The initiative is believed to be the largest state allocation ever made in the U.S. to support local journalism. The fellowship - which will support three cohorts of up to 40 fellows each - gives early-career journalists an opportunity to spend two to three years covering California communities in need of deep, local reporting. Each fellow will receive a full-time starting salary of $65,000 and benefits from the University of California.
The fellowship is open to journalists with backgrounds in digital, print, video, audio, photography and/or multimedia reporting. Applicants can apply starting March 1.
Fellows will be chosen to report in newsrooms across the state, with a focus on underserved communities. Those newsrooms can apply to be considered as a fellowship partner starting Feb. 15. Fellows and newsrooms will be selected by an advisory board of members of journalism education programs and newsrooms across the state.
"Berkeley Journalism is proud to lead this effort to recruit and support the most talented early career journalists throughout California and to partner with news organizations across the state to increase their local reporting efforts," said Geeta Anand, dean of Berkeley Journalism. "We are deeply thankful to every member of the new advisory board for lending their time, passion and expertise to this ambitious initiative."
The advisory board includes:
- Don Blount, former executive editor of the Stockton Record
- Paulette Brown-Hinds, publisher/founder of Black Voice News/Voice Media Ventures
- Arturo Carmona, founder of the Latino Media Collaborative and CALÓ News
- Julian Do, co-director of Ethnic Media Services
- Eleni Economides Gastis, chair of the Department of Journalism at Laney College
- Simon Grieve, publisher of the Southern California News Group
- Angel Jennings, assistant managing editor of culture and talent at the Los Angeles Times
- Richard Koci Hernandez, associate professor and Bloomberg Chair at Berkeley Journalism
- Malcolm Marshall, managing editor at the Richmond Pulse
- Julie Patel Liss, associate professor and head of of journalism at the Department of Television, Film and Media at Cal State Los Angeles
- Mike Rispoli, senior director of journalism policy at the Free Press
- Christine Schiavo, local news editor at the Investigative Reporting Program at Berkeley Journalism
- Mark Schoofs, visiting professor of journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
- Phylis West, professor and director at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San José State University
- Adia White, senior news editor at North State Public Radio
"We are confident that this strong group of advisers will help ensure that the fellowship program strengthens the news ecosystem and serves as a powerful career launching pad for early-career journalists throughout California," said Christa Scharfenberg, fellowship project director.
More information on the California Local News Fellowship can be found here.