Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Announces New Fellowship for Journalists with Focus on Community Resilience in Times of Crisis

Chicago, November 14. 2013—The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, announces a new nine-month fellowship for journalists that will focus on community resilience in times of crisis.

The AP-NORC Fellow will be selected through a national competition open to journalists with at least five years’ experience and a demonstrated interest in research-based reporting or issues related to resilience, including journalists currently employed by AP and other news organizations. 

Applications for the fellowship will be accepted on a rolling basis from November 11, 2013 until a candidate is selected.  The fellowship will begin in January of 2014.

“Disaster coverage tends to focus on the event itself while larger stories go untold,” said Trevor Tompson, director of the AP-NORC Center.  “Important stories lie within the resilience shown by people and communities.  This fellowship will train a journalist in the skills needed to tell such stories and the lessons they hold.”

The new fellowship will include a unique opportunity to investigate select neighborhoods affected by Superstorm Sandy and to contribute to a report on an in-depth research project on community resilience conducted in communities affected by the Superstorm.

“Superstorm Sandy tested the resilience of New York and New Jersey and it is important to help communities better prepare for future storms and other shocks and stresses,” said Rockefeller Foundation Vice President, Global Communications Neill Coleman.  “The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to fund this fellowship to increase public awareness and dialogue around the importance of building resilience.”

The new fellowship will have two main components, education and the opportunity to do in-depth journalism on topics related to community resilience.

  • Approximately 40 percent of the fellows’ time will be devoted to formal and informal training in research methods, disaster response, urban studies, and sociology.  In doing this work the fellow will have access to the resources of the research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, the University of Chicago itself, and others in the research community nationally and globally.
  • Approximately 60 per percent of the time will be spent developing in-depth reporting projects with the assistance of AP journalists and NORC senior staff.  The fellow will work with an assigned AP editor to develop reporting projects and carry them out, with the expectation of publication by AP.

The fellow will spend a significant amount of time doing research and reporting in the New York and New Jersey areas that were affected by Superstorm Sandy and in Chicago for training.

The Rockefeller Foundation includes resilience as a focus of its grant making, describing the process of building resilience as “making people, communities and systems better prepared to withstand catastrophic events-both natural and manmade-and able to bounce back more quickly and emerge stronger from these shocks and stresses.”

In addition to five years of experience as a journalist, working in text, radio television, or online, applicants must demonstrate interest and some experience covering issues related to disaster recovery and resilience.  Applicants with formal training or experience in social science and research methods would be preferred as would a track record showing ability and interest in translating research into journalism.

The fellowship will include a nine-month salary of up to $75,000 and full benefits.  Work arrangements, including location, will be worked out with the person who is selected for the fellowship.

Complete eligibility requirements, a description of the selection process, and further details can be found at www.apnorc.org.

NORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research organization headquartered in downtown Chicago with additional offices in the University of Chicago campus, the D.C. Metro area, Atlanta, Boston, and San Francisco.  NORC also supports a nationwide field staff as well as international research operations.  With clients throughout the world, NORC collaborates with government agencies, foundations, education institutions, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to provide data and analysis that support informed decision making in key areas including health, education, crime, justice, energy, security and the environment.  NORC’s more than 70 years of leadership and experience in data collection, analysis, and dissemination—coupled with deep subject matter expertise—provides the foundation for effective solutions to issues confronting society.

The Associated Press (AP) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats.  On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from the AP.  Founded in 1846, the AP today is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering.  The AP considers itself to be the backbone of the world’s information system, serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television, and online customers with coverage in text, photos, graphics, audio and video.

The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge strong from acute shocks and chronic stresses.  Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact.  In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, The Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address the emerging challenges facing humankind through innovation, intervention and influence in order to shape agendas and inform decision making.

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Contact:  Ray Boyer (Phone) 312-330-6433 (Email) boyer-ray@norc.org