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Stories with Impact – Production Fellowship Applications Open!

Home Forums Scholarship, Fellowship Opportunities and Academic Programs Stories with Impact – Production Fellowship Applications Open!

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    Jordan Koletic

    Stories with Impact

    Production fellowship for journalists and storytellers who focus on government innovation and resident participation

    The Stories with Impact fellowship provides technical support and up to $2,500 to selected applicants for Solutions Journalism and creative storytelling projects focused on government innovation and resident participation. This fall, up to six fellows will work closely with Reboot to report on Participatory Budgeting initiatives in Mexico City, Madrid, Seoul and Antananarivo, crafting stories rooted in Reboot’s research and tailored for specific PB stakeholder groups.


    We welcome applicants from a range of media practices (including but not limited to traditional journalism, nonfiction video, podcasts, curated events, blogs, or social media), and encourage both independent practitioners and those working within media organizations to apply.

    Background & Purpose

    About Reboot

    Reboot is a design firm that works to improve government services, support the development of public interest media, and empower innovators in other social impact institutions. The Stories with Impact fellowship aims to help mediamakers and media organizations strengthen and deepen their reporting on governance issues through technical support and project funding.


    Participatory Budgeting

    Fellows this year will focus on city-scale Participatory Budgeting initiatives. Participatory Budgeting (PB), an inclusive process for proposing and funding public projects, began as an experiment in radical democracy in Porto Alegre, Brazil 30 years ago. As it continues to expand and evolve, PB is being used in diverse contexts, at all levels of government, with varying levels of resourcing, government support, and citizen participation—and with widely varying results. For the past six months, Reboot researchers have been studying PB initiatives around the world, examining the challenges faced by implementers of these programs and developing opportunities to support PB efforts.


    Solutions Journalism and Creative Storytelling

    Stories with Impact draws on the strengths of both Solutions Journalism and creative storytelling styles to reveal the complexity and social relevance of government innovations. Solutions Journalism, a reporting approach that covers problems and stakeholders’ attempts to address them, provides evidence and analysis focused on problem-solving. Creative storytelling gives complicated issues a human dimension through a range of different narrative strategies and formats.

    2018 Fellowship Deadlines

    Applicants are not expected to be topic experts in Participatory Budgeting, but must brainstorm tentative project ideas in order to apply. Those selected for the fellowship will then work closely with Reboot staff to revise these early ideas. Fellows are required to carry out at least one project, but are free to do more. All projects must be completed no later than February 28th, 2019.


    October 17th Applications considered on a rolling basis until October 17th at 11:59pm

    October 25th Fellows selected and notified (due to a high volume of applications, we will only notify awarded applicants)

    October 31st Fellowship begins / Onboarding Training

    Mid-November Refined proposal and production timeline due

    February 28th, 2019 Production complete

    March 10th, 2019 Fellowship ends


    • You are based in Madrid, Spain; Mexico City, Mexico; Seoul, South Korea; or Antananarivo, Madagascar.
    • You are not required to be a PB subject matter expert, but should have a working knowledge of local social and political dynamics that might affect its implementation.
    • You have experience reporting on issues of governance, citizen participation, or international development.
    • You have a strong body of work that supports your tentative proposals below.
    • You are able to complete this work no later than February 28th, 2019.
    • You are comfortable communicating in English with Reboot staff (final pieces can be in whichever language is most appropriate).

    To Apply

    Applicants must submit a cover letter, CV, links to 1-3 recent works (English translations are very helpful but not required), and answers to the supplemental questions on the following page. Submissions should be sent digitally to fellowships@reboot.org.


    Supplemental Application Questions


    1. Outline your experience and interest in reporting on issues related to local government and public participation. (250w)


    1. Describe a piece you are especially proud of in terms of the impact it has made. Explain which parts of the project you think made it most effective and why. (250w)


    1. How might possible projects you create through this fellowship fit into or complement existing local reporting on Participatory Budgeting? (250w)


    Tentative Proposals

    In the next section, provide two short project ideas for different PB stakeholder groups. These might include voters, residents or resident groups who are preparing proposals, people who know nothing about the program, government champions who created it, or public servants who don’t know much about PB origins but who are tasked with making it happen day-to-day. You may also specify a different stakeholder group.


    For each, provide a short synopsis, a description of the medium/format, and the proposed timing and venue for its publication. Also for each, estimate the time and budget necessary for production. This budget should include your labor.  


    While these initial proposals provide a starting point for your work during the fellowship, selected applicants will revise and resubmit a final project proposal after working with Reboot staff in October.


    1. Project Proposal #1
      1. Synopsis (250w)
      2. Medium/Format (explain why)
      3. Timing/Venue for Publication (explain why)
      4. Production Timeline
      5. Budget


    1. Project Proposal #2
      1. Synopsis (250w)
      2. Medium/Format (explain why)
      3. Timing/Venue for Publication (explain why)
      4. Production Timeline
      5. Budget
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