NOTE ON MID-CAREER FELLOWSHIPS: Please note that 2005-2006 mid-career fellowship applications are currently suspended. Please check back later for more information on the mid-career fellowships and for information on applications for the Fall 2005 NEA fellowship for classical music and opera critics and writers.
THE NAJP FELLOWS LINK ACADEMIC STUDY AND CULTURAL IMMERSION in New York City with participation in NAJP-supported projects. Several NAJP research fellows have combined their coursework and off-campus activities in recent years with the design and execution of research projects and professional conferences on subjects of relevance to arts journalism.
For example, 2001-02 research fellow Gayle Feldman conducted a study of the book-publishing industry, which the NAJP published as a research report entitled Best and Worst of Times. In 2002-03, research fellow Michael Wise proposed a project on the theme of cultural diplomacy and he helped NAJP organize an influential conference, "Arts & Minds," which took place at Columbia University in the spring of 2003.
In the past academic year, for the first time in the program's history, the entire NAJP fellow group was working jointly on a research project. The year-long effort has led up to a major NAJP report published in the fall of 2004 entitled Reporting the Arts II.
The 2004-05 NAJP fellows are pursuing various projects following on the findings of the new report. Please check this site for updates about panel discussions and other events being organized by current and past NAJP fellows. In addition, in March 2005 the NAJP fellows will join a group of NAJP alumni for a five-day study tour of Catalan culture, supported by the Institut Ramon Llull in Barcelona.
What the NAJP alumni are saying about the fellowship experience.
Fellowships in 2005-06
For 2005-06, the program will accept applications for a limited number of one-semester (winter-spring) research fellowships. The precise number of fellows is yet to be determined (check this page for announcements and updates). The NAJP now considers applications by arts journalists who are not U.S. citizens or residents, contingent on the availability of targeted funding for international fellows from their home countries.
The deadline for 2005-06 fellowship applications is May 4, 2005.
“The Artist in the Media” Project
The NAJP's research studies have shifted the debate about the media¬s role in the arts from anecdotes to facts. They are also signaling a new kind of crisis for the arts in America: At a time when the volume and complexity of arts activity is growing almost everywhere, arts coverage in mainstream outlets – the reports and criticism most Americans read or see – is generally on the wane. If current trends prevail, the outlook for a healthy environment for the arts will deteriorate further.
The 2006 research fellows will work jointly on a major new research project entitled “The Artist in the Media.” NAJP's 2004 Reporting the Arts II study, the most comprehensive analysis of arts journalism in America ever undertaken, drew on the contributions of some 40 researchers, including the entire cohort of 2003-04 fellows. Next year's project will build on the quantitative findings of earlier NAJP studies to tackle issues of substance and quality.
Working with consultants and experts, the fellows will examine how art is represented in the news: What kind of impressions and images are being conveyed through criticism and reporting about art and artists to the general public?
Until now, we quantified various aspects of arts coverage: column inches and staff budgets devoted to the arts, how it compares to other beats, how it favors some art forms and certain types of journalism at the expense of others. But the messages conveyed do not simply depend on the amount of coverage. Arguably more important is the content of the journalism – its focus, bias, tone, obsessions and stereotypes. The messages the media convey about art and artists have profound implications on people's interest and participation in the arts and on the health of the arts themselves, and are deserving of a large-scale inquiry.
The NAJP research fellows will pursue the topic through a variety of research tools, methodologies and topical orientations, yielding a report that will form the basis of a conference in 2006-07. The research approaches may range from content analyses of programs and publications to reviews of survey data to focus groups. The fellows will help to conceptualize the study and suggest specific avenues for research, drawing on their areas of expertise in various sectors of the news media. International fellows will contribute a cross-cultural perspective.
We strongly encourage prospective candidates to consult with the NAJP about their potential contributions prior to submitting their application.
