Your Journalism Career Starts Here: Apply to Be a Mother Jones Fellow

Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ferguson. Child migrants. Hobby Lobby. The NRA. Fracking. Tech. Mother Jones is breaking news and creating first-rate journalism on the issues you care about. Behind that award-winning journalism—and sometimes in front of it—are the journalists-in-training who are deep in the trenches making our reporting honest, meticulous, and bulletproof.

As part of MoJo‘s Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program, our fellows soak up reporting, writing, editing, and coding skills, and learn how to make our nonprofit news business not just viable but enviable. They dig deep into archives and spreadsheets while immersed full time in our investigations. Mother Jones is better for it, and at the end of a six-month or yearlong intensive stint, MoJo fellows are armed with all the tools of the journalism trade—tools they’ve gotten paid to learn.

Why spend time at Mother Jones‘ HQ in San Francisco or our DC bureau as a fellow? Here are a few reasons (and if you know any of our 700-plus alums, ask them):

  • GET PAID: Mother Jones offers a fellowship stipend that’s the equivalent of California minimum wage, stipends of $1,500/month for fellows and $1,800 for senior fellows (after six months).
  • LEARN THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE: Apart from the monthlong crash course in investigative journalism that our fellows receive when they start at Mother Jones, they also attend regular staff skills trainings to learn about topics like cutting-edge data viz tools, secrets in audio recording, editing digital photographs, and investigating dark money. Fellows also have access to subscriptions to online investigative tools, and several of them attended the Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference in June.
  • JOBS: Since 2012, almost 9 out of 10 graduating fellows have entered reporting and editing jobs following their MoJo fellowships, at publications like Al Jazeera, East Bay ExpressFast CompanyFeministing, Foreign PolicyGQPacific Northwest InlanderPacific Standard, PolicyMic, Politico, Wired, and of course, Mother Jones.
  • REPORT DEEPLY: Several recent BBFP alumni spent parts of the last year doing investigative reporting in far-flung corners of the world. MoJo staffers Jaeah Lee (’11) and Erika Eichelberger (’13) traveled to China and Nigeria, respectively, with help from the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism. Mother Jones assistant editor Hannah Levintova (’12) reported from Russia on American anti-gay activists working abroad and on migrant abuse in the run-up to the Sochi Olympics. And Climate Desk producer Tim McDonnell (’12) and freelancer Aaron Ross (’11) spent the summer in Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia reporting on a grant from the European Journalism Centre. 
  • LEAD THE INDUSTRY: Former MoJo fellows parlay their training into big-time careers. Just to name a few: Brad Plumer became a senior editor at Vox earlier this year after stints at The New Republic and the Washington Post. Jon Mooallem is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, the author of Wild Ones, and you can find his work at places like Wired, Radiolab, and Pop-Up Magazine. April Dembosky, a health reporter for The California Report on KQED public radio, has produced stories for NPR’s Morning Edition, Marketplace, and PBS NewsHour. Mac McClelland’s latest book, about veterans and journalists dealing with PTSD, Irritable Hearts, comes out in February. And news maven Ann Friedman, once the executive editor of GOOD and deputy editor at The American Prospect, writes a column about gender and politics for New York, freelances just about everywhere, and is the proprietor of this newsletter.
  • WIN AWARDS: Sydney Brownstone (’13) wrote "The Incredible, Hypothetical Egg" for our November/December 2013 issue; the story won a 2014 award for best non-newspaper feature from the Association of Food Journalists. Alex Park (’14) and current senior fellow Julia Lurie were nominated for an International Data Journalism Award earlier this year for their data work on the California drought. And Deanna Pan (’13) and Gavin Aronsen (’12) received, alongside senior editor Mark Follman, a 2013 award from the Society of Professional Journalists for their mass shootings coverage reporting.

This opportunity is for the daring and determined, those who don’t give up easily and are hungry to seek out stories that the mainstream media ignores. We tend to hire those who have completed a bachelor’s degree, or have solid writing and research experience. You’d better be eagle-eyed, and we prefer if you have some published work. Coding, foreign language, and multimedia chops are a plus. See more details about how to apply here

Our October 1 deadline, for the December 1 cycle start, is fast approaching. What are you waiting for?