Online News Association MJ Bear Fellowships

Deadline: 31 May 2013 extended to 7 June 2013
Open to: working digital journalists worldwide between the ages of 23 and 30
Fellowship: personal Online News Association mentor for six months; registration, travel and accommodation for the Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet in Atlanta, Georgia (USA); recognition at the ONA conference; 3-year membership in ONA


The MJ Bear Fellowships identify and celebrate young digital journalists, working independently or for a company or organization, who have demonstrated — through professional experimentation, research or other projects — that they deserve support for their efforts and/or vision. The fellows are up-and-coming early-career journalists inside or outside the newsroom who are just beginning to make their voices heard in the industry and working to expand the boundaries of digital news.

You can find out more about the three 2012 Fellows, two from the United States and one from Europe, by reading their blogsWatch videos HERE created by the class of 2011 about their fellowship experiences.

Each Fellowship provides:


Applicants must meet the following requirements at the time of application:

  • Be between the ages of 23 to 30 (as of Oct. 17, 2013)
  • Be a working digital journalist (either for an organization or self-employed)
  • Be fluent in English
  • Be involved in a digital journalism project
  • Full-time students are not eligible


All application materials are due by Friday, June 7, 2013, 11:59 p.m. ET. on the online application website HERE.

The application has five parts. Applications and all submitted materials must be in English. The application requires that you provide active links to materials you have uploaded elsewhere. For example, public links using Google DocsDropbox or a WordPress blog would work.


Provide name, date of birth, address, email, phone number, relevant online presences, photo and resume.


Provide a description of and link to your digital journalism concept, experiment or project completed after Jan. 1, 2012, specifying your role — whether you were the sole creator or a member of a team. The selection committee is looking for ideas that show spark, creativity and innovation. Some examples: a new take on a complex data visualization project; a unique approach to news coverage or news gathering; a novel form of news content distribution; or a fresh approach to using social media or mobile technology. Applicant should explain how your strategy moves digital journalism forward or provides valuable lessons or outcomes. Length: 500 words or fewer; or multimedia presentation no longer than three minutes.


One letter of recommendation from employer, instructor or technology partner affirming candidate as a standout young digital journalist of the future, a capable presenter fully deserving of this opportunity. The letter must confirm the applicant’s description of his/her role in the project, if possible. Length: One typed page.


Tell us about yourself in a personal statement or a multi-media presentation. Length: 300 words or fewer; or multimedia presentation no longer than one minute.


Each fellow is paired with a mentor for six months to help them move forward, whether on a project, business idea, career path or professional development. In 200 words or less, what specific guidance would you need a mentor to provide? What should his or her strengths be in order to help you?

If you have any questions, email For more information, please see the official website HERE.

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