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Home » Programs » Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism

Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism


The Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism provides a nine-month internship with The Wall Street Journal’s editorial team to an aspiring or working journalist. This annual fellowship is open to recent college and journalism school graduates and journalists with less than five years’ experience.

This fellowship is in honor and memory of Joseph Rago, a former editorial board member at The Wall Street Journal who passed away in 2017. One fellow will be selected each year through an application process that will be judged by senior editors at The Journal, senior leaders at The Fund for American Studies and the family of Joe Rago.

The inaugural Rago Fellow will be introduced at the 25th Annual Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Awards Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 27 at the Metropolitan Club of New York.


The duration of the fellowship will be spent between the features and editorial groups within the Journal’s Opinion section. Fellows may: edit op-eds and write headlines and other components of stories; work with outside contributors at every stage from pitching to publication; contribute editorials on behalf of the Editorial Board; develop sources and expertise in a variety of subject areas; contribute profiles and features under their own byline; assist as necessary with research, fact-checking, flyspecking; and take on other tasks as needed for the print and digital editions of the Journal.

Rago Fellows will also participate in educational and professional programs in New York and Washington, D.C. alongside The Fund for American Studies’ Robert Novak Journalism Fellows.



This annual fellowship is open to recent college and journalism school graduates and journalists with less than five years of professional work experience. Applicants should have direct experience writing or editing in a journalism context. A demonstrated ability to multitask and meet daily deadlines is critical for success. Applicants should be familiar with technology as it relates to journalism. Graduates of any discipline may apply, but all applicants should have a demonstrated commitment to pursuing a career in journalism.

The best applicants will have a strong​ ​record​ ​of​ ​achievement​ ​and​ ​potential​ ​for​ ​future​ ​accomplishments. In addition to illustrating these qualities, the strength and depth of character​ demonstrated by ​candidates​ will ​be​ ​a​ ​strong​ ​consideration.​ 



Joseph Rago was a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal who passed away in 2017 at the age of 34. Rago joined The Wall Street Journal after graduating from Dartmouth College in 2005. He quickly made a name for himself with in-depth interviews eliciting fresh insights from figures such as Tom Wolfe and William F. Buckley Jr. He 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.” The Joseph Rago Fellowship was established in partnership with his parents and The Wall Street Journal to help aspiring journalists achieve the level of excellence set by Joe.