Radio Television Digital News Foundation: Grants for Journalism

OVERVIEW: RTDNF provides scholarships for student journalists and fellowships for early career and minority journalists.

IP TAKE: The application process is the same for the scholarships and fellowships, but each has its own eligibility requirements. Grant seekers should choose carefully as they can apply to only one program at a time.

PROFILE: Created in 1946, Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) is the philanthropic arm of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). It seeks to provide “visibility, advocacy, training, resources, networking and awards for broadcast and digital journalists.” RTDNF supports broadcast and digital journalism through scholarships for students and fellowships for young professionals and minority journalists.

Scholarships support full-time college undergraduate students seeking careers in radio, television, or digital journalism. Freshmen are ineligible. In addition to funding, scholars also receive an invitation to the annual Excellence in Journalism conference. The Ed Bradley Scholarship, established by the famed 60 Minutes correspondent, makes a grant of $10,000 to an aspiring journalist of color. The Carole Simpson Scholarship, established by the first African American woman to anchor a network TV evening broadcast and the first to moderate a presidential debate, supports minority students with a $2,000 scholarship. The Presidents Scholarship awards scholarships of $2,500 in honor of past RTDNA presidents. The Mike Reynolds Scholarship, former managing editor at KCCI-TV in Des Moines, supports an electronic journalism student with good writing ability, excellent grades, and a demonstrated need for financial assistance with a $1,000 scholarship. The Lou and Carole Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship, created to honor the former longtime RTDNA and RTDNF employee, provides $1,000 to a journalism student seeking a career in sports journalism. The George Foreman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship, created by the boxing legend, honors the former president by awarding $6,000 to a University of Texas at Austin student. The Lee Thornton Scholarship, created by the first African American woman to cover the White House for a major new network and the first African American host of All Things Considered  on NPR, supports journalism students at the University of Maryland and Howard University with a $2,000 scholarship. The Pete Wilson Journalism Scholarship, established to honor the San Francisco television and radio journalist, supports graduate students in journalism from or attending college in the San Francisco Bay area with a $2,000 scholarship.

Grant seekers seeking to apply to one of these scholarships need to complete the online application form and include URL links to 3-5 work samples. Applicants will also need to include a cover letter, resume, and a letter of recommendation. View the FAQs and application checklist before applying.

Fellowships are open to professional broadcast or digital reporters with less than 10 years of experience.  All fellows receive an invitation to attend the Excellence in Journalism conference. N.S. Bienstock Fellowship supports an early-career minority journalist with a $2,500 fellowship. The Michele Clark Fellowship honors the CBS News correspondent killed while on assignment with a $1,000 fellowship. Vada and Col. Barney Oldfield National Security Reporting Fellowship supports a journalist or producer covering national defense and security with a $1,000 fellowship. The Jacque I. Minnotte Health Reporting Fellowship supports a health or medical television or radio journalist with a $2,000 fellowship.

Grant seekers seeking to apply to one of these fellowships need to complete the online application form and include URL links to 3-5 work samples. Applicants will also need to include a cover letter, resume, and a letter of recommendation. View the FAQs and application checklist before applying.

RTDNF also partners with the RIAS Berlin Commission for the German/American Journalist Exchange Program. The exchange is for two weeks and covers primary expenses, including transportation, housing, and “most meals.” Contact info@riasberlin.org for more information. Apply here.

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