NPR Reflect America Fellowship Application and Program Information Strengthen your journalistic skills while bringing new, diverse sources to NPR during this 12-month fellowship.

Help Shape The Look And Sound Of NPR: Apply For The 'Reflect America' Fellowship

Come learn and grow with award-winning journalists at NPR as a 'Reflect America' Fellow. Jeannie Phan for NPR hide caption

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Jeannie Phan for NPR

Come learn and grow with award-winning journalists at NPR as a 'Reflect America' Fellow.

Jeannie Phan for NPR

The Reflect America Fellowship will bring a tenacious journalist to NPR for 12 months to help our journalism look and sound like America.

The fellowship is designed for an early- or mid-career journalist who wants to work and grow in one of the nation's most dynamic newsrooms. Fellows will work with reporters, editors and producers to find new, diverse sources and help the newsroom build on its source-tracking strategy. The Fellow will have the opportunity to gain critical skills in reporting, writing and producing on audio and digital platforms while working with some of the country's best journalists.

Read the FAQ below for more information.

Background

Why did you create the Reflect America Fellowship?
This fellowship builds on seven years of work to increase the diversity of NPR's sources. In 2013, the network began tracking the race/ethnicity, gender and geographic location of its news sources on its two largest shows, Morning Edition and All Things Considered. NPR found that its sources were overwhelmingly white, male and located on the east and west coasts. A 2016 study of digital sources and a more recent study found similar challenges. This fellowship will boost newsroom efforts to bring more voices into our journalism and make diverse sourcing a routine part of our work.

What does the fellowship involve?
The fellowship is a series of three-month rotations spent with various shows, podcasts and coverage teams at NPR. The Fellow will be embedded with producers, reporters, editors and other staff, working to find, vet and book a diversity of experts and everyday people for stories and interviews on the radio, online and in podcasts. The final rotation will be spent reporting with one of NPR's news teams.

Will I be on the air and get bylines on NPR.org?
Yes. While we expect the Reflect America Fellow to do research and develop sources in partnership with reporters, producers and editors, the fellowship includes assignments to report on air and online.

What's the fellowship like?
Ask Pien Huang (PHuang@npr.org, @Pien_Huang), the first Reflect America Fellow, who's now reporting on health for NPR, and/or current Fellow Ashish Valentine (AValentine@npr.org, @ashishval), who will complete his fellowship by reporting on race and ethnicity as a part of our National desk team.

Do you have to be an American citizen to take part in the program?
No, but foreign nationals must have appropriate employment authorizations.

Who should apply?
Journalists with at least two years' experience (including internships and other fellowships) in any journalism medium. A full job description and application can be found here.

Application Details and Deadlines

What do I need in order to apply?
1. In lieu of a cover letter, each completed application must include answers to the following questions:

  • How would you go about finding more diverse sources, particularly people of color?
  • What three news stories do you think will be most important in 2021 (and why)?
  • What people, accounts and outlets do you follow to stay informed?
  • Tell us about a time when you pitched a story or a source that was rejected. What did you learn from that?
  • Tell us about an NPR story you think would have been enhanced by more diverse sources. Who else would you have interviewed? Why?

2. Up to five links to your best journalistic work.

3. Contact information for two people who can speak to your work ethic, journalistic skills and passion for diversity.

4. Your resume.

How do I apply?
Submit your application here.

When is the application deadline?
Applications close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 12, 2021.

Selection Process

How many Reflect America Fellows will be selected?
We will choose one fellow.

Who chooses the Reflect America Fellow?
The Reflect America Fellowship Committee is made up of Newsroom and Programming managers and staff (including the previous Fellow) and members of the NPR Training team.

What is the timeline for selecting the Reflect America Fellow?

  • Jan. 6, 2021: Applications open.
  • Feb. 12, 2021: Applications close.
  • Mid-February to mid-March 2021: Applications are reviewed by NPR staff. Top-ranking applications are referred to the Reflect America Fellowship Committee.
  • Mid-March 2021: Three finalists are selected by the Fellowship Committee.
  • March 22 to April 2, 2021: Interviews are held.
  • By April 2, 2021: The selected Fellow is notified.
  • May 3, 2021: The fellowship begins.

Is the Reflect America Fellowship paid?
Yes. The Fellow receives $70,000 a year, plus benefits, which include health insurance and paid vacation.

Is housing paid for?
No. The 2021-22 fellowship will be remote.

After The Fellowship

What happens when the fellowship is over?
Completion of the fellowship does not guarantee a job at NPR. We'll do all we can to help you make connections at NPR and at any of the hundreds of NPR Member stations around the country.

Still have questions?
Send additional questions to reflectamerica@npr.org during the application period (Jan. 6 through Feb. 12, 2021).