LaunchPad Fellowship for NextGen Journalists

Deadline: 12 July 2024
Open to: early-career journalists from diverse backgrounds
Grant: $5,000 grant to offset living expenses while conducting their research and reporting


LaunchPad Fellowship for NextGen Journalists is designed to empower early-career journalists who are passionate about reimagining journalism and community storytelling through the lens of racial equity and social justice.

LaunchPad strives to help talented journalists from diverse backgrounds enhance their professional capacity, connect with colleagues and new mentors, broaden their career development skills, and produce community-centered, social justice-focused journalism with impact.

They believe this “next generation” of journalists, particularly those from communities whose voices and stories have been historically misrepresented, underreported or ignored by the mainstream media, have a critical role to play in transforming journalism and the media ecosystem. Their diverse perspectives—and their willingness to challenge the status quo and to experiment with bold new approaches to news and community storytelling—are essential to reinventing media as a vital and trusted source of education, civic engagement, social justice and democracy

This nine-month fellowship program is designed for early-career journalists from all media platforms who have the skills, expertise and desire to tackle an ambitious in-depth reporting/storytelling project on a critical social justice issue facing the U.S.

Fellows will work independently to conduct research, interviews and other reporting/producing activities needed to complete their proposed project. They will be challenged to delve deeply into their selected issue; to explore its real and human impact on our nation’s historically marginalized communities; to expose the systemic drivers that contribute to the problem; and to explore possible remedies and solutions.


Talented early-career journalists from diverse backgrounds who have a demonstrated commitment to journalism and community storytelling through the lens of racial equity and social justice.  Those employed by a news organization, as well as freelance/independent journalists, are encouraged to apply.

Specifically, the ideal applicant will:

  • Have at least three and no more than six years of professional journalism experience, either sequentially or cumulatively, in any medium (e.g., digital, print, video, audio, photo, multimedia).
  • Demonstrate an interest in and commitment to covering social justice and equity issues and to reporting in underserved local communities.
  • Have a publication plan. (You are required to provide a letter of support from your employer or, if a freelancer, a “letter of interest to publish” from a news outlet, before being accepted into the program.)
  • Be committed to and practice ethical and principled journalism, which is accurate, fair and thorough.
  • Demonstrate a serious intention to pursue a career in journalism.
  • Apply as an individual—not as a team or on behalf of a news organization.
  • Reside in the United States.


  • A $5,000 grant to offset living expenses while conducting their research and reporting.
  • An intensive, three-day in-person learning/training experience.
  • Skills-building webinars throughout the fellowship year.
  • Nine months of professional/project mentorship and coaching.

How to apply?

For more information please visit the official website. 

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