The Trace, America’s only nonprofit newsroom exclusively devoted to covering the gun violence epidemic, is launching a two-year fellowship for early- to mid-career journalists looking to establish themselves as editors. 

The fellow will receive hands-on training from The Trace’s editors, whose specialties run the gamut from features and investigations, to local coverage, to data analysis, to distribution and audience development, and more. 

The fellow will report to the fellowship manager — a member of our editing staff — throughout the entire two-year fellowship. For the first year, they will embed with various teams under the guidance of many of The Trace’s editors during three 12-week rotations focused on specific subject areas or skills. 

During their second year at The Trace, the fellow will pitch and execute a capstone project of their creation. This project will be pursued under the guidance of a staff editor and could take many forms: editing an ongoing series; pursuing an in-depth investigation; launching a specialized newsletter; building data visualizations to accompany reporting; or another compelling project using the skills the fellow has learned at The Trace.

Examples of Trace work that fellows could model their projects on:

We want this fellowship to be a springboard for early to mid-career journalists who have an interest in editing, but have not yet had the opportunity to pursue it full-time. We strongly encourage people of color, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people, or anyone else who comes from a background underrepresented in media, to apply. 

While The Trace exclusively covers gun violence, candidates need not have prior experience reporting specifically on our beat; we are more focused on finding candidates who demonstrate an aptitude for producing thoughtful journalism and an eagerness to learn on the job. 

During the final stage of the fellowship, the fellow will receive career counseling and guidance on seeking editing roles. While a full-time position at The Trace is not guaranteed, our editorial leadership is committed to identifying full-time opportunities either within The Trace newsroom or at another outlet, and coaching the fellow as they pursue employment.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • 2-5 years of newsroom experience in a reporting or editing capacity
  • Writing samples or clips of published stories the candidate edited
  • An interest in editing and investigative journalism
  • An aptitude and preference for collaborating with other teams or departments, such as working with a data team to create maps or charts for a project
  • The ability to dive deep into a beat and an interest in the type of journalism a nonprofit, single-subject newsroom is uniquely positioned to produce 
  • Comfort with reporting and editing best practices, including a strong sense of story structure and framing
  • Some basic familiarity with story packaging, including headlines, imagery and captions, and social media language

The salary range for this position is $60,000 to $80,000. This full-time position may sometimes require evening and weekend work. 

This full-time position includes no-cost medical, dental, and vision insurance; 12 weeks of fully paid family leave; a 401(k) with employer matching; four weeks of vacation time, plus two personal days, 10 sick days, and a holiday week in December; professional development resources such as funding to attend conferences; and wellness initiatives such as vicarious trauma training.

As noted, the majority of our staffers are based in New York, but we also have team members in Washington, D.C., Chicago, California, and elsewhere. Employees who work remotely are eligible for a stipend to set up their workspace, or to find a shared workspace with other local Trace employees, if applicable.

We know that all of the attributes and interests listed here won’t apply to all candidates. If you think you’d be a great fit and have skills and qualifications not mentioned in this listing, we encourage you to submit an application and tell us why you’d thrive in the role.

TO APPLY: Fill out the application form here. Please include a resume; in lieu of a cover letter, we ask that you answer a few questions about your experience and goals. We’ll also ask you for a few clips.

DEADLINE: We will accept applications through October 31. We may begin reviewing applications sooner, however, and will reach out to you directly if we like your application.

QUESTIONS? Email us at [email protected] with questions about the role or how to apply. Please do not reach out to check on the status of your application before we have contacted you; we will do our best to respond to candidates in a timely manner.