The nine-month Democracy SOS fellowship will support reporters and editors in significantly strengthening journalism’s role in advancing our democracy through innovative approaches that build civic engagement, equity and healthy discourse. As the last presidential election made clear, the need couldn’t be more urgent or important.

Journalists who participate in the fellowship — the only one of its kind in the nation — will gain expertise in how to report with and for, not just about, their communities; prove out practices that heighten civic knowledge and participation; and build trust with audiences, especially communities that have long been marginalized and stigmatized.

The idea is to help newsrooms embrace a deep, ongoing examination of issues that will help communities see — and work toward — possibilities for building a better world. And while the fellowship will last nine months, we’re designing it to help journalists build the knowledge and skills they need to sustain new habits and practices into the foreseeable future.

The fellows will receive training and support on time-tested and new evidence-based reporting approaches, participate in two “sprints” to apply these practices to their elections coverage, and catalyze change in their newsrooms. Editor/reporter teams will be required to participate in the core workshops. The elective workshops are optional. The final dates and schedules for each workshop will be shared with finalists for the fellowship.

Core Workshops

  • What Does It Mean To Be “Pro-Democracy”?
  • Ethics in Politics and Elections Coverage
  • Aligning Coverage With Your Mission
  • The “Stop Doing” List: Making Room for New Practices
  • How to Report for Good Conflict
  • Introduction to Solutions Journalism
  • Introduction to the Citizens Agenda
  • Introduction to Trusting News Practices
  • Introduction to Asset-Framing™
  • Fostering Change in Your Newsroom
  • Measuring the Impact of Your Democracy SOS Work
  • Electives

  • Reaching People and Expanding Audiences
  • Fundraising for Elections Work
  • What You Need To Know About Elections and Democracy
  • Resiliency for Newsroom Staff
  • Best Practices for Voter Guides
  • Extremism 101
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    Participation is free of charge, thanks to the generous support of our funders