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SU’s Newhouse School to award fellowships for freelance legal reporting
SU’s Newhouse School to award fellowships for freelance legal reportingAugust 08, 2008Jaime Winne Alvarezjlwinne@syr.edu
Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications will award four Carnegie/Newhouse School Legal Reporting Fellowships to support freelance journalists reporting on legal issues. The $3,000 awards include paid student research assistants for each reporting fellow, thus providing Newhouse students with practical experience covering law and the courts.
The fellowships are open to freelance journalists working in any medium with the intent of helping them pay out-of-pocket expenses. “As a freelance writer and former editor, I know that it takes a lot of resources just to put a story or a book at the starting line,” says Mark Obbie, director of the Newhouse School’s Carnegie Legal Reporting Program; associate director of the Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media (IJPM); and an associate professor. “Journalists on staff in news organizations often have the resources to invest in prospective stories. But freelancers are taking a personal financial risk when they invest in an early-stage story. With our help, they might be more willing to take that risk.”
Fellowship applications are available online at http://newhouse.syr.edu/legal. Application deadline is Sept. 8. A panel of faculty members from the Newhouse School will choose the winners. Fellowship money and student research assistants will be available for the 2008-2009 academic year.
Newhouse students will be invited to compete for the four research assistant positions, which carry a stipend. “We exist to teach our students journalism and, more to the point here, good legal reporting,” Obbie says. “By working alongside professionals, our students will learn about the legal system in new, practical ways.”
The Carnegie/Newhouse School Legal Reporting Fellowships are part of the Newhouse School’s Carnegie Legal Reporting Program. Supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and its Carnegie Journalism Initiative, the program provides a number of services designed to teach students about the workings of the American legal system and the role of the news media in covering the law. Additional funding for this year’s fellowships is provided by IJPM.