I just found out about a pretty significant journalism fellowship from Stanford University's Center for the Study of the North American West: $3,500-$7,000 plus two weeks' access to the Center's facilities and resources.
The Western Enterprise Fellowship is for "research toward an article, series of articles or broadcast segment on a topic of particular significance to the United States west of the Mississippi, western Canada, or northern Mexico. Research areas can range widely, and may be related to the demographics, culture, politics, economy, or environment of the region."
Now, the info page for that fellowship also goes on to say, "Since the fellowship is to disseminate new perspectives on these issues to the wider public, fellows must enter the program with an assignment letter from a news organization that commits to publishing or broadcasting the work within twelve months of the fellowship’s completion."
I thought that sounded rather exclusive, so I inquired further...
I e-mailed Jon Christensen, the Center's primary contact for this fellowship. I asked him whether independent, freelance, or citizen journalists would be eligible to apply for this fellowship -- even if the outlet for their work was their own web site or blog, or a citJ venue such as YourHub or Backfence.
He replied, "They would certainly be welcome to apply. The fellowship awards will be decided on a case-by-case basis on their own merits. And we are all very much aware that the journalism landscape is changing."
Now that, I think is a very refreshing, contructive, and progressive perspective!
So if you've got a Western-focused enterprise reporting project in mind, and you think you could really pull it off if you had sufficient resources, go ahead an apply for this fellowship! The application deadline is May 1.
I'm sure the competition will be fierce -- but if your idea and skills are good enough, it's worth tossing your hat into this ring.
(NOTE: I also covered this over at Poynter's E-Media Tidbits weblog today.)