High Country News, an award-winning magazine covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, is offering a fellowship for early-career journalists interested in reporting on rural communities, agriculture and land conservation in the West. The fellowship will include on-the-ground reporting opportunities and a chance to dive deep into important stories, as well as professional mentorship and career development.
The fellowship will run for six months, starting July 1, 2021, and includes coaching and instruction from across HCN's editorial and art departments. Fellows will work with the leaders of our North, South, Indigenous Affairs and Reflections & Reviews desks to produce reported stories, analysis pieces and/or essays.
Candidates will bring curiosity, fair-mindedness and a desire to share stories from and for rural communities in the Western U.S., including, but not limited to agriculture, food systems and rural land conservation.
High Country News is part of a growing number of newsrooms addressing a historic lack of representation, inclusion and equity in journalism with effective solutions. We welcome applicants from all life experiences and encourage members of traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to apply, including Indigenous people, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people and those from marginalized and low-income backgrounds.
Duties/outcomes will include:
The fellowship is an opportunity for a journalist to build their knowledge and expertise of rural communities in the West - and how those communities are changing.
Fellows will publish at least 8 bylined stories over the course of their six-month fellowships.
Each fellowship will include a major capstone project that could be a feature-length reporting project or a series of stories exploring a topic in detail.
Fellows will contribute to the editorial vision and success of the magazine by collaborating with other journalists, joining regular departmental meetings, and sharing subject matter expertise.
High Country News is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion among our staff, volunteers, programs, and partners. We encourage applicants of diverse abilities, backgrounds, and life experiences to apply. HCN is committed to equal employment opportunities and prohibits the unlawful discrimination against applicants or employees based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.
To apply, please send a cover letter, résumé and three clips to email@example.com with "HCN Virginia Davis Fellowship" in the subject line.
High Country News is the nation's leading independent source of thoughtful, in-depth reporting on the Western United States. Established in 1970, HCN produces an award-winning monthly magazine and a popular website, along with email newsletters, special reports, books and events. From Alaska and the Northern Rockies to the Desert Southwest, from the Great Plains to the West Coast, HCN is a beloved and essential resource for those who care about this region.
For 50 years, HCN has been a leader in reporting on the rural West. At the same time, we have provided unparalleled learning opportunities and support for emerging and early-career journalists through our internship and fellowship programs. Over 225 alumnae have gone on to work for The New York Times, The New Yorker, the Washington Post, National Geographic, the LA Times, and many other large and small publications, and to hold leadership and decision-making posts in government and the private sector.
This fellowship is named for Virginia (“Ginny”) Spencer Davis, who grew up on a ranch in the Sacramento Valley in California, and never forgot her rural roots. She and her husband, Dick, were actively involved in the local land trust, and she helped research Farming on the Edge, a book about saving family farms. She facilitated publication of Storm Over Mono, which chronicles the successful battle to protect the extraordinary Mono Lake ecosystem. Ginny also believed passionately in the importance of education, and created scholarship programs that helped over 70 young people go to college.
The Virginia Spencer Davis Fellowship is a tribute to Ginny’s love of the land, her commitment to a healthy environment, her passion for giving young people opportunities to grow, and her appreciation of superb journalism.
High Country News is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities. Its journalism is supported largely by its devoted readership through subscriptions and contributions, with additional revenue from grants and advertising. It has received countless honors and accolades, including three coveted George Polk Awards.
In a time of media fragmentation and polarizing sound bites, readers come to High Country News for fact-based, independent journalism and civil conversation across diverse perspectives. With the decline in local newspapers leaving news deserts across the nation, HCN's relevance is sharper than ever.