Knight Scholarship

Knight Scholars attend a welcome lunch at the 2015 CAR Conference in Atlanta.

College students at several historically black colleges and universities can apply for the Knight Scholarship to attend IRE’s data journalism and annual investigative reporting conferences.

Scholarships will cover travel and registration for selected students. They will also receive mentorship before and during the conference to help them make the most out of the experience. Each student will contribute to our conference blog during the event.


Eligibility and application information

Students from the following schools are eligible for this scholarship:

  • Florida A&M University

  • Grambling State University

  • Hampton University

  • Howard University

  • Jackson State University

  • Morehouse College

  • Morgan State University

  • Norfolk State University

  • North Carolina A&T State University

  • Savannah State University

  • Southern University

  • Spelman College


Knight Scholars and mentors pose for a photo at the 2014 CAR Conference in Baltimore

Application requirements

Each student must complete an application. Students will be asked to select a preferred conference that he or she would like to attend. Applicants will be asked to upload (or provide links for) two published work samples. If no work has been published, please submit some classwork that best demonstrates your abilities. Students must include the contact information for at least one reference. Lastly, each student will be asked to answer the following questions, each in no more than 200 words:

  • Please describe your career goals and what led you to pursue journalism.

  • Please tell us why you want to attend a conference and what you hope to gain from the experience.


Where are they now?

Since 2014, more than 25 students have been awarded Knight Scholarships. Here’s what a few of them are up to:

Taylor Bembery is a graduate of Jackson State University. “I went to IRE for the first time as a new college graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Journalism. The timing could not have been more perfect. I have made many lifelong connections with professionals and mentors. (The Knight Scholarship) gives students and budding journalists the tools they need to succeed, but most importantly it addresses one of the biggest needs in journalism – diversity.”

Brittany Collins is a reporter at WGXA in Macon, Ga. “I can say for sure that going to the IRE Conference in Philadelphia and the CAR Conference in Baltimore changed my way of thinking. During many of my job interviews I had story ideas ready to be pitched and the news directors were impressed with my depth of research. I met many mentors from IRE and CAR who have helped me out in various ways and they continue to give me advice on storytelling.”

Glynn Hill completed an internship at the Associated Press in Washington, DC and accepted a job at the Houston Chronicle. “I think IRE helped open my mind to the types of stories out there that can be told in a variety of ways. I used that knowledge to execute and pitch different story ideas this summer and will continue to do so in Texas.”

LaCrai Mitchell is a line producer and the online content editor/producer for Florida A&M’s live student newscast. In 2015 she was picked to be one of the Online News Association’s HBCU Digital Media Fellows.

Timothy Tukes is a Huffington Post campus editor-at-large and a student at Morehouse College. He serves as a student ambassador for The White House Initiative on HBCUs and also writes for print and other web outlets. “My experience at IRE in June 2014 connected me with award-winning journalists like the Wall Street Journal’s James Grimaldi and NBC’s Eva Parks who work both in print and broadcast. I’m sure those relationships will prove themselves to be valuable after my graduation in May 2017. The IRE conference showed me the value of an ethical, diligent investigation.”


About the conferences

IRE’s Data Journalism Conference | March 2016

The Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference will be held in Denver, March 10-13, 2016. It’s a skills-based conference that draws about 1,000 people from around the world. Attendees can expect to leave with story ideas and tools to help with everything from obtaining to analyzing to visualizing data. Many hands-on classes will be offered at this conference giving attendees experience working with tools that can help up their game. This conference is suitable for all skill levels – from reporters who want to dig deeper to developers who want to create the latest in data visualization. Attendees include students, educators, reporters, editors, producers, news application developers and more.

IRE’s Annual Investigative Reporting Conference | June 2016

The best in the business will gather in New Orleans June 16-19 for more than 150 panels, hands-on classes and special presentations about covering business, public safety, government, health care, education, the military, the environment and other key beats at the annual investigative reporting conference. Speakers will share strategies for locating documents and gaining access to public records, finding the best stories and managing investigations. Last year more than 1,800 journalists from around the world attended the 2015 conference in Philadelphia, where special tracks highlighted campus investigations, broadcast and writing the investigative story.



Please contact [email protected] with any questions.