Applications Open for Inaugural Academic Fellowships

Journalism educators seeking to improve coverage of violent events are invited to apply by March 26 for the inaugural Dart Center Academic Fellowship program.

Applications are being accepted until March 26 for the Dart Center Academic Fellowship program at Columbia University. The new program is designed to provide college and university journalism faculty and advisers to student media advanced skills in teaching the art and craft of newsgathering, storytelling and self-care when reporting human tragedy.

Few student journalists currently are trained to recognize trauma and stress reactions in survivors, to make informed ethical choices about trauma news or to deal with their own emotional reactions while on the job, according to Meg Spratt, director of Dart Center West, based at the University of Washington Department of Communication.

"For more than a decade, the Ochberg Fellowships have offered intensive training for working journalists," Spratt said. "Now we can offer a similar experience to journalism educators and continue the process of building a community of trauma specialists on university and college campuses."

The fellowship will provide up to 12 college and university journalism educators with three days of seminars, training and discussion, as well as financial support for innovative curriculum development. The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma will provide airfare and hotel in New York City for each fellow. In addition, up to $500 in post-seminar support will be provided each fellow to design and implement educational projects.

The fellowship programs will cover:

  • The science of trauma:  Fellows will hear the latest on brain science and trauma reactions; how best to work with to people who have experienced traumatic events; and how to incorporate trauma science into the journalism curriculum.
  • Newsgathering in the midst of trauma: Fellows will discuss and practice effective and sensitive newsgathering techniques, particularly interviewing and ethical decision-making, and share and review exercises and strategies to use when teaching reporting skills.
  • Storytelling through words and images:  Experienced journalists and journalism educators will discuss how to build informative, compelling narratives about trauma that offer vital information to individuals and communities in crisis.
  • When tragedy affects student journalists: Student journalists routinely cover tragic stories on campus, often about people they know. Fellows will discuss how to prepare students to make good personal and professional decisions while doing their job.

To apply, see the fellowship application guidelines.

The Academic Fellowship program is open to college and university journalism faculty and advisers of student media. Up to 10 fellowships are available to applicants working in North American. There are two additional places, one for candidates working in Europe and another for those in Australasia. Candidates from those two regions should contact Dart Centre Australasia and Dart Centre Europe respectively.

If you have further questions after reading the guidelines, contact Spratt by email or by phone at (206) 616-3223.