Announcing the Preserving Democracy & Voting Rights Fellowship

Update: The deadline for the fellowship has now passed. Thanks to all who applied, and we’ll reach out to candidates we’d like to interview by mid-July.

The GroundTruth Project today announces the opening of the selection process for the Preserving Democracy & Voting Rights Fellowship as leaders of many countries around the world seek to restrict democratic institutions and instruments, including the ballot box.

Building upon previous coverage of voting rights and threats to democracy worldwide, we’re looking for story proposals that examine how these threats are unfolding at the local level, and how individuals, organizations and communities are responding.

With support from the Jesse and Betsy Fink Charitable Fund, Solutions Journalism Network, MacArthur Foundation and Henry Luce Foundation, GroundTruth will offer fellowships in as many as 10 U.S. states and five countries with a focus on what America at large can learn. Given the realities of COVID-19, preference will be given to candidates who are already based in or near the communities they seek to cover, and safety will remain the highest priority throughout the fellowship, which consists of six nonconsecutive weeks between June and October.

Reporting will be distributed widely through GroundTruth editorial partners like TIME, The Atlantic, FRONTLINE, The Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, PRI’s The World and USA Today. The fellowship is open to videographers, photographers, writers, audio reporters and data journalists. Experience covering voting rights, politics or threats to democracy is preferred. We particularly seek proposals that integrate compelling human stories with attempted solutions relevant to those stories (whether they have been proven effective or not).

Key themes of the project include but are not limited to:

  • The role of technology in the electoral process, or more broadly in the functioning of democratic society
  • The role of women in shaping electoral policy, shaping institutions and/or civil society 
  • The intersection of religion and democracy
  • The targeting of Black, Hispanic and Native communities in voter disenfranchisement efforts, along with voter mobilization campaigns in those same communities.

The fellowship is open to candidates from anywhere in the world. Candidates may apply with a partner or partners, and each fellow will receive a total of $5,000 — which will cover all travel expenses and a fee to the fellow.

If applying as a partnership or team, each person should submit their own application and mention the proposed partner or team members.

The deadline to apply is midnight PST on June 22, 2020. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

To apply:

  1.   Follow this link to the application on Submittable.
  2.   Scroll to the bottom of this initial application page and register with Submittable.
  3.   Follow the instructions from there.

Candidates are encouraged to include their own distribution relationships in their proposals. Please write to Chief Content Officer Kevin Grant ([email protected]) with any questions.