The 2016 MJ Bear Fellows speak on a panel at the ONA16 Conference in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Anya Semenoff/Online News Association)

Applications open for 2018 MJ Bear Fellowship for stand-out digital journalists under 30

By on May 23, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Online News Association is now accepting applications for the 2018 MJ Bear Fellowship for rising stars in digital journalism.

Each year the fellowship honors three early-career journalists under 30 — two from the United States or Canada and one from any other country — who are beginning to drive innovation in digital news.

Selected fellows benefit from online coaching sessions; complimentary ONA membership for three years; and an expenses-paid trip as a speaker at the 2018 Online News Association Conference, Sept. 13-15 in Austin.

The program was established in 2011 in honor of MJ Bear, one of ONA’s founding members and a digital journalism pioneer. The 2017 MJ Bear Fellows include Kelly Moffitt, Producer, Storycorps; Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato, Freelance Reporter/Editor; and Subhashish Panigrahi, Founder of OpenSpeaks and Innovation Director at O Foundation. Learn more about past Fellows.

Applications are due June 28, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Applicants must be working journalists between the ages of 23 and 30 and be fluent in English. They will be asked to describe recent experiments or projects that move digital journalism forward or resulted in valuable lessons or outcomes, and also provide a recommendation and a personal statement. Learn more about the program and criteria.

“From founders of entrepreneurial start-ups to reporters leading local innovation, our MJ Bear Fellows continue to expand the boundaries of what’s possible for digital journalism”, said Jennifer Mizgata, ONA’s Director of Programs. “We’re delighted to support and share the important work of these early-career journalists.”

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.

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About Online News Association

The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of online journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. Membership includes journalists, technologists, executives, academics and students who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association Conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.