The NAJP fellowship offers critics, reports and editors working in print, broadcast and electronic journalism time off from their professional duties to immerse themselves in a wide range of university curricula. The fellows may take classes in most schools and departments of Columbia University. They participate in weekly seminars and take part in New York's rich arts offerings.
Candidates are invited to propose individual projects for consideration, on the model of past research fellowships. However, since support available for individual projects will be extremely limited, those interested in proposing them are strongly advised to contact the NAJP before they proceed with a formal application.
Candidates for the NAJP research fellowship must have at least five years of professional arts journalism experience. Fellowships are not intended for entry-level journalists or students. Candidates may be full-time staff reporters and critics, freelancers with a significant body of work, or editors for a newspaper, magazine, journal, broadcast media or new-media organization. Their work may deal with architecture, dance, film, graphic and industrial design, literature, music, television, theater, visual arts, other cultural, aesthetic or critical forms, or arts policy. Fellows receive guidance in planning an academic semester that will strengthen their artistic, cultural and professional expertise.
Fellows are selected on the basis of the caliber and promise of their work in journalism, their ability to contribute to NAJP projects and the quality of their proposal (please contact NAJP for current application guidelines and application forms). Eligible candidates include U.S. citizens and residents whose professional activity is focused on arts journalism within the United States. Non-U.S. citizens and residents are generally considered for NAJP support only if their journalism work is predominantly destined for U.S. audiences. The NAJP now accepts applications from arts journalists in other countries (even if their work is not primarily destined for U.S. audiences) if funding is available to support their fellowships and if they meet the program's eligibility criteria.
Fellows' Activities and Responsibilities
All fellows reside in New York during their residencies (the NAJP assists out-of-town fellows in gaining access to Columbia University housing at subsidized rents). In addition to their coursework, fellows attend a meeting each week – usually joined by a scholar, artist, journalist or other cultural figure -- and participate in group outings to arts and cultural events in the New York City area and beyond. The fellows receive dedicated work space at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, as well as research assistance and other research-related support, as required.
Fellows are invited to take part in NAJP conferences and symposia at all stages. Events conceived and executed by fellows have addressed topics from the role of the arts in urban renewal to the future of small independent magazines.
During their residencies, the NAJP research fellows are asked to abstain from writing and publishing new work, outside of projects connected to their fellowships. (Work completed prior to the residency may appear with a fellow's byline during the fellowship period.) In addition, the NAJP permits the writing and publication of one article per academic term. Such articles must be accompanied by a statement, where possible, that the author is an NAJP fellow.
Fellows are expected to follow the goals and objectives outlines in their proposal. Significant departures from the fellowship or research plan must be approved by the program. While the NAJP will make every attempt to match successful applicants with projects that draw on their personal research interests, the precise scope of their contribution will be shaped in the context of the overall research agenda and the individual strengths of the other research fellows.
The fellows also agree to complete a comprehensive evaluation before the conclusion of their residency. Aside from university holidays, fellows are expected to be in residence during the entire residency. Extended travel within the fellowship period must be approved by the program.
Each fellow, where applicable, must accept the leave conditions negotiated with his or her employer and agree to return to work for at least one year after completing the fellowship.
Stipends and Benefits
The NAJP research fellows receive a stipend of $22,500 for the spring term (January-May). Where applicable, each fellow's employer is asked to supplement the stipend up to the fellow's regular salary.
The program also pays tuition, fees and some other Columbia University costs. Fellows are eligible for Columbia University housing and health insurance; however, the NAJP does not provide additional financial support to cover these expenses. Although the program cannot guarantee subsidized housing, the university has in the past been able to accommodate fellows' housing requests.
The NAJP fellows receive a certificate of attendance. The NAJP is not a degree-granting program.
Finalist candidates are interviewed by the directors of the program and/or one of the NAJP's regionally-based alumni. Fellows are selected by the NAJP Advisory Board, in consultation with NAJP administrators.
NAJP : Fellowships : Mid-Career Fellowships