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 accept applications twice a year. The deadline to apply for Fall 2021 Fellowships is September 30, 2021. Applications for the Spring 2022 Fellowships will be due March 31, 2022. (Please note: These dates were changed from an earlier announced fall deadline.) We will also 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 email@example.com.
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 economic inequality or corporate accountability. Here are a few examples of their work:
- Pandemic, Prosecutions Aside, Bribery Persists in Chinese Hospitals 100Reporters
- 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
- Several years into BP settlement spending, the bulk of Mississippi’s restoration work remains undone Mississippi Today
- Two Nations, One Aquifer: A series about water at the border Albuquerque Journal
- 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
- When baby is due, genetic counselors seen downplaying false alarms Boston Globe and New England Center for Investigative Reporting
- New Workers of the World: Capturing the voices of workers facing unprecedented change Bloomberg Businessweek
You’ll find answers to many questions in our FAQ, as well as more information on our current Fellows and their projects here. The Fellowship Stories page contains links to all of the stories they have published. All our past Fellows can be found on the following pages: 2020 Fellows; 2019 Fellows; 2018 Fellows; 2017 Fellows; 2016 Fellows; 2015 Fellows; 2014 Fellows.
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, audio and short-form video pieces. Unfortunately, we cannot support long-form documentaries at this time. We encourage proposals that take advantage of more than one storytelling form to create a multimedia package. This is not a residency Fellowship. Even outside of the current pandemic, all McGraw 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 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, audio 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.