ONA opens 2015 MJ Bear Fellowships for under-30 digital journalism stars

By on June 10, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, today opened applications for the 2015 MJ Bear Fellowships for early-career digital journalists, in honor of founding member MJ Bear.

For the fifth year, the search committee will again select three promising, up-and-coming digital journalists — two in the United States or Canada and one internationally, in partnership with MSN International — who are just beginning to make their voices heard in the industry.

Each selected Fellow will receive virtual coaching sessions with a Personal Advisory Board; a free three-year ONA membership and an expense-paid trip to the Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet, Sept. 24-26, in Los Angeles, where they’ll have a chance to share their fresh perspectives.

“Over the past five years, MJ’s Fellowships have identified, highlighted and supported 12 creative journalists with big, bold ideas on how to tell stories,” said ONA Board President Meredith Artley, Editor-in-Chief, CNN Digital. “Their work has had a measurable impact on the field, and the Fellowships have helped make an impact in their careers.”

Last year’s Fellows — Anika Anand, Director of Engagement at Chalkbeat; Rajneesh Bhandari, an independent multimedia journalist in Kathmandu, Nepal and Aaron Williams, recently named data visualization editor at the San Francisco Chronicle — currently are posting regular blogs on the ONA website that explain their work and the tools and technology they use. Learn more about the past Fellows here.

Applicants must be working journalists between the ages of 23 and 30 and be fluent in English. They will be asked to describe recent concepts, experiments or projects that move digital journalism forward or resulted in valuable lessons or outcomes, and also provide a recommendation and a personal statement. Application deadline is July 10, 11:59 p.m. ET.

Review the criteria and apply here.

Bear, whose wide-ranging career took her to pivotal roles at Microsoft’s MSN Portals and MSN International, NPR and American University, was renowned for her kindness and digital know-how. She played a vital role in ONA’s history as a member of the original Board of Directors, helping to incorporate the organization in 1999 and serving on the Education, Fundraising, Conference and Legal Affairs committees until 2003.

For more information, contact mjbearfellowship@journalists.org.

The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, developers, photographers, educators, students and others who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

Jeremiah Patterson

Jeremiah was ONA's Digital Manager from 2012 to the fall of 2016 and was responsible for ONA's collection of websites, including journalists.org, conference websites, the membership center, awards platforms and more. Before joining ONA, he served as a web producer and content developer at The Wildlife Society, maintaining the organization’s website, email marketing and other online services. An Ohio native and media enthusiast, Jeremiah grew up with a deep interest in video production and graphic design. He now focuses in user experience and human-centered design.