The Sojourners Journalism Cohort is a part-time, five-month, remote training program designed to give early-career, non-white writers hands-on, paid training as freelance journalists. The cohort will accept three news reporters and three opinion writers per period who will each write approximately five faith and justice articles for sojo.net over the program.
With mentorship from associate news editor Mitchell Atencio and associate opinion editor Josiah R. Daniels, participants will learn how to develop pitches, write, and revise their work. Cohort members will have the flexibility to do much of their writing on their own time and attend required monthly training sessions. Members of the cohort will have an initial 1:1 meeting with their editor, ongoing communication in a shared Slack station, and the ability to schedule additional meetings with their editor as needed throughout the program. At the end of the program participants will complete a program evaluation which helps them reflect on the experience and provide valuable feedback to our organization as we continue to develop this program.
At Sojourners, we believe journalists help articulate the truth about the kind of world we live in and the kind of world we want to see. Yet journalism has been closely intertwined with this nation’s history of race, religion, and democracy; the people reporting the news and the people whose viewpoints the news amplifies do not often reflect the full and diverse promise of the world we inhabit or envision. To help address this critical gap, Sojourners has created the Sojourners Journalism Cohort.
This program provides AAPI, Black, Indigenous, Latine, and/or persons of color the experience they need to build their work writing about issues of religion and social justice. This project will uplift the perspectives of under-represented communities by offering young writers and journalists from these communities mentorship and writing opportunities.
News reporting cohort
Cohort members focused on news reporting will work with associate news editor Mitchell Atencio to report on news stories about and affecting faith communities and social justice movements. During the program, cohort members will receive guidance on interview strategies, pitching and research, news writing, and journalism ethics. People who might be ideally suited for the news reporting cohort could include students in journalism school, recent graduates of journalism programs, people with other writing backgrounds interested in transitioning to news reporting, and early-career journalists wishing to broaden their writing on faith and justice.
Opinion writing cohort
Cohort members focused on opinion and commentary writing will work with associate opinion editor Josiah R. Daniels to write insightful commentaries on contemporary topics and news. Training for opinion columnists will include developing a writing voice, building an argument, and writing compelling pitches. People who might be ideally suited for this program include divinity school students or recent graduates; justice advocates and organizers; or folks who work in ministry contexts who are looking to gain experience writing for a general audience.
Sojourners editorial mission and values
- Excellence: Striving to achieve the highest quality of journalism, social analysis, and spiritual writing.
- Life and Dignity: Promoting respect and honor for all members of the human family and the sacredness of creation.
- Social Justice: The economically poor, politically marginalized, and socially vulnerable have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the church and the nation. We put to the moral test public and ecclesial policy decisions in terms of how they address these moral claims.
- Global Community: Recognizing we are part of a global family that seeks peace and justice in all places, we work to center the witness of diverse voices across the globe.
Sojourners is an independent, award-winning print and online magazine of faith, culture, and politics. Our mission is to inspire hope and action by articulating the biblical call to racial and social justice, life and peace, and environmental stewardship.
Our call to prophetic interrogation means we seek the truth as informed by our biblical roots, uncover and explore injustices, and offer solutions consistent with our Christian values. We draw on a long and diverse tradition of Christians following Jesus and seeking justice, across different traditions, cultures, and times in history.
Our journalistic mission includes “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.” In our print and online news, analysis, and spiritual reflection, as well as our multimedia stories, we seek to be fair in our coverage, while not advancing false equivalencies. Our writers have a point of view, and we insist that they be accurate in their reporting and analysis; rigorous, comprehensive, and ethical in their methods; and transparent with readers about how they have arrived at their conclusions.
To apply for the first cohort, please email the following items to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to review the FAQ below to ensure you can meet the program requirements. All application materials must be submitted by 5 pm on Monday, Nov. 27.
- Tuesday, Feb. 20, 3:00-3:45 pm EST (introduction meeting)
- Tuesday, March 19, 3:00-3:45 EST
- Tuesday, April 16, 3:00-3:45 EST
- Tuesday, May 21, 3:00-3:45 EST
- Tuesday, June 25, 3:00-3:45 EST (closing meeting)