Program Guidelines


The Pritzker Fellowships
The Pritzker Fellowships is designed to fulfill our most important goal: to discover, encourage and train the best possible representatives of a diverse new generation of public media talent.  As our community evolves, we must continue to cultivate media professionals who contribute to programs which speak with many voices. 

While ongoing changes in our listeners’ needs require thoughtful, engaging and entertaining programs, they also call for a strong commitment to diversity within our organization.  As Chicago continues to grow and change, it is our duty to reflect its composition in the staff we create and the programming we offer. 

What the Pritzker Fellowships Offer
Two Pritzker Fellowships will be awarded to diverse candidates who aspire to become journalists, who are non-radio professionals, have not earned a degree in journalism and who show promise as radio producers, journalists and storytellers.  The Pritzker Fellowships will serve as a way to attract unique audio contributors who will share their stories and voices with our listeners, and to mirror Chicago’s changing population in the staff we create and the programming we offer.

The Pritzker Fellowships will offer high-level mentorship and professional development focused on journalism.  Pritzker Fellows will be given rigorous training in public radio journalism and will work alongside some of the nation’s most respected reporters, producers and editors.  The program will culminate with a final project, showcasing the Fellows’ personal styles, newfound skills and storytelling abilities.

Program Curriculum
Throughout the training period, the Pritzker Fellows will work on many projects and develop skills within their chosen arena.  The training will be extremely targeted and in-depth. 

Pritzker Fellows will start off closely observing station life – from story production to field work.  They will be given the opportunity to meet our experts and learn more about what they do. 

Throughout the first months, Fellows will be given basic story production and editing training, including:

  • Journalism ethics training
  • Audio and video production
  • Writing for the radio and web
  • On-air skills
  • Web production

Based on specific areas of interest, Pritzker Fellows will be paired with a mentor for the remainder of the program.  That mentor will be a senior level journalist or producer who will provide rigorous coaching, critique, hands-on opportunities, and special assignments.  

By the end of the program, each Pritzker Fellow will be expected to produce a feature story as their final project.  Throughout their months at the station, they will work closely with their mentor to define the project and to receive the training needed to make it a success. 

Professional training will be provided at the WBEZ studios over a period of nine months, with full 40-hour work weeks required.  The program will begin in September 2013 and conclude in June 2014.  Fellows are expected to make the program their primary focus during the term of the Fellowships.

Each Pritzker Fellow will be awarded a stipend of $20,000 and will receive the same benefits enjoyed by employees of Chicago Public Media.  The stipend will open the door to applicants who otherwise would not be in a position to consider participation in an extended training program.

Eligibility Requirements
Anyone with an interest in pursuing radio, web-based or other forms of journalism and meets the requirements below is eligible. 

The program is open to a broad range of individuals, ages and backgrounds.  We especially encourage interested minority candidates to apply.  Consideration will be given only to candidates nominated by a community-based not–for-profit organization and who possess the following characteristics:

  • Exceptional communication aptitude
  • Have not earned a degree in journalism
  • Will not be enrolled in an academic program throughout the duration of the program
  • Show promise as radio journalists and producers

Time Frame
Chicago Public Media is currently accepting applications.  Applications for the 2013 Pritzker Fellows are due by Friday June 21st, 2013 no later than 5 PM, and Fellows will be announced in July 2013. 

The Pritzker Fellowships will begin September 9, 2013, and continue to June 2014.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply for the program by clicking here.
Nominations can be submitted by clicking here.  

We will not accept any other form of submission.  The application and nomination forms will only be accessible during the application period.

A complete application packet must include the following:

From the Applicant:

  1. Provide answers to the following questions:
  • Why should we select you to be a Pritzker Fellow? (2,000 character maximum)
  • What are your career goals and how do you think the Pritzker Fellowships will help you achieve these goals? (2,000 character maximum)
  • What does media mean to you and how does it influence your life?  (2,000 character maximum)
  • What specific skills do you hope to learn or enhance during your time as a Pritzker Fellow and why? (2,000 character maximum)
  • How have you been involved in your community, and why has your involvement been important to you? (2,000 character maximum)

2.  Demonstrate your storytelling ability.  Choose a story that is memorable and reflects your unique and distinct voice.  Use audio, video, text or any other form of media  which will make your story entertaining and informative.

3.  Provide a current resume.

From the Nominating Organization

1.  Provide a brief description of your organization (1,000 character maximum)

2.  Provide a detailed letter addressing the following points (5,000 character maximum):

  • How do you know the candidate?
  • How have they been involved with your organizations and with community issues?
  • Why do you think this person would make a good journalist or radio producer?

ChicagoPublic Media
Chicago Public Media serves the public interest by creating and delivering diverse, compelling content that informs, inspires, enriches and entertains. Through a broad range of media platforms, we connect diverse audiences in our service area and beyond to one another. We help them make a difference in our communities, our region, and our world.