Hear from City Bureau fellowship Participants.


Each of City Bureau’s three Chicago-based Fellowship teams consist of one Team Leader and two Reporters. The reporting teams will pursue a big-picture story idea or investigation, with guidance from City Bureau editors, throughout a 10-week cycle.

This is an excellent opportunity to tackle a complex and/or investigative story that is time- and labor-intensive, with the benefit of a team structure and editorial resources. Reporting groups will conduct research and create an editorial plan that could include producing multiple pieces (text, audio, video, graphic, interactive, etc.) to fully tackle the issue—fellows are encouraged to develop innovative ways to bring the issue to light. City Bureau is committed to community engagement, and fellows may choose to work closely with local groups, host events, or use other techniques in order to maximize input from residents affected by the story topic.

City Bureau fellows will work collaboratively within teams while sharing information, sources and research, etc. All three teams will meet once a week (Wednesdays 6-9 p.m.) for training sessions and to workshop ideas together. Your team will have access to the many resources provided through City Bureau’s staff and professional network, including staff at the Invisible Institute, KnightLab, Smart Chicago Collaborative and various other industry partners. (City Bureau develops training sessions based on the needs of fellows during each cycle.)

In addition to working on stories, each City Bureau team will spend 3 hours per week mentoring young people who are involved in Chicago-based youth media programs. Mentoring is a critical component of the fellowship and intentionally designed to help reporters build relationships with the neighborhoods they are working in and develop new management skills.


Our Fellowship in the News

Working with young reporters, City Bureau is telling the story of police misconduct in Chicago

Reporters of all experience levels have published stories with various national and local outlets

Nieman Lab | January 2016

With partnerships and young reporters, Chicago’s City Bureau builds a collaborative community newsroom

The timing hardly could have been more apt.

Columbia Journalism Review | March 2016

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City Bureau is bringing journalists and communities together to encourage civic participation

The non-profit collaborates with through fellowships, the Documenters program, and Public Newsroom.

Journalism.co.uk | September 2017

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Lens of an insider: Photographer defies media portrait of Chicago

Tonika Johnson spent 10 weeks in 2017 as a photojournalism fellow at Chicago’s City Bureau, a civic journalism lab.

Columbia Journalism Review | January 2018  

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A Photographer Captures His Community in a Changing Chicago Barrio

With a fellowship from City Bureau, Sebastian Hidalgo spent just shy of two years capturing Pilsen.

New York Times |
January 2018