Environmental Justice Fellow

Grist (Seattle office, New York hub, or remote)

Posted 4 months ago

Grist is a nonprofit media organization working for a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck. Its editorial team leads the conversation on climate change and climate action, producing daily news and analysis pieces, as well as video and longform stories, on humanity’s attempt to grapple with the most critical issue it faces.

Grist is seeking an Environmental Justice Fellow to join our Editorial team. This fellowship will run for six months, beginning in June 2020. The fellow will report to the Articles Editor.

With the mentorship and support of Grist’s editorial staff, the justice fellow will report on the connections between social inequality and the environment. You will explore the ways in which the environmental movement can become more inclusive, especially in the current moment — and how communities of color are developing new ways to fight for cleaner air and water and safer neighborhoods. We’re especially interested in journalism that identifies communities and people working on home-grown solutions.


  • Identify and pitch ideas for stories that look at the effects of climate change and pollution on marginalized communities
  • Write multiple stories — quick news or analysis pieces — each week
  • Contribute to our daily newsletter The Beacon
  • Produce an in-depth “capstone” project that can range from a feature-length story to a series on a specific topic to live coverage of a major event
  • Other duties, like research and fact-checking, may be assigned from time to time


  • Four-year degree, or equivalent professional experience
  • Strong understanding of Grist’s brand
  • Passion for climate and environmental journalism
  • Demonstrated familiarity with environmental and climate justice
  • Ability to produce at least two stories per week
  • Ability to make a full-time, six-month commitment


  • This fellowship is a paid, six-month opportunity ($2750/month) for early-career journalists
  • Fellows come away with six months of solid newsroom experience, a body of clips, and fluency in climate and environmental justice issues
  • Through our Newsroom Training Series, fellows are also trained on a range of crucial skills, from filing FOIA requests to audio/video script-writing
  • Fellows benefit from full integration into the workings of a busy and exciting nonprofit media organization


As a justice fellow at Grist, you will be a part of our larger fellowship program, which aims to provide a formative experience in a geographically distributed but tight-knit newsroom and professional development for early-career journalists. We will encourage full participation in staff discussions and meetings and seek input on issues large and small. 

Fellows can elect to work out of Grist’s Seattle office, our New York hub, or a remote location of their choosing. If you work remotely, you will be encouraged to report on stories in your home community. Plus Grist will invite you to the Seattle office at least once during the six-month fellowship.

In special cases, the fellowship will be renewable once by mutual agreement between the fellow and Grist. Renewal candidates will be considered alongside the applicant pool for the next fellowship cycle.


Applicants must submit the following in one PDF attachment:

  1. Resume and cover letter. We are looking for a succinct, thoughtful cover letter that displays your communication style and why you’re the right person for the justice beat.
  2. Three samples of your work. Writing samples can be newspaper or magazine clips, blog posts, or unpublished pieces. We will gladly accept links to multimedia samples (video, illustration, infographic, podcast, etc.) but cannot review original files.
  3. Write a short news post. Identify something that’s happening in the news and write a brief story for Grist. If possible, try to take a sharp angle on the news of the day or think up a smart way of making the news digestible. Please include any relevant links to news sources and background info. The brief should be about 300 words. Please include a link to an image or video that you would run with the story. (Note: We do not intend to publish this assignment, so don’t worry about whether you have the rights to the image or video.)
  4. Pitch a story about a community that’s doing model work. Pick a community that’s working on a home-grown solution to an environmental issue and tell us how you would approach a story about this community. The pitch should be a brief paragraph.
  5. What’s your big idea? What aspect of environmental justice are you passionate about covering? How would you explore that passion in the form of a deep-dive story for Grist? Please specify how you would approach the story, including target sources, length and format, potential angle, multimedia aspects, etc. The pitch should be no longer than 300 words.


Application materials combined into one PDF attachment should be emailed to fellowships@grist.org. Please include “Environmental Justice Fellow” in the subject line. Incomplete applications will not be considered. For fellowships that begin June 2020, please submit applications by April 20, 2020

No phone calls, please and thank you. 

Cultivating an inclusive staff is central to Grist’s focus on advancing equity. We’re interested in hearing from people who can work with diverse colleagues of varied experience. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Grist is an equal-opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.