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$10,000 for a Journalism Project: Documented Opens Third Isaac Rauch Fellowship

We are offering $10,000 for an ambitious journalism project

Documented is seeking an ambitious reporter who wants to cover issues affecting New York’s immigrant communities to apply to the Isaac Rauch Fellowship.

The Isaac Rauch Fellowship is designed to enable a reporter to pursue a story they would not be able to without adequate longer term funding. The money can be used on a series of stories about a certain topic, or one ambitious feature. It can be a documentary or a written story. We will open Documented’s resources and access to our sizable community of immigrant readers to help provide input into the subject of your story, and we will publish the story.

This is the third year of the Fellowship. Last year, the Isaac Rauch Fellow Rong Xiaoqing spent a year investigating the widespread crackdown against New York City’s Chinese residents due to tensions between China and the U.S. She spoke with dozens of sources and uncovered powerful stories about the extent to which Chinese nationals living in the United States are the target of the FBI and/ or their families are targeted by Chinese authorities. 

“I think the editors Max and Clarissa have actually done a great job. … Documented understands immigrant communities. So for a story like [mine], I have to spend a lot of time and energy to do it, I really wanted to put it in good hands, who could understand it.”

— Rong Xiaoqing, an investigative journalist and Documented’s 2023 Isaac Rauch Reporting fellow, said in an interview with Documented about how she reported her story

The fellow before her, Maurizio Guerrero, spent his time investigating safety violations in New York City’s construction industry. He found that safety groups are fighting to roll back meager protections put in place by regulators. He also found that construction deaths are most common among low wage earning Latin American immigrant workers whose families are left with little compensation after losing their loved ones. 

We are providing a stipend of $10,000 to the incoming Isaac Rauch Fellow to support their project proposal. Stories can be an accountability-based series, a magazine-level feature story, or even a short documentary on topics including housing, culture, immigration policy issues, public safety, and more. The only requirement is the idea must be fresh and uncover new information. We are not looking for deep dives into topics that have been widely covered.

“The Isaac Rauch fellowship allowed me to develop a long-investigative series of reports that would have been impossible for me to pursue as a freelance journalist. The grant gave me the chance to spend months reviewing documents, interviewing people, and moving across New York to speak with the people and see the locations involved in my investigation. The editors were supportive in helping me shape my draft into three pieces that reflected the exploitative nature of the ultra-wealthy construction industry in New York and its reliance on vulnerable laborers. I encourage anyone with a story about immigrants in New York to pitch it, as Documented is an invaluable resource for folks who want to learn more about the challenges the immigrant communities face in NYC.”

— Maurizio Guerrero, an investigative journalist and Documented’s 2021 Isaac Rauch Reporting fellow, told Documented

If you’re interested, please submit a proposal of no more than 500 words with a description of the story you hope to tell, a list of potential sources, and links to previous stories you have written. You will be expected to deliver your work in six months. 

The Isaac Rauch Fellowship is named for Isaac Rauch, who died of cancer at 29 in 2020. Isaac was a sharp political observer with a broad sense for New York’s political landscape and enthusiasm for its intricacies past, present, and future, from Far Rockaway to Yonkers. A dextrous and versatile writer, Isaac’s depth of thought and analysis, combined with his formidable research skills, made him an insightful addition to Deadspin, Time Out New York, and Slate. His passion for social justice was evident in his work with CAMBA, numerous elected officials, and the participatory budgeting process. 

Isaac represented the best in what this Fellowship, named in his memory, aims to provide: compelling journalistic narrative that creates real impact and advances equity for the immigrant communities that make up New York City. Please submit your application using this form by 11:59 p.m. EST June 8, 2024.

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