About the Organization:

RJI was launched in 2004 with a grant of $31 million from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. In conjunction with the centennial celebration of the Missouri School of Journalism, RJI’s headquarters were opened in September 2008.  The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute engages media professionals, scholars and other citizens in programs aimed at strengthening journalism in the service of democracy. RJI generates and tests new techniques and new thinking that promise to improve journalism.

Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellowship Program 2020

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute invites proposals from individuals and organizations who wish to partner with us on innovative projects that strengthen journalism’s future.

Chosen projects often include devising new strategies or models to solve a problem, building new tools, creating a prototype or advancing a prototype so it’s ready for investment or launch. All projects will be built and implemented in a newsroom within the span of the 8 month fellowship.

Whatever your idea, its benefits should be able to extend to other news organizations and the people who depend on them. You will publish regular updates at rjionline.org to share what you’re learning and how it could benefit news organizations. At the end of your fellowship, you will publish the results and lessons learned from the implementation of your project after it has been tested or utilized in a newsroom.


They have three types of RJI Fellowships:


Residential fellowships are designed for individuals who want to collaborate with RJI staff, students and faculty on-site at our institute in Columbia, Missouri. Residential fellows spend eight months on campus at the Missouri School of Journalism to take advantage of the intellectual and technological resources of RJI and the Missouri School of Journalism. Resource examples include access to programmers and app developers, support to conduct market research, and paid students to produce multimedia content.

  • Who Qualifies: Anyone above the age of 18
  • Start Date: Sept. 1, 2020
  • Duration: 8 months (two academic semesters)
  • Stipend: Fellows receive a $10,000 a month stipend and a one-time reimbursement for relocation costs up to $10,000


Nonresidential fellowships can tackle something you are interested in pursuing on your own or something that could benefit a current employer. You do not need to live in Columbia but you will need to make at least one visit to consult with RJI leadership and staff. Your project will be implemented and tested in the newsroom of your choice during your fellowship.

  • Who Qualifies: Anyone above the age of 18
  • Start: Starting date is negotiable
  • Duration: 8 months
  • Stipend: Fellows receive a $20,000 stipend, payable quarterly at $5,000


Institutional fellowships are designed to unlock some of the thoughtful, meaningful ideas in your newsroom or company that for various reasons haven’t been able to be explored yet. RJI will collaborate with a leader at your institution or company who can develop the idea and lead a team that will make it a reality. That leader will be named an RJI Fellow but will continue working at his or her job. The stipend for this fellowship will be paid to the company or institution to be used for salary relief for the fellow, or for another purpose that the company or institution determines will best ensure the success of the fellowship project. The project will be implemented and tested at the institution or in a newsroom of their choice during the fellowship.

  • Who Qualifies: Managers, executives or employees from institutions or companies
  • Start: Starting date is negotiable
  • Duration: 8 months
  • Stipend: $20,000 to the company or institution, payable quarterly at $5,000


  • RJI Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens and news organizations as well as international news outlets.
  • They also welcome proposals from international journalists who plan to partner with U.S.-based news, technology and civil society organizations.


The questions in the first stage of the application you will be asked to complete are:

  • Name, phone, email and twitter handle
  • Location
  • Type of fellowship you are applying for
  • Please summarize your project idea in one succinct paragraph
  • What problem or need in journalism does the project address?
  • Who will benefit from the creation of your project?
  • How and where do you plan to implement it once it is completed/built?
  • Is there anything else you feel we should take into consideration
  • Attach resume/CV

Deadline: December 18, 2020

For more information please check the Link

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