN), Deirdre Hughes (CNN and Yahoo Tech), Tim McCaughan (CNN), Kelly McBride (The Poynter Institute), Rob Wallace (ABC and CBS), and others at in-person summits and in weekly working groups.

I had the opportunity to work with a uniquely interesting and talented set of peers through the Media and Journalism Fellowship (MJF)… I regularly see comedy videos, well-reported stories, television appearances, op-eds and even thoughtful podcasts produced by fellows from my MJF class. It’s very inspiring to see all of the ways that MJF fellows are contributing to a better public dialogue.

Erin Clark, 2017 – 2018 fellow with RealClear

Additional Resources

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