Early within the pandemic, some headlines argued that covid-19 was the nice equalizer—as a result of anybody, irrespective of their circumstance, may catch it. In actuality, it was clear that the virus was affecting some teams of Individuals in disproportionate, devastating methods. 

Black Individuals, Hispanic Individuals, Indigenous communities, and different folks of shade have been affected the most, and are dying at much higher rates. Incarcerated folks have been left unprotected, and people in poverty have been among the hardest hit. Schoolchildren from poorer backgrounds are struggling the most important academic setbacks, with lifelong repercussions. 

We all know most of the causes, together with frontline jobs that expose employees to the virus, financial stresses, unstable housing and unequal well being care that results in worse outcomes. However there’s far more to study, and far more to do about it.

To assist discover these points and assist folks’s tales get informed, we’ve joined with the Heising Simons Foundation to create 5 MIT Expertise Assessment Covid Inequality Fellowships.

Every fellowship supplies as much as $7,500 of monetary help to assist journalists report and produce tales about covid inequality—and the way it’s being tackled—in under-covered communities within the US. Candidates will probably be judged by a panel of consultants that features a number of the most incisive journalists and knowledgeable consultants working at this time. Fellows will obtain editorial oversight and help from our award-winning crew; and the top outcomes will probably be revealed in MIT Expertise Assessment.

Making use of for a Fellowship is easy: simply have a look by means of our description of what we’re in search of, after which start submitting your application.

Who ought to apply

We’re providing two sorts of fellowship.

Freelancer fellowships: Apply for this when you’re an unbiased journalist who isn’t already hooked up to a selected publication. You might come from one of many affected communities you propose to report on, or you could know of an necessary story a few group you’ve got gotten to know properly.

Newsroom fellows: Apply for this when you’re a employees journalist working with a selected outlet, who’s in search of additional help to comply with up on a narrative that’s necessary to you and the readers you serve.

In case you have journalistic expertise, and also you need to inform tales about the best way covid is affecting folks—and what’s being accomplished about it—we encourage you to apply.

What we’re in search of

Your story—or sequence of tales—will concentrate on a selected group of individuals and present how they’ve been affected by covid-19. It should present the human impacts and discover what sort of disparities exist in publicity, security, therapy, or outcomes. It might have a look at how communities are utilizing applied sciences, growing programs, or constructing alliances to beat the issues they face.

MIT Expertise Assessment is a publication about rising applied sciences and the methods wherein they’re used, so we’re significantly thinking about:

  • The influence of vaccines and the way they’re distributed
  • Contact tracing, publicity notification, and/or using well being knowledge
  • How the pandemic is affecting the digital divide
  • Office virus protocols and surveillance
  • The influence of lengthy covid on communities

Above all, these are human tales, with folks at their heart and a seek for options at their core.

To get there, we’re in search of people who find themselves dedicated to telling tales with care and dedication whereas making use of rigorous requirements and sustaining journalistic integrity. You don’t must have an extended observe report in healthcare or science reporting, however you do must be decided, ready to problem preconceptions, and be snug asking for assist and taking steerage.

What we’re not in search of

These fellowships won’t produce simplistic catastrophe narratives that underscore pre-existing tropes, and we don’t need parachute journalism from reporters who don’t have any historical past with or perception into the communities they’re writing about. That doesn’t imply you need to determine as a part of the group you’re proposing to cowl, nevertheless it does imply you do have to indicate you can report sensitively and completely—and with out additional endangering them in the course of the pandemic.

How we’ll help your work

Profitable candidates will obtain as much as $7,500 to report and publish their tales. Work will probably be produced along side MIT Expertise Assessment and revealed on our web site—or co-published, within the case of Newsroom Fellowships. This cash can be utilized to cowl all or any prices associated to the story, together with your personal time, reporting bills, and journey (the place it’s protected.)  

We’ll present editorial help to all fellows, with common check-ins with our editors and recommendation from our crew. For newsroom fellows, we’ll coordinate together with your publication’s crew that can assist you get probably the most out of the undertaking.

Our panel of judges

Entries will probably be examined by a panel of a number of the main journalists and voices on the topics we’re . 

Alexis Madrigal is a employees author at The Atlantic and co-founder of the Covid Monitoring Undertaking, which compiles, annotates, and publishes high-quality knowledge concerning the outbreak. 

Mark J. Rochester is the editor in chief of Sort Media Middle, and was beforehand senior information director for investigations on the Detroit Free Press. He has served on the nationwide board of administrators of Investigative Reporters & Editors.

Krystal Tsosie is a Navajo bioethicist and geneticist at Vanderbilt College. She is an advocate for moral genomic analysis that respects the rights of Indigenous folks.

Seema Yasmin is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, poet, medical physician and creator. She is at present director of the Stanford Well being Communication Initiative at Stanford College, and an everyday contributor on the covid pandemic for CNN.

Gideon Lichfield is the editor in chief of MIT Expertise Assessment. He joined the publication in 2017 after being a founding editor at Quartz and reporting from Moscow, Jerusalem, and Mexico Metropolis for The Economist.

Applications for the Fellowships are now open. The ultimate deadline for purposes is Sunday March 21, 2021. Chosen fellows will probably be introduced in early April 2021.

The fantastic print

These fellowships are US-only; Fellows have to be legally capable of work in the USA. Tales have to be designed for textual content: though video and audio may be a part of the output, your story might want to focus on written journalism, which might embrace information reporting, narratives, or knowledge. Tasks wouldn’t have a minimal timescale, however drafts have to be accomplished by the top of 2021. All tales will probably be topic to enhancing, fact-checking, and authorized assessment.

Listed below are a number of the key issues we’ll require within the first stage of the applying course of.

  • A well-written define of your story or undertaking of not more than 750 phrases. We’re in search of a compelling pitch that offers an summary of the folks, locations, data, and points that you’ll be bringing into the highlight.
  • A reporting plan that features (a) a proposed timeline and (b) a proof of how you propose to report in a covid-safe method on the communities you’re centered on. Velocity isn’t a think about our resolution, nevertheless it’s good to know the way you propose to hold out the duty of researching, reporting, and producing your story.
  • A written private assertion (most 500 phrases) telling us about your prior work, related experiences and your connection to the group you’re proposing to cowl.
  • Three samples of authentic work. If this isn’t freely out there on-line (for instance, it’s behind a paywall, or solely out there in print) please present PDF information.
  • Newsroom fellowship candidates will probably be required to submit a letterhead assertion confirming that you’ve got the help of your publication.

Shortlisted candidates will probably be requested to supply extra data, together with a breakdown of how they’d spend the fellowship award, reply a questionnaire concerning the dangers their undertaking faces, and provide two letters of advice.

In case you have any questions on this utility course of, you’ll be able to contact senior editor Bobbie Johnson by email.

Click here to apply now