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Isaac Rauch Immigration Policy Reporting Fellowship

Max Siegelbaum

Jan 04, 2021

Documented is seeking an ambitious reporter who wants to investigate how New York City or state programs are affecting the lives of immigrant residents. 

In the past year, we have found that despite the eviction moratorium, undocumented residents are being harrassed and threatened by their landlords because they are behind on rent due to COVID layoffs. We investigated the city’s opaque process around distributing philanthropy dollars to undocumented immigrants and how the program is leaving many eligible residents behind. We also showed how the state rent relief program failed to include undocumented New Yorkers with mounting rent debts. 

The experiences of the readers of Documented Semanal, our Spanish-language publication that’s distributed on WhatsApp, informed all of these stories. We will work with you to craft a callout to our readers and will connect you with potential sources. You come to us with an idea and some background research and we’ll work together to turn it into a magazine length feature or a series. We don’t expect you to be an expert in public policy or immigration, but we are seeking well researched and ambitious ideas. We will work with the reporter to determine the best format. 

If you’re interested, please submit a proposal of no more than 300 words with a description of the policies, programs or agencies you hope to investigate, a list of potential sources and links to previous stories to max.siegelbaum@documentedny.com with the subject line “Rauch Fellowship.” The fellowship includes a $5,000 stipend. Spanish fluency is mandatory.

We know there are great candidates who may not fit into what we’ve described above or who have important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.

We are dedicated to improving our newsroom, in part by better reflecting the people we cover.  We are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages. And we are taking steps to meet that commitment. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

The deadline to apply for the fellowship is Feb. 28, 2021.

  • A stipend of $5,000.
  • A 300-word proposal with a description of the policies, programs or agencies you hope to investigate is required.
  • Spanish fluency is mandatory.

About the fellowship: 

The Fellowship is named for Isaac Rauch, who passed away in 2020 after a battle with cancer. 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 aims to provide; compelling journalistic narrative, seeking the truth from our elected officials and their appointees, and creating equity for the immigrant communities that make New York City. 

Max Siegelbaum

Co-executive Director of Documented




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