The MJ Bear Fellowship: Why you should apply

By on April 22, 2013

ONA is now accepting applications for the 2013 MJ Bear Fellowship, which identifies and supports promising digital journalists under 30. Fellows are up-and-coming early-career journalists selected for their potential to expand the boundaries of digital news through professional experimentation, research or specific projects. The fellowship provides a personal mentor for six months, a three-year paid ONA membership and the opportunity to present at the 2013 Online News Association Conference and Awards in Atlanta.

Apply for the MJ Bear Fellowship

Here are three more reasons to apply:

Feedback from peers on your projects.

“What [the fellowship] has done for me is put me in touch with other people who are both geeks and into technology but also hold themselves to the highest of journalistic standards,” said 2011 Fellow Lam Thuy Vo, now at NPR’s Planet Money. “Since the [Online News Association] conference, I’ve been an active member of the community and met a lot of people who are similarly minded.”

Connections to ONA’s robust network of journalists.

“I applied for the fellowship because I was embarking on a new career in freelance journalism from a newspaper background,” said 2012 Fellow Tricia Fulks, now working on the interactive documentary “Hollow.” “I thought that the fellowship could help me make contacts in the industry beyond my local network in West Virginia.”

Career advancement and recognition.

“Opportunities that seemed infeasible or out of reach to my bosses were all of a sudden possible,” said 2011 Fellow Lucas Timmons, Special Editor/Data Journalist at the Edmonton Journal. “It’s also been great for bringing people here onboard with digital journalism.”

Apply for the MJ Bear Fellowship

The Fellowship is a legacy of altruistic digital visionary MJ Bear, a leader in the online journalism industry and a founding member of ONA, who passed away in 2010.


Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association, where she leads the Women's Leadership Accelerator. At ONA, Jennifer focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support. Jennifer is a business and design strategist with over a decade of experience creating industry-changing training programs, investing in award-winning projects, and managing key relationships with journalism partners and tech stakeholders. She regularly coaches managers, senior leaders and entrepreneurs on challenges related to their careers and launching new ventures. Jennifer shares advice for navigating tough work challenges in Work Space, a monthly column for Fortune.