Goldwater Institute Ronald Reagan Journalism Fellowship

Posted on October 20, 2009 | Type:
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Job Description
The Goldwater Institute Ronald Reagan Journalism Fellow will work with investigative reporter Emily Gersema to develop a plan to research a story, follow it through, and write up the findings. Specifically, the Fellow will:

  • Identify the subject: The first step is to identify a subject that is worth researching and that has a high probability of paying off in the end.
  • Develop a research plan: This would include discussions at the front end about what types of public records or other documents might be available and how to go about getting them. The Fellow will be assisted in preparation of public records requests and in dealing with bureaucrats who try to inhibit or block the release of public documents. It would also include developing a plan for non-government records, such as information available on the Internet or through human sources who might have background and information relevant to the story.
  • Interview: Once the Fellow has a good understanding of the facts through public records and other documents, the next step would be to identify who the relevant players are and conduct the interviews. This would include discussion on what types of questions need to be asked and answered, what order people should be approached, and what to do when people refuse to cooperate.
  • Analyze: Once the document gathering and interviews are complete, the Fellow will be assisted in identifying the key findings, which will guide how the story is written.
  • Write and potentially publish: This stage of the process is a discussion about what writing technique would be the most effective way to communicate the information to the readers, what information is important, and to ensure that we are being fair by giving people an opportunity for a complete response. The ultimate goal in this process is to get a well-researched article published.

In addition to their journalism work, Goldwater Institute Ronald Reagan Journalism Fellows are given reading assignments and participate in Lunch and Learn seminars, attend local events, and meet and network with local policy leaders. Fellows also send one letter-to-the-editor each month, and occasionally assist at major Goldwater Institute events and with large mailings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What can Fellows expect to gain from participation in the Ronald Reagan Journalism Fellows Internship Program?

A. The goal of the program is to teach students all aspects of investigative journalism. The program also exposes students to both classical liberal principles and the operational aspects of a public policy research organization. Fellows can expect to learn what is involved in investigative journalism, as well as gain a foundational understanding of the principles that shaped Ronald Reagan's presidency, as well as how those principles relate to current public policy, and how research organizations advance public policy at both the local and national levels.

Q. Who qualifies for participation in the program?

A. Applicants should be college journalism students, recent journalism school graduates, or journalism graduate students. Individuals should be able to work at least three full days per week during the spring and fall semesters, and five days per week during the summer semester; exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis. Both domestic and international applications will be considered, however, overseas applicants must possess authorization to live and work in the United States.

Q. What qualities do you look for in an ideal applicant?

A. Successful applicants will demonstrate: 1) An active interest in journalism and public policy; 2) Strong intellectual aptitude; 3) Eagerness to work cooperatively and supportively with others; 4) Exceptional judgment and integrity; and 5) An appreciation for the free enterprise system and constitutionally limited government.

Q. Does participation carry a stipend?

A. Yes. Fellows earn a modest stipend based on fellowship duration and hours worked.

Q. What are the deadlines for submission of application materials?

A. The deadline for summer semester is March 15; for the fall semester the deadline is August 1; and for the spring semester the deadline is December 1.

Q. What are the required application materials?

A. Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, 2-3 references, and 2-3 writing samples to Roger Zetah at or 500 E. Coronado Road, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

Q. What is the process following submission of application materials?

A. All applicants will receive acknowledgement that their materials have arrived, and those selected for further consideration will be contacted directly by Institute staff to arrange a telephone or in-person interview shortly after the application deadline has passed.

Q. What is considered "full-time" participation in the program?

A. Fellows are expected to work a minimum of 24 hours per week at the Institute during the spring and fall semesters. During the summer, however, only applicants who are available to work 40 hours per week will be considered. Participation in the program is typically for the duration of a semester: fall (September-mid December), spring (mid January-late May), or summer (late May-mid August). Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q. Who should I contact if I am having difficulty with the application process, or have questions regarding the Ronald Reagan Journalism Fellows Internship Program that are not addressed on this website?

A. Questions should be directed to Roger Zetah at

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