Announcing our new P.O.W.E.R. Fellowship

In partnership with Just Media, The Real News Network is creating a Pipeline of Working and Emerging Reporters (P.O.W.E.R.) to support local journalism from young reporters telling the stories of how policing and mass incarceration impacts their communities.

Your donation will help us support a cohort of emerging Baltimore journalists through a paid fellowship program with mentoring, networking, and opportunities for publication.

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

The most compelling stories are told by people speaking authentically from their own lived experience, reflecting the experience of their communities. But it is precisely these vital narratives, crucial in shaping the ways people inside and outside of a community understand and interact with it, that are structurally least likely to appear in a media ecosystem designed around profit and privilege. Left unchallenged, racist, fear-mongering narratives about Baltimore and other majority-Black cities—perpetually weaponized by right-wing media, activists, and politicians—will continue damaging Baltimoreans, people of color, the working poor, other historically disenfranchised groups, and the future of our city. 

Through the P.O.W.E.R. Fellowship, The Real News Network and Just Media will to address this need by empowering emerging journalists, especially journalists of color, through media training and sustained mentorship, to do critical investigative reporting that will amplify stories grounded in their communities, expose broken systems, and challenge existing narratives.

Your contribution matters. Thank you!

Just Media is a national hub telling a new story about justice—and supporting the next generation of storytellers. At the heart of our work, we ask: What if the story being told in the media matched the one being told in the streets? And what if young, directly impacted, movement-aligned writers were the ones to cover it? To that end, Just Media is building a network of writers and cultural organizers who represent communities at the center of prisons, policing, and criminal justice politics. Through our fellowship cohort model, we provide the training and mentorship needed for robust, ear-to-the-ground storytelling. Additionally, we provide media training to frontline organizers who are looking to take their stories to wider audiences. 

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 livable 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. While TRNN relies on the internet to distribute our content globally, we are also a place-based institution with a responsibility to serve Baltimore, the city we call home. We know that the struggles of this majority-minority city (inequitable access to resources like education, clean air, and transportation, for example) are the same struggles people face all over the globe. Our local coverage helps keep our friends and neighbors abreast of what’s going on in our city, but we intend for these stories to inform and inspire people united in the struggle everywhere.

Read our press release about the launch of this fellowship program here.

Want to learn more? Prefer to contribute by check? Please contact Director of Development Julianne Simitz,