Are you a journalist with a great idea for a story that “Follows the Money,” but no funds to get it done? The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism would like to hear from you.
The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Business Journalism, an initiative of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, began offering reporting fellowships in the summer of 2014. We provide grants up to $15,000 and editorial support to experienced journalists that enables them to do the deep reporting necessary to produce high-impact investigative and enterprise stories that tackle critical issues related to the global economy, finance and business.
We generally accept applications twice a year. The deadline for Winter 2021 Fellowships is February 12, 2021. Applications for the Summer 2021 Fellowships will be due July 16, 2021. However, we will consider time-sensitive projects on a case-by-case basis outside of the deadline periods. If you have a project that might qualify, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fellowship stories must have an economic or financial angle, but you don’t need to be a business reporter to apply. Many of our previous Fellows have been generalists, or cover beats such as health care, education or the environment. Others focus on issues such as corporate accountability or inequality. Here are a few examples of their work:
- Palm oil labor abuses linked to world’s top brands, banks Associated Press
- Hurricane fallout creates financial ruin for Puerto Rico’s seniors with reverse mortgages USA Today and the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo
- Is Getting Pregnant “Medically Necessary” Right Now? MIT Technology Review
- When Big Tech Goes Green, Taxpayers Help Foot the Bill Bloomberg Businessweek
- Company insiders are selling stock during buybacks and making additional profits when stock prices jump. And it’s legal. Washington Post
- How the Norcross Political Machine Muscled in on Prime Real Estate in New Jersey’s Poorest City WNYC & Pro Publica
- New Workers of the World: Capturing the voices of workers facing unprecedented change Bloomberg Businessweek
- Two Nations, One Aquifer: A series about water at the border Albuquerque Journal
You’ll find answers to many questions in our FAQ, as well as more information on our current Fellows and their projects here. Our past Fellows can be found on the following pages: 2019 Fellows, 2018 Fellows; 2017 Fellows; 2016 Fellows; 2015 Fellows; 2014 Fellows. The Fellowship Stories page contains links to all of the stories they have published.
About the Fellowship
The McGraw Fellowship provides editorial and financial support to journalists who need the time and resources to produce a significant investigative or enterprise story that provides fresh insight into an important business, financial or economic topic. We accept applications for in-depth text, video or audio pieces, and we encourage proposals that take advantage of more than one storytelling form to create a multimedia package. This is not a residency Fellowship, however (even outside of the current pandemic). All Fellows work from their own offices.
The Fellowship provides a grant of up to $15,000 for each project. The exact amount will depend on the time it takes to complete the project and the expenses needed; freelance journalists may also use some of the funding as a stipend for living expenses during the Fellowship. We look for applicants with a proven ability to report and execute a complex project in their proposed medium; ideally, candidates will also have a strong background or reporting expertise on the subject of their project.
The McGraw Center provides editorial supervision during the Fellowship. We work with the Fellows to develop their projects during the reporting phase and frequently edit the completed stories. We also assist with placing the articles in established print, radio or digital outlets. The stories run on the McGraw Center website as well. You’ll find them on the Fellowship Stories page.
The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism is open to anyone with at least five years professional experience in journalism. Freelance journalists, as well as reporters and editors currently working at a news organization or a journalism non-profit, may apply.
How to Apply
Applicants should submit a well-focused story proposal of no more than three pages through the accompanying online form. Think of it as pitch, much like you would submit to an editor at a newspaper, magazine, digital outlet, or radio station: give us enough preliminary reporting and documentation to demonstrate that the story is solid. The proposal should highlight what’s new and significant about the story, why it matters and what its potential impact might be. The proposal should also note where significant stories on the subject have run elsewhere and how the proposed piece would differ. Applicants should also briefly outline a proposed reporting plan and a timeline for completing the story, and let us know if a media outlet is lined up to run the story.
In addition, applicants should enclose three journalism samples. The samples should be professionally published work that showcases your ability to tackle an in-depth story in the proposed medium. Please also provide us with a resume and references from two editors or others familiar with your work. If getting references is a problem, please contact us to discuss alternatives.
No budget is required at the time of application. Applicants chosen as finalists will be asked to provide an estimated budget at that time.