The Google Journalism Fellowship connects students interested in using technology to tell stories in new ways to the organizations that are pushing the boundaries of newsgathering and reporting. Over 10 weeks, Fellows work on projects ranging from building interactive news apps to researching stories, finding data and writing code. In this post, one of last year’s Fellows, Jan Lauren Boyles, shares her perspective on the benefits of the program and what this year’s Fellows stand to get out of it. -Ed.
At first, I thought it was just my imagination.
In the middle of my exams for my doctorate at American University last year, I got a call from the Pew Research Center offering me a Google Journalism Fellowship. Low on sleep, my first thought: "Was this offer all just a reverie, rendered by my foggy mind?"
In some ways, it turned out that that call really was the beginning of a dream.
I had applied for the Fellowship because I wanted to work with the brightest minds in media research and broaden my understanding of the intersections between journalism and technology. I was thrilled to work with leading experts at Pew Research to collect and analyze data that examined how social media is transforming the way Americans consume and share news. I also had a chance to learn from Google’s own mapping and data visualization specialists. But I never imagined we’d also shadow an editorial meeting at The Miami Herald, discuss the future of news with Knight Foundation staff, talk directly with news startup leaders and take part in a design sprint at a CIR/Google conference around data and the news.
Many of the inaugural class of Google Fellows has gone on to carve out careers in the newsrooms of the 21st century. The Fellowship helped me land a full-time position at the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project as a research associate—a dream job, where I’ll use various research methods—from surveys to content analysis to good ol' reporting—to help examine how news and information functions today. One key project that I’ll work on this year will be a deep examination of the flow of local news in society today.
Now a new class of Google Fellows gets a chance to fulfill their own dreams. These 11 students are people to watch—young scholars, computer scientists and practitioners who will likely create new journalism products and platforms that will change our engagement with news in the digital age.
This year’s organizations and Fellows are:
- Center for Investigative Reporting - Emmanuel Martinez, University of Southern California and Suyeon Son, Northwestern University
- Committee to Protect Journalists - Rachael Levy, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
- Investigative Reporters & Editors - Aram Chung, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
- Nieman Journalism Lab - Liam Andrew, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Pew Research Journalism Project - Alex T. Williams, University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication
- Poynter - Benjamin Mullin, California State University, Chico
- PRI.org - David Conrad, University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School for Communication
- ProPublica - Yue Qiu, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism
- Sunlight Foundation - Stan Oklobdzija, UC San Diego
- Texas Tribune - Jessica Hamel, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Congratulations to this year’s Fellows! We look forward to the energy you’ll bring to the host organizations this summer—and to watching your dreams become a reality.