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25 journalists receive IRE fellowships

Thanks to the generosity of financial supporters, IRE is fortunate to have funding available to provide fellowships for financial assistance to its Data Journalism Bootcamps and annual NICAR Conference. This month, IRE awarded 25 fellowships for the March 2020 Data Journalism Bootcamp and the 2020 NICAR conference


Lei “Tommy” Xie, an associate professor at Fairfield University, received the David Donald Fellowship for Data Journalism. 

The fellowship was established in 2017 for the late David Donald, a former IRE training director, who spread the gospel of CAR to thousands of journalists, educators and students.The fellowship supports journalism educators to be better equipped to teach students to be effective watchdogs through the use of data. 


Chiara Eisner, an independent journalist from Houston, Layla Quran from PBS Newshour (Washington, D.C.) and Blaise Aboh from Orodata Science (Nigeria), received Ottaway Fellowships.

Established by David Ottaway and the Ottaway Family Fund, the Ottoway Fellowship is aimed at increasing the diversity of IRE's membership. 


Yoojin Cho from KXAN (Austin, Texas), Sonja Hutson from KUER (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Hurubie Meko from Lancaster Newspaper | LancasterOnline (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) received Total Newsroom Training Fellowships.

Total Newsroom Training (TNT) Fellowships are open to those who have completed two days of IRE’s TNT Program. 


Mohamed Al Elew from the University of California, San Diego, and Yves De Jesus from the University of Minnesota received Diversity Fellowships for Students. 

The Diversity Fellowships for Students is funded by generous IRE donors. 


Monica Cordero Sancho, an independent journalist, Rio Lacanlale from the Las Vegas Review-Journal (Las Vegas, Nevada) and Amanda Zhou from the Charlotte Observer received Diversity Fellowships. 

Some of the diversity fellowships were established by the Philip L. Graham Fund in memory of the late publisher of The Washington Post and president of The Washington Post Company (now Graham Holdings Company). Other fellowships were established by the IRE Diversity Development Fund. Both funds are intended to increase the diversity of the IRE membership and of the investigative journalism community.


Yurirua Guzman from the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley received the Jennifer Leonard Scholarship. 

Established by IRE member David Cay Johnston, formerly of The New York Times, to honor his wife, Jennifer, who is a national leader in promoting ethical standards for CHARITABLE endowments. The scholarship supports women studying journalism or in their first three years of their professional journalism career.


Faith Abubey from NBC Atlanta and Kevin Wisniewski from WTVF (Nashville, Tennessee) received Knight TV Data Fellowships.

Funded by the Knight Foundation to strengthen data watchdog skills at local TV stations across the United States.


Megan DeLaire from Torstar (Toronto, Canada), Maayan Silver and Lauren Sigfusson from WUWM (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Jeff Outhit from Waterloo Region Record (Ontario, Canada), Christian Marquez from Searchlight New Mexico (Santa Fe, New Mexico), Sara Simon from Spotlight PA (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), Sarah Gibson and Sara Plourde from New Hampshire Public Radio (Concord, New Hampshire) and Olivia Sanchez and Naomi Harris from the Capital Gazette (Annapolis, Maryland) received Data in Local Newsroom Training Program Fellowships. 

Data in Local Newsroom Training Program is funded by Google News Initiative. 

If you are interested in applying for a fellowship for financial assistance for future IRE bootcamps or conferences, go here for more information. The next due dates:


  • Coding Bootcamps: February 17
  • IRE Conference: April 20
  • August 2020 Data Journalism Bootcamp: May 18


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