Fellowship FAQs

What types of projects are eligible for Starling Fellowships?

Starling’s Journalism Fellowship aims to identify individuals eager to tell some of the world’s most pressing stories, infusing reporting with secure ways to capture, store and verify digital content, including photos, video, documents and data. Starling road-tests new technologies and incubates newsroom projects that strengthen data integrity, combat mis/disinformation and underscore the legacy values of journalism.

We invite the submission of proposals for investigative and accountability reporting projects in the United States and around the world that break ground on the problem of mis/disinformation and data integrity. We welcome bold ideas for how technology can strengthen authenticity in reporting, enrich crucial context, and press for accountability.

We incubate specific stories pursued by journalists in the field, as well as newsroom-wide tech projects.  We are looking for individuals keen on having an impact, either through visual or document-based reporting or an innovative application of new technology. Fellows will work on individual projects and find common ground with a shared commitment to combating mis/disinformation, bolstering trust in journalism, and strengthening democracy

Who may apply?

The Fellowship is open to full-time editorial and technology employees of newspapers, magazines, wire services, nonprofit newsrooms, digital media, television and radio news organizations, as well as independent journalists around the world. Employees of technology companies working in the media space also are encouraged to apply.

The Starling Lab invites journalists and technologists who are eager to expand their technological and storytelling skills. We encourage collaboration among interdisciplinary teams, both editorial and technology. These can be from the same organization or with collaborating newsrooms. Fellows are expected to continue their employment with their parent organization during the duration of the fellowship.

The Starling Lab encourages proposals from local journalists and applicants from underrepresented groups, especially those who are covering their own communities.

If I receive a Fellowship, what obligations will I have to the program?

All fellows will remotely attend educational seminars that are focused on technology and journalism. Academic and industry experts will discuss prototypes and potential solutions to the problems of trust, provenance, mis/disinformation, and how new decentralized technologies might provide roadmaps to such solutions.

Fellows also will meet with tech leaders and academics from Stanford and USC to deepen their understanding of the technology and media ecosystems.

All fellows will be required to write a “case study” analyzing the use of the Starling framework in their project for publication on the Starling website.

What is the budget range for a proposal?

All fellows will submit a project proposal and plan. The Proposal should outline the goal of the project and/or problem to be solved. The application should explain how the applicant intends to apply the Starling frame work to the project and apply cutting edge, open-source tools to innovate, report and tell innovative stories. The proposal should outline milestones over the course of six months and budgetary requirements, not to exceed $20,000.00.

Grants are for expenses directly related to supporting the project proposal and story publication. Costs include travel, data acquisition, data analysis, technology (such as server costs or software) as well as pay for contractors used to work on editorial or data components of the project. For organizational applicants, such as newsrooms, we will consider requests to cover the cost of staff salaries  or the cost of contractors used to fill in for a staff journalist who is freed up to work on the project.

General administrative and overhead costs (e.g., office rent) are ineligible. Independent journalists such as freelancers, may include in their proposed budgets the cost of their time working on a story.

What are the key dates for the program?

Application deadline: August 15th, 2022.
Fellowship decisions: September 2022

Have questions? Email journalism@starlinglab.org

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