You have questions about the IowaWatch Science in the Media Fellowships. Here are some quick answers.
Q: When should we have to apply?
A: Immediately. Grants are available until the money is gone. We have to spend the grant money by Feb. 28, 2019. First accepted, first served.
Q: What do you want in the application?
A: Simply send a story treatment that a clear theme; why people should care; sources and data you would use to report the story; potential photos, video, sound and graphics; and a completion plan. Send it as an attachment in an email that introduces you and your proposed reporting project to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: If we have until Feb. 28, 2019, to spend the money, why do stories have to be filed by the end of January 2019?
A: Stories will require editing, and we likely will have questions that need to be answered before the stories are published. That is normal with in-depth news stories like we are seeking. That editing, which will include fact checking, would take place in February if you wait until the end of January to turn in your report. We want to make sure you finish by Feb. 28 so that you receive the stipend.
Q: Can we turn our report in earlier than January?
A: Yes, we would love that. The story gets done sooner instead of lingering, it gets published sooner and you get your stipend sooner. We all are happy.
Q: Where do work if accepted for a fellowship?
A: You work on your home campus, where you are taking fall classes. We will work with you remote.
Q: May a group of us apply as a team to do a report?
A: A fellow could put together and lead a reporting team for a reporting project. We would split the $1,000 among team members.
Q: Can we do more than one report and get a grant for the additional ones?
A: Yes, but doing this would be difficult. These kinds of news reports take, thus the large stipend. However, you could be part of more than one reporting team if fellows create reporting teams.
THE 2018 SCIENCE IN THE MEDIA FELLOWSHIP program is an IowaWatch/University of Northern Iowa Science in the Media Collaboration
Q: Why wait until the end of the project to pay the stipend?
A: Stories have to meet standards for publication. You will know along the process whether or not you are on track for that so that none of us wastes time. We’ll try to vet ahead of time to make sure you have a good plan for pulling this off.
Q: Who would publish or air our report?
A: IowaWatch.org, an online news site and the Science in the Media website administered by the University of Northern Iowa Communication Studies department. IowaWatch news stories often are republished by Iowa’s largest newspapers, such as The Des Moines Register, Cedar Rapids Gazette and others, although no guarantee exists that they would publish your story. IowaWatch uses sound and submitted, produced radio reports on its statewide radio program, the IowaWatch Connection that airs every weekend 23 times on 19 Iowa radio stations. IowaWatch also belongs to a national network on nonprofit news organizations, the Institute for Nonprofit News that distributes stories from Midwest U.S. members to national news outlets for republication possibilities. IowaWatch will tell each television newsroom about your story but television stations like to have their own on-air talent deliver stories. Still, we have had some successes with getting TV coverage of IowaWatch stories in the past.
We will add more questions and answers as we hear your interests and concerns. In the meantime, put that treatment together and send it to this email. We will consider all applications until six are selected.