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Reporters Committee announces new journalism fellowship

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ARLINGTON, VA -- The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has been awarded a three-year grant by the Robert…

ARLINGTON, VA — The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has been awarded a three-year grant by the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation to create a fellowship for an experienced journalist with an interest in free press issues.

The $215,000 grant will pay for a series of one-year fellowships, the first of which will begin in September 2000.

“The ideal McCormick Tribune Journalism Fellowship recipient will take a leave from his or her newsroom, spend a year learning and writing about free press issues, and return to the newsroom as a resource for other journalists and as an advocate for a free press,” said Lucy A. Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee. “We hope editors will encourage members of their staffs to apply for this unique fellowship,” she said.

The fellow will be responsible for ensuring that the Committee’s publications are appealing to and understandable by its core readers – journalists who do not have any special legal knowledge. The fellow will serve as the primary editor of the Committee’s single-topic guides and its daily news update on the organization’s web site, . Drawing from his or her experience concerning what newsrooms need to know about developments in free press law, the fellow also will be responsible for helping identify media law topics that should be addressed in analytical pieces or in enterprise reporting projects.

The journalism fellow will write, edit and design for the Committee’s flagship publications, the quarterly magazine The News Media & The Law, and the bi-weekly newsletter, News Media Update. The fellow also will be able to audit a course on First Amendment/media law at one of the Washington-area universities.

“The McCormick Foundation has long supported the work of the Reporters Committee and has helped us create several fellowships and programs over the years. We’re particularly excited that the foundation recognized the educational component of the journalism fellowship,” Dalglish said.

The fellowship lasts for one year (September to August), with a stipend of $38,000, plus fully paid health benefits. Candidates must have at least three years experience in the areas of news reporting, copy editing and design. A background in free press issues is strongly preferred. Applications for the fellowship are due no later than July 1, 2000.

The Reporters Committee is a voluntary, unincorporated association of reporters and editors, dedicated to protecting the First Amendment interests of the news media. From its Arlington, Virginia, office, The Reporters Committee staff provides cost-free legal defense and research services to journalists and their attorneys throughout the United States, and also operates the FOI Service Center to assist the news media with federal and state open records and open meetings issues.

The Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation is one of the nation’s largest charitable organizations, with combined assets of more than $2 billion and annual giving in excess of $100 million. The Foundation makes grants in four areas: journalism, communities, early childhood education and citizenship.

The Foundation also supports a one-year legal fellowship at the Reporters Committee. That fellow, an experienced lawyer, prepares appellate amicus briefs in significant media law cases, monitors significant developments in media law, responds to legal defense requests from reporters, and writes for the Committee’s publications.

An announcement of the McCormick Tribune Journalism Fellowship can be found on the Reporters Committee web site ( A printable version for posting in newsrooms is also available (