13.03.19

Apply to be our 2019 Google News Lab Fellow

Are you a brilliant young journalist just starting out? Apply for a Google News Lab Fellowship at the Bureau.

This is a fantastic opportunity to spend eight weeks working (paid) at the Bureau over the summer on data-led projects.

The fellow will work in one of three of our projects - Bureau Local, intensive farming or algorithmic decision-making. This will depend on what the requirements of the project are by the time we get to June, as well as the particular skills and potential of the fellow.

What will you be doing?

The fellow will learn and deploy the skills needed for strong investigative journalism, strongly supported and mentored along the way.

In previous years the fellow has come in at the start of a story and grown in responsibility as it progressed. They develop their research and data skills, pursue leads, get people to tell them their stories, understand how to properly factcheck a piece and learn how to give any targets of investigation a meaningful right to reply.

By the end of the process we aim for the fellow to have a byline on a strong story which they have developed from the start. But she or he will also have the opportunity of learning from the rest of our team's experience working on other projects, because the Bureau does not operate in a silo-ed way.

What are we looking for?

You need to be an enthusiastic self-starter who is keen to learn and to progress and who likes to work as part of a team.

We are very open to applications from diverse backgrounds and we would pay basic travel expenses for anyone who we interview for the fellowship who is from outside London.

Basic data skills are essential and knowledge of Python and R would be an advantage. But you must be able to think like a journalist as well as handle data.

You need to be a student in the UK to apply, and you need to either be studying journalism or have had journalistic training in the past, whether that is a degree or MA in journalism or NCTJ training or similar.

As part of your application we would need to see a file of stories which you have published although they do not need to be from the most prestigious sites. We know we are dealing with new journalists who are still trying to find their feet.

What do previous fellows say?

Our most recent fellow, Alexandra Heal has this to say about the experience: "My Google fellowship at the Bureau was defined by two things - the responsibility I was given and the time the team invested in me. On my first day I was immediately tasked with finding story-worthy figures from a big dataset they had obtained through Freedom of Information, then contacting and interviewing sources, and writing up copy.

"Having only done a bit of work with spreadsheets before, by the end of the summer I felt confident in cleaning and analysing raw data. The most refreshing thing was that my editor regularly took the time to speak to me one-to-one to give me advice and ask how I was finding the placement - I had never had that before!"

Alexandra is now employed by the Bureau as a reporter.

You can also read a blog by our 2017 fellow Rachel Lavin about her experience here. Rachel worked in our Bureau Local team producing data visualisations and style sheets for local investigations.

How to apply

If you think you could be our next fellow, click here to submit your application. The deadline is April 1.

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