Friday, June 15, 2012

Fellowships send rural journalists to IRE Computer-Assisted Reporting Boot Camp; apply by June 22

Friday, June 22 is the deadline for rural journalists to apply for a competitive fellowship to attend the Investigative Reporters and Editors Computer-Assisted Reporting Boot Camp Aug 5-10 in Columbia, Mo. The fellowship includes a one-year membership in IRE and up to $350 reimbursement for expenses.

These fellowships are made possible through the generosity of Daniel Gilbert, left, who used the skills he learned at a CAR Boot Camp to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning expose of the mismanagement of southwest Virginia natural-gas royalties for the Bristol Herald Courier. That work also won him the Scripps Howard Award for community journalism, and he donated its $10,000 prize to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues to create a fund for the fellowships. The Scripps Howard Foundation matched his gift, and the state of Kentucky matched both gifts, allowing two fellowships per year. Gilbert now covers oil and gas for The Wall Street Journal.

Kate Martin of the Skagit Valley Herald, in Mt. Vernon, Wash., was the inaugral IRE fellow. She says thanks to the CAR boot camp "I am no longer at the mercy of my sources to look up a figure or fact for me. I can have them send me the source file and work with it on my own." (Read more)

The fellowship is available to journalists who work for news organizations with daily circulation less than 40,000 whose geographic coverage or circulation is primarily rural, or a broadcast station not in the top 100 markets as defined by Nielsen Inc. and has a mainly rural coverage and circulation area; or an online publication that has demonstrated an abiding interest in covering issues in rural areas. “Rural” is defined as outside a standard metropolitan statistical area.

Applicants must submit a resume, a letter of support from the news organization, three clips showcasing investigative work, and a statement of interest. Preference will be given to applicants to outline a project that include the need to analyze databases. For more details and an application form, click here.

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