Equitable Cities Reporting Fellowship for Reparations Narratives

Next City, in partnership with VPM News, seek a talented journalist for a one-year, multiplatform reporting (web/radio) fellowship based in Richmond, Virginia. This fellowship is designed to bring underrepresented voices to the forefront of the conversation about cities and their future. People of color, although representative of more than half the population of the 10 largest U.S. cities, are vastly underrepresented in the media and many conversations about urban trends and growth.

Ideal candidates for this Equitable Cities Fellowship are early in their careers and have a demonstrated interest in urban policy or solutions-based journalism. You should have published clips that demonstrate deft reporting on racial inequality and how it affects marginalized communities in a U.S. city or cities. You will help tell the important stories of a city still grappling with its history as the capital of the Confederacy and the diaspora that resulted.

It would also really help if you have experience with recording and editing audio — but VPM News will help the right person build those skills, too.

Ideal candidates understand the uniqueness of the city and greater Richmond area/Central Virginia.

Within the framework of equity and justice, we’ll encourage you to follow your passion as you pitch and contribute at least two multiplatform stories each week to VPM News and Next City — whether that’s covering reparative work to address the racial wealth gap, food deserts, environmental justice, social determinants of health or small business growth

You should be an expressive, engaging writer who can weave together human interest stories with data visualization and reporting. You should be motivated to uncover ways people can move out of or avoid poverty and to investigate policies and strategies that are contributing to inequality.

The fellowship will begin immediately: You will work with Next City editors remotely on web copy while you are based in the VPM News Richmond newsroom, whose team will help you develop, produce and distribute audio clips for radio. The fellowship includes a stipend for use on expenses, membership to the professional journalism organization of your choice, or professional development and thought leadership. A separate stipend covers expenses related to the wellness support necessary to cover a beat such as this.

All the tools needed to excel in this position — laptop, audio recording kit, software licenses — will be provided by either Next City or VPM News.


  • A degree in journalism or communications is preferred, but not required
  • 2+ years of professional writing experience
  • Strong and demonstrated interest in Richmond, Virginia, Central Virginia and/or Virginia
  • Outstanding research, writing and fact-checking skills
  • Ability to independently develop story ideas and sources into articles on a weekly basis
  • Efficient and deadline-oriented approach to tasks

If you don’t tick off every qualification above but are interested in this position and meet a portion of them, please still apply. We want to hear from everyone who is interested in this opportunity.

To apply, please submit:

  • a cover letter and a resume addressed to Next City and VPM News;
  • links to three published articles, audio clips (reels are OK!) and/or podcast episodes, preferably with at least one demonstrating your reporting on urban policy or a prevalent challenge facing U.S. cities today;
  • Two pitches for Next City stories that focus on Richmond. Consider this an opportunity to show off your news instincts, your voice and your reporting skills. Specify the news hook. Explain exactly why (after a careful review of our site) you believe the article would resonate with Next City’s mission-driven readers. Tell us how you’d frame the story, who you’d interview, and what data sources you’d consult, with as much detail as possible. Also important to keep in mind: Next City focuses its reporting on solutions and the people pushing forward with them. In writing about any aspect of racial or economic inequality or injustice, your stories should have somebody or several people working together to change something or explore a new model addressing the challenge at hand.

Salary: $50,700 per year
Email your materials to [email protected] with the subject line “Equitable Cities Reporting Fellowship – Richmond.”

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