As News Industry Shrinks, UC Berkeley Announces Food and Farming Reporting Fellowship | Civil Eats

As News Industry Shrinks, UC Berkeley Announces Food and Farming Reporting Fellowship

This week, the Pew Research Center issued its annual State of the News Media report, chronicling a shrinking, some might say anemic, news industry. Employment at newspapers is down 30 percent since 2000, dropping below 40,000 people for the first time since 1978. The quality of reporting at many news outlets has fallen as budgets are squeezed and staff cut.

Television news viewership is down too. The Pew report found that sports, weather and traffic now account for 40 percent of local TV programming. “This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands,” reads the Pew report’s introduction.

Sure, online only news sites have helped fill in some of the gaps and information sharing tools like Twitter have emerged to distribute news. Still, it is becoming much harder for young reporters to find a footing, and more importantly make a living,  in journalism. And complicated stories, those requiring time and resources to report, are in many cases going unreported and unwritten.

In an effort to foster early and mid-career journalists who want to work on ambitious food and agriculture related stories, we are excited to announce a new $10,000 fellowship at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. If you’ve got a story idea, we want to hear it.  Applications are due April 1. Click here for all the info and to access the online application.

The UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship is aimed at early and mid-career journalists working in print and radio (we’ll be expanding to include video and multimedia stories starting in 2014 so start collecting story ideas for next year all you documentary, video and data visualization people).

The Fellowship presents an opportunity to report big stories about agricultural and nutritional policy, the food industry, food science, technology and culture, rural and urban farming, agriculture and the environment, global trade and supply chains and public health as it relates to food.

We’ll bring the news to you.

Get the weekly Civil Eats newsletter, delivered to your inbox.

“Interest in food and farming issues has never been so high,” says Michael Pollan, the fellowship director and John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. “A whole new beat is being born, and with this Fellowship we hope to nurture the next generation of journalists seeking to treat food not as a lifestyle feature subject, as it had been for decades, but as a critical public issue much like health, energy, or the environment.”

To find out more about the timing, application process and eligibility requirements go here. We look forward to seeing your story ideas.

Thank you for being a loyal reader.

We rely on you. Become a member today to read unlimited stories.

Malia Wollan is a contributing writer for The New York Times and managing editor of The UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship. Read more >

Like the story?
Join the conversation.

    More from

    General

    Featured

    Pesticide Industry Could Win Big in Latest Farm Bill Proposal

    In this week’s Field Report, draft farm bill language could weaken protections from pesticide risk, a new report on reducing methane from cattle, and Maine organic farmers want to sue the EPA over PFAS.

    Popular

    Bird Flu May Be Driven By This Overlooked Factor

    Snow Geese fly over Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo credit: Yiming Chen, Getty Images)

    Mayor Eric Adams Scrapped NYC’s Compost Project. Here’s What Will Be Lost.

    Hands holding compost in new york city. (Photo credit: Angelica Ang)

    Nik Sharma Offers His Top Tips for Home Cooks to Fight Recipe Fatigue

    Nik Sharma baking at left, and tossing a chickpea dish at right. (Photo credit: Nik Sharma)

    Far From Home, the Curry Leaf Tree Thrives

    Zee Lilani of Kula Nursery stands among her curry leaf tree starts in Oakland, California. (Photo credit: Melati Citrawireja)