Scholarship from McGraw Business Journalism Center for International Journalists

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Are you a journalist with a great idea for a high-profile article that “Follow the Money” but few resources to implement it?

The McGraw Business Journalism Scholarship would like to hear from you.

Center for Business Journalism Harold W. McGraw, Jr. provides veteran journalists with grants of up to $15,000 and the editorial support needed to produce in-depth reporting and investigative reporting on critical economic, financial or business issues across a wide range of topics. You don’t have to be a business reporter to apply.

Many of the previous fellows have been generalists or have covered topics such as health, education and the environment. Some have dealt with issues such as economic inequality or corporate reporting.

The Center considers proposals from both freelance and in-house journalists in all forms of media – text, audio and short video – and encourages those who combine formats to create a multimedia package.

The McGraw Scholarship Program is looking for projects that focus on important local or regional topics, as well as projects that explore compelling national or international stories. Little-known communities or issues are highlighted. We strongly encourage journalists of all skill levels to apply.

Timing

The Commission accepts applications twice a year. The deadline for applying for scholarships for Fall 2022 is September 30, 2022.

The application deadline for the Spring 2023 Scholarships is March 31, 2023.

The Center for Business Journalism will also consider projects that require special attention on a case-by-case basis outside of the established deadlines.

If you have a project that may be suitable, please contact the center at mcgrawcenter@journalism.cuny.edu.

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What stories does the program support?

Here are some examples of the work of our previous fellows:

  • Toxic Drainage: How the Legacy of Former Industrial Sites Pollutes American Cities Today Grist.org
  • Promised Debt Relief – Some Black Farmers Receive Debt Collection Notices Center for Public Integrity
  • Child labor in palm oil industry linked to Girl Scout cookies Associated Press
  • The Promises and Perils of New Fertility Entrepreneurs NewYorker.com
  • Hurricane aftermath leads to financial ruin for Puerto Rican seniors with reverse mortgages USA Today and Centro de Periodismo Investigativo
  • Years after BP compensation paid, much of Mississippi’s restoration work remains unfinished Mississippi Today
  • Company insiders sell shares during buybacks and make additional profits when stock prices jump. And it’s legit Washington Post.
  • How the Norcross political machine took over real estate in New Jersey’s poorest city WNYC & Pro Publica

You will find answers to many questions in the Frequently Asked Questions section, as well as more information about current fellows and their projects here.

The Fellows’ Stories page contains links to all stories they have published.

About the scholarship

The McGraw Fellowship provides editorial and financial support to journalists who need the time and resources to produce a major investigative story, story, or story that provides fresh insight into a business, financial, or economic topic.

The project accepts applications for deep text, audio and video materials in a short format. The McGraw Scholarship does not cover accommodation. Even outside of the current pandemic, all McGraw Fellows work from their own offices.

The McGraw Scholarship provides a grant of up to $15,000 per project. The exact amount will depend on the time required to complete the project and costs.

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Freelance journalists may use part of the bursary funds to pay for living expenses while working. The program is looking for candidates with a proven ability to cover and deliver a challenging project in the proposed media. Ideally, candidates should also have extensive experience or knowledge on the topic of their project.

The Center provides editorial oversight during the fellowship. The center’s specialists work with fellows on their projects at the reporting stage and often edit finished articles.

The Center provides assistance in placing articles in well-known print, audio and digital publications. Stories are also published on the McGraw Center website. You will find them on the Fellows’ Stories page.

Acceptance of applications

The McGraw Scholarship is open to anyone with at least five years of professional journalism experience.

Freelance journalists, as well as reporters and editors currently employed by news or journalistic non-profit organizations, may apply.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit a well-focused story proposal of no more than three pages via the online form.

Treat it like a pitch, much like you would apply to the editor of a newspaper, magazine, audio, or digital publication: provide enough background material and documentation to demonstrate that the story is compelling.

The proposal should highlight what is new about the story, why it is important, and what its potential impact is.

It should be noted what significant stories on this topic have been published earlier and how the proposed material will differ from them. Applicants should also briefly describe the plan for preparing the material and the deadlines for its completion. And while you don’t need to agree with any media outlet where your story will be published before submitting your application, if you already have one, please state it in your proposal.

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In addition, applicants must attach three journalistic samples. These must be professionally published works that demonstrate your ability to write a deep story in the media being offered.

Please also provide an up-to-date CV.

No references are required at the time of application, but those selected as finalists will be asked to provide references from two editors or others familiar with their work.

Freelance candidates who find it difficult to get referrals can discuss alternatives with the center.

Budget

No budget is required at the time of application. Applicants selected as finalists will be asked to provide an indicative budget for the same period.

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