The nonprofit organization Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) is looking for applicants for seven news fellowships.
Fellowships, which are paid, are geared toward veterans interested in kickstarting their careers in journalism. Each fellowship lasts roughly six months and will place selected veterans in newsrooms around the United States beginning in Fall 2021.
“These fellowships create much-needed opportunities for military veterans to break into the journalism field, bringing their skills, experiences and perspective with them,” said Zack Baddorf, founder and executive director of MVJ, in a press release.
The fellowships provide early career journalists or career-switchers with a unique experience, according to Rich Dolan, manager of the fellowship program for MVJ. The fellowship will give selected veterans a new perspective and new contacts as they enter the field.
The newsroom placement location will be up to the selected fellow, but Dolan said newsrooms, including Military Times, Task & Purpose and Stars and Stripes, have already expressed interest in hosting a fellow. Three separate grants from the Knight Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the Wyncote Foundation will fund the fellowships, which are valued at $200,000.
MVJ aims to diversify newsrooms to reflect the greater population. U.S. census data reports that seven percent of Americans have served in the military but only two percent of those who work in the media are veterans.
“[Military veterans’] natural skepticism and high levels of resilience and integrity make them perfectly suited to be entrusted with reporting news to our nation,” Dolan told Military Times.
He also noted the unique experience and perspective on current events that military service can give veterans. With more veterans as journalists, MVJ hopes there will be better and more nuanced reporting on the military and veterans affairs.
To apply, interested veterans should head to MVJ’s website. Applications for the fellowship must be received by June 11, 2021.
Once applications close, a committee of journalists will select the fellows. Dolan said they are looking for journalism potential in applicants, adding that while previous experience in the field is helpful, it is not required.
The committee includes CNN anchor and correspondent Jake Tapper and award-winning photographer and Army veteran Michael McCoy.