First Draft Local News Fellowship
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First Draft Local News Fellowship

HOW TO APPLY:  Please follow this link to apply. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis through Feb. 5. 

WHAT: First Draft has launched its 2020 election project to bring together journalists, researchers and analysts with a focus on working collaboratively to investigate and accurately report instances of mis- or disinformation and campaigns of manufactured amplification.

We now seek applications from intrepid, tech-minded, collaborative local reporters to work as First Draft fellows, helping us train and support local journalists on how to identify, verify and responsibly report on disinformation for a paid fellowship starting in February 2020 through to the end of the year. 

Working from local journalism collaboratives or newsrooms, five First Draft local news fellows will receive intensive training on how to monitor mis- and dis-information across commonly used social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – and how to train other journalists.

They’ll learn the most effective ways to counter disinformation based on current best practices honed from First Draft’s global collaborative election work. Fellows will produce white-labeled content focused on local issues, and participate in experiments on new ways to engage the public to bolster local newsroom support and improve public digital literacy.

Local fellows will receive $20,000 for the year-long program, through a sponsoring journalism collaborative or newsroom, and will be expected to devote roughly ten hours per week to this work, which will include regular meetings, trainings, and reporting. Travel will be required and compensated and additional funds will be available to cover the costs of community engagement activities.

WHO: Ideal candidates will represent a local newsroom collaborative and/or collaborative-oriented newsroom. Preference will be given to candidates from regions expected to face increased disinformation this election year: Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.


First Draft is a global non-profit that supports journalists, academics and technologists working to address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age. As part of its global CrossCheck initiative, First Draft has a year-long, nationwide strategy for supporting the verification and reporting of online information relating to the 2020 US presidential election. 

Recruitment Policy

First Draft is working hard to build a diverse and inclusive team in each of our locations. We do not discriminate based on race, gender, age, disability, religion, identity or lifestyle. We actively encourage applications from individuals who may traditionally face barriers to entering the fields of journalism, research, product design and training, such as access to education or work experience.

Successful applicants will be offered a position based on their demonstrable knowledge, skills and interest in our work and overall mission. All First Draft employees will be expected to take an active role in maintaining a positive and supportive work environment, as part of a proud, unified, considerate and respectful team. Examples of this are a willingness to support and encourage the professional development of colleagues alongside your own, and an openness to listen to and accept suggestions and criticism in an often challenging and high-pressure environment.

First Draft prioritizes the welfare of its staff and partners and actively promotes the awareness and prevention of vicarious trauma and other mental and physical illness associated with researching distressing content, and the long term impact of sedentary or solitary working.

HOW TO APPLY:  Please follow this link to apply. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis through Feb. 5.