The Soros Justice Media Fellowships has released information on their new media fellowships, which support writers, print and broadcast journalists, bloggers, filmmakers, and other individuals with distinctive voices proposing to complete media projects that engage and inform, spur debate and conversation, and catalyze change on important U.S. criminal justice issues. The Media Fellowships aim to mitigate the time, space, and market constraints that often discourage individuals from pursuing vital but marginalized, controversial, or unpopular topics in comprehensive and creative ways.
Media Fellowships are one year in duration, and fellows are expected to make their projects their full-time work during the term of the fellowship. Projects can begin in either the spring or fall of 2017.
Individuals with projects that seek, as their primary purpose, a specific reform goal or objective, should determine whether their work is better suited for the Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowships.
There are two Media Fellowship tracks: Track I, which is for new and emerging media makers; and Track II, which is for more experienced individuals, i.e. those with at least ten (10) years of full-time work as a media maker. The award for Media Track I is $58,700 over 12 months. The award for Media Track II is $78,000 over 12 months.
Soros will consider projects that focus on criminal justice reform goals: reducing mass incarceration, challenging extreme punishment, and promoting fairness and accountability in the justice system in the United States. In our view, there are a number of issues that relate in important ways to these broad goals — for example, the extremely long prison terms that have become the accepted norm as a response to serious and violent crimes; the punishment and harsh treatment of youth in the justice system; police unaccountability; prosecutors’ orientation toward harsh charging and sentencing practices; and draconian responses to drug use.
Soros will consider a wide range of media projects and products, including print and broadcast journalism, documentary films, books, digital media, as well as projects that utilize a mix of platforms or mediums.
The overriding consideration is whether the project is likely to engage and inform, spur debate and conversation, or catalyze change.
Applicants are ideally full-time writers, print or broadcast journalists, filmmakers, bloggers, or other media makers, with well-established records of publication, dissemination or broadcast in local, regional or national markets, or among targeted audiences or constituencies. Applicants who are not professional writers, journalists, filmmakers, or other types of media makers must demonstrate that they nonetheless have the experience and capacity to accomplish the project.
Media Track I applicants must have at least two (2) years of relevant full-time experience. Media Track II applicants must have a minimum of ten (10) years of relevant full-time experience.
Proposal due by October 12 to:
Open Society Foundations
224 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019