The City Bureau Civic Reporting Fellowship is a paid, 11-week opportunity for emerging/early-career reporters. Fellows will work in teams with our experienced Reporting Residents to produce a journalism project on a single, big-picture sociopolitical issue facing communities on Chicago’s South and West Sides.

Projects may include written stories, audio, video, illustration, photography, data visualization, text-messaging services, in-person activities, zines, events and much more. City Bureau fellows are encouraged to think creatively about how to improve the news & information ecosystem around their big-picture issue.

This is a unique opportunity to develop skills in a collaborative, hands-on learning environment while forging connections in Chicago’s journalism world. City Bureau places an emphasis on racial equity and community engagement, and fellows can expect to participate in critical conversations about the media industry through those lenses. Fellows set their own personal goals for what skills and experiences they want to gain by the end of the 11 weeks. Most fellows leave the program with a better understanding of the industry, improved skills and published clips (text or other types of stories) — in addition to becoming part of our City Bureau alumni network and our wider community.

See testimonials from past fellows here.

Important Dates: Spring 2019 Cycle

  • Applications go live: February 5

  • Applications due: February 24 at 11:59 p.m. — In rare instances, we will allow extensions due to extenuating circumstances. If you need an extension, contact us ASAP at

  • Interviews: February 20 - March 1

  • All applicants notified by: March 5

  • Cycle begins: March 18

  • Cycle ends: May 31

City Bureau will also have a Summer cycle (July - Sept, applications released in June) and a Fall cycle (October - December, applications released in September).


City Bureau Reporting Fellows typically have a demonstrated interest in journalism (either through personal projects, previous training/school, internships, etc.), though no professional journalism experience is required. Reporters should be proficient in journalistic writing skills, and, more importantly, be chronically inquisitive. Successful City Bureau Reporting Fellows are collaborative workers who know how to take the initiative in tackling new reporting challenges. Fellows must be able to juggle scheduling around journalism work (i.e. scheduling interviews with sources and attending community events) and be able to communicate openly with their reporting team.

Special consideration will be given to applicants who have worked closely with South and West Side communities.

Fellows are expected to work 12 hours per week and are paid a $2,200 stipend for the following time commitment:

  • two 2-hour newsroom sessions (Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 6-8p) at our Woodlawn newsroom

  • one 2-hour mentoring session (Saturdays, 11a-1p) with our youth media partner organization, Yollocalli Arts Reach, at their Little Village space

  • six additional hours of reporting/work/meetings as decided by you and your team

Fellowship payments are remitted biweekly and total $2,200 for the 11-week cycle. In addition to the above, Fellows are expected to stay in regular contact with City Bureau staff and colleagues via Slack, a group messaging app.

* Due to the demands of the fellowship, we do not recommend that full-time students apply for this position. However, we may make exceptions for students who can demonstrate their ability to manage multiple time obligations well.


The City Bureau Photo Fellow will work on a personal photojournalism project while also taking photographs to accompany the stories of all three Fellowship teams. The Photo Fellow has the same hourly requirements and stipend as Reporting Fellows; since you will work with all teams, you should have strong time management and organizational skills. You will work closely with a Civic Reporting Resident who is a professional photo editor to develop your photography skills and news judgment, as well as gain insight into the photojournalism profession.

Applications due by Sunday, February 24, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.

If your application advances to the second stage, you will be asked to sign up for a videochat interview and to complete a Writing Test.