The New York Times recently announced that the Ford Foundation will fund its new Disability Journalism Fellowship.
The two-year program will recruit one early career journalist each year to work at The Times to produce stories that illuminate and explain issues that are relevant to the 19 percent of the U.S. population who currently live with a disability – and to countless others who care about them and these matters. The program will provide fellows with mentorship, a peer network and specialized training on how to cover disabilities. The nonprofit National Center for Disability and Journalism will serve as a training partner to the fellows and other members of the newsroom.
Ford is providing a $150,000 grant to create the new fellowship.
Amanda Morris, who previously worked as a bioscience reporter for The Arizona Republic, joined The New York Times as its first Disability Journalism Fellow in June. She identifies with the disability community as she was raised by profoundly deaf parents and has moderate to severe hearing loss.
The application for the 2022-23 fellowship will open this fall.
The Times will retain full editorial control over the fellows’ work. Funders will have no control over the selection or focus of stories. They will have no role in the editing process and will not review stories before publication.
The New York Times Fellowship is a talent pipeline program started in 2019 to seed and diversify the next generation of journalists in local newsrooms across America. It trains journalists in reporting, audio, visual and other disciplines.
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The National Center on Disability and Journalism is a service of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. For the past 13 years at Cronkite, the center has provided support and training for journalists and other communications professionals with the goal of improving media coverage of disability issues and people with disabilities.
Philanthropies interested in learning more about The Times’s fellowship program should contact Sharon Chan, vice president of philanthropy, at Sharon.Chan@nytimes.com.