New Fellows for 2013
Middlebury—Ten new fellows for 2013 have been chosen to receive Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism. The $10,000 grants are given to ten early career journalists to support a year of reporting and writing based on a proposal they submit. They meet with the directors and a visiting faculty member twice, for a week in the fall at Bread Loaf, in Ripton VT, where they brainstorm their stories, and in the spring at the Monterey Institute for International Studies, in Monterey CA, where they edit the completed pieces.
“Each year it’s an embarrassment of riches, but this year was harder than ever to choose,” said program director Bill McKibben. “We could easily have funded thirty stories, and it never gets any easier to pass on something we love. It’s thrilling to see how many of our applicants are breaking ground, uncovering news and giving context to the most important stories of our time, and we’re grateful for every proposal we receive.”
This year’s fellows and their stories are:
- Erika Eichelberger: the Boko Haram of Nigeria and how climate change drives global jihad
- Maddie Oatman: how the “framing” of western US pine beetle infestation justifies questionable forestry practices
- Zaheena Rasheed: the link in Burma between ethnic violence and a new oil pipeline for the Chinese market
- Stephanie Joyce: How pirated “Alaskan” king crab from the Sea of Okhostk enters the US market
- Jesse Newman: Lead contamination of abandoned rail beds
- Kiya Vega-Hutchens (Middlebury College undergraduate fellow): A Trump development’s encroachment on a historic runaway slave enclave in Puerto Rico.
- Aaron Reuben: a new link between fossil fuel pollution and increased rates of Alzheimer’s
- Jaeah Lee: Fracking in China, and its effect on the country’s water supply
- Puck Lo: The female haenyo seafood divers of Jeju Island, Korea, and a new US Naval installation
- Brooke Jarvis: Deep-sea mining off the coast of New Guinea.
The Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism each year take 10 journalists near the start of their careers and help them work through an ambitious reporting project in print, web-based, or radio journalism, from the beginning through publication or broadcast. Fellows meet together twice during the year, once in the fall on the Middlebury campus in Vermont, and once in the spring at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California.
At these meetings professional journalists help participants plan their reporting and shape their stories. Graduate fellows each receive $10,000 to help with reporting and living expenses during the fellowship year—enough, we hope, to let the reporting project be one significant focus of their year’s work. We interpret the environment broadly—reporting projects dealing with economics, culture, global issues, and the like are fine, as long as they center in some way on the human relationship with the physical world.
Interested applicants should write a two- or three-page letter pitching their idea, just as they would to an editor at a magazine or a broadcast program. The letter should demonstrate enough preliminary research to make clear there’s really a story, and that it will be possible for the applicant to successfully report it. The letter should also include a proposed plan of research for the fellowship year. Web and video applications should demonstrate the same focus on reported stories emphasizing context and history as long-fact written pieces.
Applicants should enclose three writing or broadcast samples, preferably of professionally published work, as well as recommendations from two people who have worked with the applicant as an editor or teacher, and a resume with contact information. Resumes, pitches and letters should be written or copied on plain recycled copier or printer weight paper, double-sided if possible, and held together using paper clips rather than staples. Recommendations should be enclosed with the application unless arrangements are made ahead of time, but need not be sealed.
Journalists from outside the United States are encouraged to apply if they can demonstrate proficiency in written English.
Applications will be due by May 15, 2013. This is a hard deadline as we try to turn around the applications and choose the fellows no later than early June. Therefore express mail or FedEx applications from within North America should be sent no later than May 11, and as early as necessary from everywhere else. We encourage applicants to use the most dependable carriers possible.
Please use a tracking number if you would like to ensure your materials have been delivered, as we are unable to confirm receipt of individual applications.
All questions should be sent to email@example.com.
Submit applications to:
Christopher Shaw, Associate Director
Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism
Axinn Center at Starr Library 309
Middlebury, VT 05753