Innovative journalism projects sought for RJI’s flexible fellowship program

Applications due by Jan. 17, 2020

Is there a journalism challenge you or your newsroom has wanted to tackle, but haven’t had the time or resources to focus on the idea?

Could the project benefit the industry as a whole in some way and strengthen democracy through better journalism?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both of those questions, then consider applying for a 2020–21 fellowship at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. Apply between Dec. 16, 2019 and Jan. 17, 2020. 

RJI Fellowship projects typically devise new strategies or models for solving a problem, build new tools, or create a prototype or advance a prototype so it is ready for investment or launch during an eight-month fellowship. This year’s fellows are working on a variety of projects, which include, developing a best practices guide for better gun violence reporting, helping news outlets take advantage of push notifications and developing a platform to produce audio stories on smart speakers that can contrast or expand based on the reader’s interest level in a topic. 

“We are looking for projects that are innovative, practical and useful to journalists and newsrooms worldwide,” says Kat Duncan, RJI’s interim director of innovation. “We want to fund ideas that will not only accomplish something that the individual or organization believes in, but that can help the industry too.”

Fellows can either work on projects themselves through a residential or nonresidential fellowship or work directly with an organization on a project with an institutional fellowship through RJI’s flexible fellowship options. Residential fellows are required to move to Columbia, Missouri. Fellowships are open to those in the U.S., as well as international journalists.

Among the various resources available to fellows includes access to a communications team that can help promote the project, as well as assistance from programmers and students who can produce marketing plans. There is also support for those wanting to conduct market research or test an idea at one of the Journalism School’s newsrooms.

Where could an RJI Fellowship take your idea?

Learn more about RJI Fellowships and apply at

If you have questions, contact Kat Duncan, interim director of innovation at RJI by emailing her at

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