The Tarbell Fellowship is a one-year programme for early-career journalists interested in covering emerging technologies, especially artificial intelligence.
Fellows secure a 9-month placement at a major newsroom, participate in a study group covering AI governance & technical fundamentals, and attend a 2 week journalism summit in Oxford. The Tarbell Fellowship provides a stipend of up to $50,000 to support these placements.
The programme incorporates expert speakers, feedback & mentorship from experienced journalists and networking events with experts from leading AI organisations. Upon graduation, we expect fellows to bring their impact-focused perspective to major newsrooms and publications around the globe.
The 2024 Tarbell Fellowship will run from March 2024 - March 2025. Applications for the 2024 cohort will close on November 5th 2023.
Artificial intelligence is one of the key challenges facing humanity this century.
As AI systems progress, they could pose a catastrophic risk to humanity. Researchers could lose control over advanced AI systems, malicious actors could weaponize this technology, and a deluge of persuasive misinformation could undermine democracy. Relative to their importance, these issues receive much less attention than they deserve.
The Tarbell Fellowship seeks to change that. We’re creating a community of expert journalists to lead the public debate on AI and hold major AI labs accountable to society.
AI Fundamentals study group
Mar - May 2024
17-28 June 2024
July 2024 - Mar 2025
How it works
Challenging. Fellows will spend the year building skills and a strong portfolio to accelerate their journalism career.
As the fellowship is not associated with a specific news outlet, fellows must work hard to gain experience. Stipends may be used to support freelancing, placements in major newsrooms, or the production of other forms of journalism.
Full-time. The fellowship is a full time commitment. Journalism is a highly competitive industry, and we expect fellows to be completely focused on succeeding.
Remote. The fellowship is entirely remote. This enables us to support rising journalism talent from around the globe.
However, we strongly encourage fellows to move to international journalism hubs for the duration of this fellowship. We expect this to accelerate fellows’ careers and will give preferential treatment to those willing to do this.
What we offer
Placement. Fellows secure a 9-12 placement at a major newsroom covering artificial intelligence. Placement details vary by outlet.
Stipend. Fellows receive stipends of up to $50,000, depending on circumstances, for the duration of their placement. We expect stipends to vary between $35,000 - $50,000 depending on location and personal circumstances.
Intensive AI Training. Prior to placements, fellows undergo a 2-month program on AI technical and governance fundamentals. This program requires ~10 hours per week and is conducted remotely. Sessions include guest lectures, paired assignments, and readings.
Oxford Summit. Fellows attend a two week summit in Oxford at the beginning of the fellowship. This will be an intensive fortnight of guest speakers, workshops and networking events in Oxford and London. Travel and accommodation costs will be fully covered.
Cultivating the next generation of journalists telling stories that matter.
AI expertise. A deep interest in artificial intelligence and its effects on society. Many fellows will have experience working in tech journalism, machine learning research, or AI governance.
Passionate about journalism. Previous newsroom experience (including at student newspapers) or comparable experience in a field such as law or research is desirable but not necessary. We seek to support early-career journalists and will prioritise potential over experience.
Excellent writing skills. A creative approach to storytelling combined with the ability to quickly get to the heart of a new topic. Fellows must be able to produce compelling copy under tight deadlines.
Relentless. The ability to doggedly pursue your goals and persevere in the face of adversity. Fellows must be willing to work hard, and be capable of withstanding repeated rejection
Open-minded. The desire to understand the truth of any given story, even when it conflicts with prior beliefs. Fellows must be open to criticism and recognising ways they can improve their writing and thinking.
If you think you have what it takes, but don't meet every single point above, please apply and let us know how you believe you can bring your unique skills to the world of journalism.
Who we look for
Mentors & Speakers
Senior Journalist, BBC Future, BBC.com
How to apply
Our application process comprises 5 stages. The further you get, the more time we’ll ask you to invest.
Application & Writing Samples
Complete our application form. Include your CV, answer some short questions and provide 1-3 writing samples.
Applications for the 2024 Tarbell Fellowship close on November 5th 2023.
Test Task 1
Submit a short project detailing the types of topics you'd like to cover and how you expect the Tarbell Fellowship to advance your career. To be completed in 2-3 hours and returned within a few days.
Answer general and situational questions relevant to journalism in a recorded interview.
Test Task 2
Write a short article in response to a specific prompt.
A deeper interview with a member of the Tarbell Fellowship team.