Just Media and The Real News Network are joining forces to create more opportunities for emerging journalists in Baltimore, especially young Baltimoreans of color, to report on the local criminal justice system, informed by the experience of this system’s impact on their own communities.

Who should report stories on policing and mass incarceration? Who gets a platform to cover the impacts of this carceral system on Baltimore’s Black communities, and the alternatives these communities envision? 

This fellowship will empower young journalists, especially journalists of color, with the soft and hard skills necessary to be successful in a professional journalism environment. Our curriculum aims to bring a consciousness to their reporting, and in interactions with their communities as it relates to criminal justice reform. 

We’re excited to announce our POWER Fellowship. Through this paid, 3-month cohort, fellows will receive comprehensive journalism training, mentorship, community building opportunities, and support publishing their writing with partner outlets.

To apply: Complete the brief form on this page by Friday, March 31, at 11:59pm EST. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis. 

Fellowship timeline: The fellowship will run from June 2023 through mid-August 2023.

Reporting focus: This year’s cohort will focus on criminal justice issues impacting the Baltimore metro area, including topics like police misconduct, criminalization of young people, overreliance on pretrial incarceration, racial and economic bias in who gets policed and jailed, and the long-term damage done to communities by carceral systems. We’ll also help Fellows cover stories of communities and policymakers working to shift the status quo—through harm reduction, violence interruption, and, ultimately, through the fight for alternatives to policing and imprisonment as primary responses to social and economic problems.

Who’s eligible: The fellowship is open to emerging writers based in the U.S., ages 18-25, with a relationship to communities impacted by prison and policing issues. Young writers of color and those with firsthand experience with the criminal legal system are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Our ideal candidate: 

  • A junior, senior, recent graduate, or grad students who have prior journalism experience or with a demonstrated interest in storytelling  
  • Is between the ages of 18-25 
  • Has a relationship to communities impacted by prison and policing issues in Baltimore 
  • Has experience writing about and demonstrated interest in criminal justice-related issues 
  • Open to growth, feedback and learning 
  • Has a passion for community-based reporting practices
  • Demonstrated experience working as part of a team and being a self-starter 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior editorial experience as part of a student or professional newsroom 
  • Enrolled in a journalism degree program
  • In alignment or in communication with local or national based movement groups
  • We strongly encourage people of color, women, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities to apply

Fellowship benefits:

  • A $1,000 stipend, paid in 2 installments in June and August, in addition to any fees offered by The Real News Network and partner publications
  • Comprehensive and sustained political education, editorial training, and mentorship
  • Support publishing writing through The Real News Network’s website and local and national partner publications
  • Media training at The Real News Network’s downtown Baltimore Studio, and a co-working desk (if desired) for the duration of the fellowship
  • Opportunities to build relationships with grassroots groups, professional mentors, and fellow young writers
  • Access to Just Media’s growing alumni network and reporting resources


  • Participate in weekly Tuesday evening training and regular check-in calls with Just Media staff.
  • Pitch, report, write and publish at least one journalistic article related to the designated reporting spokes. 
  • Overall, expect to commit an average of 5-10 hours per week to the fellowship.


Email tatyana@justmediaproject.org or rjaa@justmediaproject.org.  We encourage folks to get in touch even if you don’t think you meet the guidelines above; we may still be able to connect you with relevant resources or opportunities.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to support this fellowship program, you can do so here.

Just Media is a national hub supporting emerging storytellers to cover the justice issues that define our generation. In the current moment, we’re seeing years of grassroots power-building coming to a head — with the uprisings, movements to defund and abolish carceral systems, voting rights restoration for 100,000s of formerly incarcerated people, referendums on DAs, and more. 

The Real News Network is a Baltimore-based national nonprofit news network dedicated to amplifying the voices on the frontlines in the struggle for a more just and liveable planet. Rigorous in our journalism and dedicated to the facts, we are unafraid to engage alongside movements for change because we believe that journalism and media-making has a critical role to play in mobilizing collective action. We create journalism that makes our audience feel the world can be changed, and that they can play a key role in making it happen. Beyond our national and international reporting, The Real News Network is, also a place-based institution with a responsibility to serve Baltimore, the city we call home.

This program would not be possible without the support of the Scripps Howard Fund.

The Scripps Howard Fund is a public charity that supports philanthropic causes important to The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) and the communities it serves, with a special emphasis on journalism education, excellence in journalism and childhood literacy. At the crossroads of the classroom and the newsroom, the Fund is a leader in supporting journalism through scholarships, internships, minority recruitment and development and First Amendment causes. The Scripps Howard Awards stand as one of the industry’s top honors for outstanding journalism, and the Fund’s annual “If You Give a Child a Book …” childhood literacy campaign has distributed thousands of new books to children in need across the nation. In support of its mission to create a better-informed world, the Fund also partners with Scripps brands to create awareness of local issues and support organizations that help build thriving communities. The Scripps Howard Foundation, an affiliated organization with the Scripps Howard Fund, supports Scripps’ charitable efforts through its endowment, key projects and major donations.

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