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Q&A with IRE Journalist of Color fellow Sameea Kamal

The IRE Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship is a year-long program intended to prepare and support a journalist of color for a solid career in investigative reporting. The program also provides an opportunity for the fellow’s news outlets to benefit from the fellow’s investigative skill-building. An underlying goal of the program is to increase the range of backgrounds, experiences and interests within the field of investigative journalism, where diverse perspectives are critically important.

Sameea Kamal said her experience during the fellowship was "life-changing" and volunteered to answer questions that potential applicants may have. 

Who are you and where are you based?

Sameea Kamal, California politics reporter at CalMatters.

When did you participate in IRE's Journalist of Color fellowship? 


What project did you work on during the fellowship? 

An investigation of Title IX under the Trump administration, published by The Center for Public Integrity in March 2021.

Why should journalists apply?

There are so many journalists of color who haven’t had access to trainings, mentors or simply the byline opportunities that this fellowship offers – or they haven’t been in a position where they could take advantage of those opportunities. The structure of the fellowship gives you the dedicated space, time and commitment from yourself, newsroom and mentor network to reach the next level in your career.

How was the fellowship helpful in your career as an investigative journalist?

This fellowship was transformative for me to transition back to reporting and writing that I hadn’t been able to do as much of since earlier in my career. It provided me the ability to take journalism trainings I may not have been able to prioritize financially on my own – as well as that commitment to using it for a specific story. My mentor network helped me with the many questions I had throughout the reporting process – from ideas for sources to more philosophical discussions about journalism ethics. As a reporter now focused on state government accountability, I use so much of what I learned nearly every day in ways big and small: being able to scrape a state government’s website, or the beat reporting skills developed through working on one project for a year. 

If you have additional questions for Sameea about her experience, you can reach her on Twitter (@SameeaKamal).

Applicants are also welcome to contact IRE Director of Partnerships Anna López at for more information about this fellowship and other fellowship opportunities available from IRE.

The application deadline is Oct. 6, 2022. To apply click here.  

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