California Newsrooms Invited to Apply for Reporters through California Local News Fellowship

The application process opens today for California newsrooms to apply to host a journalism fellow through the California Local News Fellowship, a new state-funded initiative to support and strengthen local reporting, with a focus on underserved communities. 

The application period for the 2023-2025 newsroom cohort opens Feb. 15 and closes at 11:59 p.m. March 12.

The fellowship program seeks newsroom applicants from throughout the state that are committed to producing original local news coverage. Partner newsrooms will demonstrate that they are committed to professional journalistic ethics, support diversity and inclusion in their organizations, and seek to meet their audiences’ information needs. Newsrooms also will have a clear plan for the fellow’s role within their organization and how they will support that person.

Newsrooms and fellows will be selected and matched by the fellowship program staff and advisory board, which represents journalism educators and newsroom leaders from around the state.

Fellowship basics:

  • The fellowship will start in early September 2023 and run through August 2025. There will be a possibility of renewal for a third year in some cases.
  • Fellows will spend one to two hours a week in online fellowship-related training, mentoring and support through Berkeley Journalism.
  • Fellows must be legally able to work in the U.S. and will be employed by the University of California with a starting salary of $65,000, plus benefits. 
  • Newsrooms will contribute $5,000, $15,000 or $25,000 toward the salary, based on their staff size.
  • Fellows will work full time in their host newsrooms and will be managed by their onsite newsroom manager with support from the fellowship staff.
  • Fellows and newsroom managers will be expected to participate in an evaluation of the program (time commitment is minimal but required).
  • Applicants not accepted this year may be considered again in 2024 and/or 2025.

Key Dates:

Feb. 15: Newsroom application opens

March 1: Fellow application opens

March 1: Fellow application opens

March 12: Newsroom application closes

March 26: Fellow application closes

April 11: Newsroom selection decisions

April 25: Fellow selection decisions

May 26: Fellow and newsroom matching decisions

June: Newsroom contracts and fellow offer letters complete

Early September: Fellow orientation and newsroom start date

We will offer two blocks of office hours with fellowship program staff on March 1 and 8 to answer any questions about the newsroom application process.