High Country News, an award-winning magazine covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks applicants for our year-long fellowships. The fellowship is designed for early-career journalists interested in providing on-the-ground reporting, diving deep into important stories, and helping to evolve and expand HCN’s coverage of the West, with an emphasis on stories from and for communities typically underrepresented in the media. The fellowship will provide training, professional mentorship, and career development in journalism best practices as well as research and fact checking, and career development.
Candidates will bring curiosity, fair-mindedness and a desire to share stories from and for rural communities.
The fellowship will run from January 2024 to December 2024 and includes coaching and instruction from across HCN's editorial and art departments. Fellows will produce reported stories, analysis, essays and/or other types of projects, as well as contribute research and fact-checking services for front of book reportage.
We will ultimately hire two fellows for the 2024 program year.
High Country News is part of a growing number of newsrooms addressing a historic lack of representation, inclusion and equity in journalism with effective solutions. We welcome applicants from all life experiences and encourage members of traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to apply, including Indigenous people, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people and those from marginalized and low-income backgrounds.
Duties/Outcomes will include:
The fellowship is an opportunity for a journalist to deepen their knowledge of and expertise on reporting on the Western U.S., including, but not limited to our changing climate; Western life, culture and politics; justice and equity; and Indigenous affairs.
Fellows will each aim to publish approximately 30 bylined stories over the course of the fellowship; these will include a mix of news/fast-moving short-form web-first stories as well as more in-depth enterprising work for the magazine.
Fellows will contribute to the editorial vision and success of the magazine by collaborating with other journalists, joining regular departmental meetings and sharing subject matter expertise. A fellow typically:
- Reports, writes and publishes approximately 30 bylined stories over the course of the 12-month fellowship. Stories will focus primarily on news, analysis and other in-depth reporting. The position requires the on-time submission of two to three stories per month, typically between 500 and 2,000 words.
- Fact checks approximately one story monthly for print, as assigned.
- Attends editorial, story and lineup meetings, and actively contributes to the conversation about how we make the best magazine possible.
- Attends news meetings and actively contributes story ideas and gives thoughtful input on how HCN can supply readers with valuable insights about and lend context to current events.
- Attends and participates in other team meetings, review of story pitches, cultural competency reviews and administrative tasks as assigned.
- Contributes to the editorial vision and success of the magazine through meetings, discussions and public appearances.
Skills and experience:
Candidates should have the ability to create thoughtful, even-handed journalism for digital or print audiences, and insights into the West's rural communities. We're looking for enthusiastic, committed early-career journalists ideally with at least two years of professional writing (or equivalent) experience; however, we understand that lived experience can be as or more valuable than professional experience. Candidates should have the ability to work as a member of a dispersed, diverse editorial team and to contribute to the cultural competence of the organization. Applicants should be versed in the foundational principles of reporting and producing insightful, fair-minded stories consistently on deadline.
Most importantly, they should demonstrate a passion for creating journalism for diverse audiences that deepens readers' understanding of the West's natural and human communities.
Compensation and general terms:
Working hours are flexible but fellows should expect to work approximately 40 hours each week. Fellows are paid a stipend on a bi-weekly basis of $1,640.05, as well as a work-from-home allowance of $46.15 bi-weekly and a one-time signing bonus of $1,000 intended to help defray the cost of IT equipment. In addition, this position is eligible for healthcare benefits starting on the first of the month following 60 days employment. Paid vacation, sick leave and holidays are included.
This position is remote and open to candidates who reside in Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wyoming. The HCN editorial team is dispersed across the Western U.S.; our headquarters is in Paonia, Colorado.
To apply, please send a resume, three clips and a cover letter explaining your interest and experience covering the Western U.S., and how you'd bring diversity to bear on the work, to [email protected] with "HCN Fellowship" in the subject line. The closing date for applications is November 3rd, 2023. In your email, please let us know how you heard about the position.
High Country News is the nation's leading independent source of thoughtful, in-depth reporting on the Western United States. Established in 1970, HCN produces an award-winning monthly magazine and a popular website, along with email newsletters, special reports, books and events. From Alaska and the Northern Rockies to the Desert Southwest, from the Great Plains to the West Coast, HCN is a beloved and essential resource for those who care about this region. HCN is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities.