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The Democracy SOS fellowship is a nine-month program for U.S.-based news organizations. We’re looking for newsroom teams with at least one reporter and one editor. The fellowship is open to any news organization — we're seeking a diverse group — but we’ll give strong priority to those in potential swing states.

Participating newsrooms will receive stipends of up to $5,000 along with coaching and training worth about $50,000 from the sponsoring organizations. Participants will also work with and support one another.

Please read the about page and review the FAQ below before applying.

Priority application deadline: Feb. 7, 2022, at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. We encourage you to apply as early as possible. We will be accepting applications until we have filled the slots available.

Newsrooms will be announced in early March.

The fellowship will start in mid-late March and end at the close of 2022.

If this sounds like a fit for your newsroom,

Questions? If you have a question that hasn’t been answered here, please reach out to info@democracy-sos.org.

Which states do we consider “priority” states?

Priority states are potential swing states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin

If my newsroom is not based in or serving electorates in a priority state, should I apply?

Yes! Preference will go to applicants in priority states, but we will still consider newsrooms operating in other states. As much as possible, we’ll also make our training material available to those interested in using it, regardless of whether or not they’re chosen for the fellowship. Sign up here for updates and access to resources and tips.

Who can participate in fellowship training?

Anyone in the newsroom who is helping execute the new practices that the reporter-editor team — or larger newsroom group — is endeavoring to implement.

If the reporter or editor leaves that newsroom, then what?

The newsroom can choose a different staff person to replace the fellow in the program. The fellow who has left the newsroom is welcome to participate in any future training, but Democracy SOS cannot accommodate adding the fellow’s new newsroom to the cohort.

If I receive the fellowship, do I need to attend all the required training?

Yes — that’s expected of you. We will record all sessions, so if you’re not able to make it live you can catch the replay. Sessions are designed to be interactive and participatory, so being there is highly recommended.

What will the program entail?

The fellows will receive training and support on both time-tested and new evidence-based reporting approaches, participate in two, short project “sprints” to apply these practices in their elections coverage, and catalyze change in their newsrooms.

The fellowship will include required courses and optional “electives,” some of which will be tied to the emergent needs of fellowship participants.

How much time will the training take?

We will program from four to six hours of required virtual training time per month over the course of nine months. The required courses add up to a total of around 50 hours. We’ll have optional workshops as well each month.

You will be expected to focus on a few methodologies during the sprints, but it is up to you how you integrate those practices into your workflow. Our intent is not to add to your workload, but to help fellows spend their time differently for better results.