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Frequently Asked Questions

California Local News Fellowship - Fellows

Frequently Asked Questions

The fellowship is a full-time job. You may apply as a student but need to have completed your studies by the beginning of the fellowship program.

Yes.  If you attended a two-year, four-year or graduate level journalism program and have newsroom experience (through student publications, summer internships, freelancing or full-time employment), you may apply. You are also eligible to apply if you did not attend college or journalism school but have a highschool diploma or GED and at least three years of newsroom experience.

Yes. We can’t guarantee how many fellowship opportunities in each area will be available each year, but we are working with newsrooms around the state to offer a variety of roles.

This year we also plan to bring on a small number of video fellows to produce stories in partnership with our fellows and newsrooms. Ideal candidates will have strong shooting, editing, and producing skills, along with the ability to create video in a range of formats (quick turnaround news pieces, longer form mini-documentaries, and short social media content). Video fellows will not be assigned to a specific news outlet, but will work as part of a small production team.

If you are currently enrolled in a college or university through an F1 or J1 visa, you may be eligible to work in the U.S. for one to three years – and to participate in this fellowship program – after you graduate. If you are a UC Berkeley graduate, you may coordinate your eligibility and participation with the Berkeley International Office; if you are enrolled elsewhere, you should reach out to your school’s international student office to discuss your eligibility. We won’t accept applications from international journalists who do not already have appropriate work authorization in the U.S.

Anyone with under five years of journalism experience, either sequentially or cumulatively.

You may apply while you have another job, but the fellowship is full-time, so you need to be able to make that commitment by the beginning of the fellowship program.

Yes. We can’t guarantee how many fellowship opportunities will be available each year in any given language, but we are promoting the program to in-language newsrooms around the state.

Then this program probably isn't the right fit for you. We are making a commitment to the newsrooms we partner with that we will assign and support a reporter to work with them for two years. Newsrooms and fellows will be asked to commit to the full term.

The majority of fellows will need to move to participate in this program, although we understand not everyone is in a position to do so. You will be able to indicate in your application whether or not you are able to move, but your chances of being successfully placed in a newsroom will be limited if you are not able to relocate. You are welcome to encourage an outlet in your community to apply and to indicate your preference for each other in your application. We offer reimbursement for up to $2,000 in approved moving expenses.

Fellows are employees of the University of California and receive a starting salary, based on experience, of $60,000 or $65,000 with full benefits. Fellows are classified as academic personnel and are represented by the UAW Local 5810.

Video fellows will not be assigned to a local news outlet, but will work as part of a small production team. This position is full-time with a starting salary of $80,000.

The fellow application opens Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 9am PST and closes Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 6pm PST. In late March, finalists will be selected. Fellows and newsrooms will be matched with each other in April 2024. We will announce the 2024 cohort in the summer. Fellows will begin working in their newsrooms in early September 2024 and will complete the program in September 2026.

If there is a newsroom you are interested in working with, please encourage them to apply for the fellowship program and apply as a preferred match. There will be space in the newsroom and fellowship applications to indicate that you’d like to work together. If both the fellow and the newsroom are accepted into the program, we will do our best to place you together. (You may not apply to work in a newsroom where you are currently employed; you may apply if you’ve done freelance reporting for them.)