Agya K. Aning, The Trace's inaugural editing fellow, faces directly toward the camera in this headshot.
Agya K. Aning is The Trace’s first-ever editing fellow.

Agya K. Aning has joined The Trace as the first participant in the nonprofit news organization’s two-year fellowship program for early- to mid-career journalists looking to establish themselves as editors.

During his fellowship, Aning will work alongside The Trace’s editors to train and develop his skills, guiding and editing investigations, features, enterprise reporting, local coverage, and data analysis. After completing rotations with different newsroom teams during the first year, Aning will pitch and produce a capstone project building on the skills he has developed. The editing fellowship will also include career development support.

Aning was previously a reporter covering environmental justice at Inside Climate News. His writing has also appeared in The Arizona Republic, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA TODAY. Prior to becoming a journalist, he taught English as a second language in China and Taiwan. Aning grew up in southwest Virginia and earned a master’s degree in investigative journalism from Arizona State University. 

Aning reported and wrote a feature for The Trace, published in 2022 with The Cut, about Black women challenging stereotypes of gun ownership in America. 

“We are thrilled to have Agya join our staff in this exciting new role,” Tali Woodward, editor in chief of The Trace, said. “He has great journalistic instincts, and on his second day on the job proposed an elegant solution to a tricky problem that was stumping the rest of us.”

The new editing fellowship is launching thanks to funding from The Tow Foundation, whose journalism grantmaking helps newsrooms, media organizations, and academic institutions to train journalists, leverage solutions, and cover critical issues.

As a nonprofit media organization reporting on gun violence, The Trace recognizes diversity and equity as imperatives. The Trace sought support for this initiative in order to provide journalists from underrepresented backgrounds with an additional pathway into the editing and management positions that set coverage priorities and shape broader narratives.