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Applications Now Open for Prestigious Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism


Applications for The Fund for American Studies’ (TFAS) 2022-23 Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism are now open. Early-career journalists are encouraged to apply by Jan. 11, 2022, for the opportunity to intern with The Wall Street Journal’s editorial team.

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The Fellowship was established in 2018 in honor of the late Joseph Rago, a Pulitzer prize winning journalist at The Journal who passed away in 2017 at the age of 34. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2005 and joined The Wall Street Journal as an intern, rising through the ranks until joining the editorial board. Rago began writing editorials in 2007 and in 2011 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for “his well-crafted, against-the-grain editorials challenging the health care reform advocated by President Obama.” Several pieces from his 12-year career with The Journal are included on a memorial page recognizing his “wit and wisdom.”

Illustration of Joe Rago Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones

Journalists with less than five years’ experience are invited to apply for the fourth annual Fellowship, which includes a nine-month internship with The Wall Street Journal, a salary of approximately $5,000 per month from TFAS and participation in the extensive network of TFAS Journalism Fellows and events. Inaugural recipient Elliot Kaufman says the experience he gained through the Fellowship encouraged him to join The Journal full time in 2019.

“The Joseph Rago Fellowship made me a full member of the team at the best paper and opinion section in the world, The Wall Street Journal editorial page,” Kaufman said, “We get to work on the biggest issues of the day – every day… I don’t think there’s a better job for a young journalist, writer or editor than the Rago Fellowship.”

Other past Rago Fellowship recipients include Matthew Taylor King, Rago ’19, and Alessandra Bocchi, Rago ’20, both of whom have published several pieces in The Journal. A French speaker, King is particularly interested in security issues in francophone Africa. He has also written on African affairs for The American Interest and the Yale Review of International Studies.

Born and raised in Italy, Bocchi launched her career in journalism by reporting from North Africa, where she sought to understand the source of Islamist terrorist attacks and the migrant crisis in Europe. She later moved back to Europe to report on populist political insurgencies and has also covered foreign policy issues in the United States, as well as the democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Faith Bottum will be announced as the 2021-22 Joseph Rago Memorial Fellow for Excellence in Journalism at the TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner in New York City on Nov. 3.

The 2021-22 Rago Fellow Faith Bottum will be announced at our 28th Annual TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner in New York City on Nov. 3. A 2021 graduate of the South Dakota School of Mines, Bottum has extensive writing and journalism experience. She was an editorial intern at The Washington Free Beacon, and her undergraduate writing includes op-eds in The Wall Street Journal, along with essays in Commonweal, The Federalist, University Bookman, Symposeum and other outlets.

TFAS Manager of Continuing Education Programs Ryan Wolfe said he is looking forward to seeing more of Bottum’s work with The Journal over the next several months.

“Faith Bottum is a shining example of the type of journalist we are seeking to apply for next year’s Rago Fellowship,” Wolfe said. “Her dedication to honest journalism has served as a lasting reminder of the Fellowship’s namesake, Joe Rago, and his important work with The Journal for over a decade. We are looking forward to honoring her accomplishments in November.”

One Rago Fellow is selected each year through an application process that is judged by senior editors at The Journal, senior leaders at The Fund for American Studies and the family of Joseph Rago. A recipient is announced each year at the TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner in New York City. Prominent journalists and guests attend this annual event to celebrate the best in American journalism, and proceeds support the Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship and the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship programs.

Learn more about the Rago Fellowship and apply online at TFAS.org/Rago.

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