Emerging Journalists, Community Stories

A new fellowship program pairs promising journalists with Pulitzer Prize finalists to explore Oregon stories.

Over the next several months, through Oregon Humanities’ new Emerging Journalists, Community Stories fellowship, offered in partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Pulitzer Prizes, three early-career journalists will create in-depth works exploring stories in Oregon communities under the mentorship of Pulitzer Prize finalists.

“The landscape of journalism—traditional watchdogs, storytellers, and purveyors of information—is changing dramatically,” says Kathleen Holt, associate director of Oregon Humanities. “We hope the access to support and mentorship this project will provide will help emerging journalists advance their careers and have an impact on their communities.”

The journalists selected for the fellowship will be supported by mentors who have been finalists for Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, including Inara Verzemnieks, a former feature writer for the Oregonian who now teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa; Kimberly A.C. Wilson, a former investigative journalist at the Oregonian and the Baltimore Sun who is now director of communications at Meyer Memorial Trust; and Les Zaitz, a former Oregonian reporter and the current editor and publisher of the Malheur Enterprise, a weekly newspaper based in Vale.

The stories written during the fellowship will be published in this magazine and at oregonhumanities.org in early 2019. The fellowship program will culminate in an event that will showcase fellows’ work and offer an opportunity for public discussion of their stories in the context of journalism and democracy.

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