New Fund Established for Alumni Journalists
Andrew Salomon, associate professor of journalism, has graciously endowed a fund in honor of his parents, Richard and Marylee Salomon. Through the fund, an award of $2,000 will be given annually to an outstanding Purchase graduate who is pursuing a work of journalism of substantial news value.
Salomon describes his rationale for creating this endowment.
“Journalism is many things, including a craft, a calling, and a business.
“It is hard for journalists, particularly those just out of college, to consistently practice their craft and answer the call when the business model is still in flux. I can’t do anything to fix the business model. What I can do is to provide a small, annual incentive for our Journalism alumni to work on a story that really means something to them, something that they might not otherwise pursue, due to the amount of time or money required. I’m hoping that $2,000 provides enough of a difference, or creates enough space, for journalists to get their stories heard, stories that might make a difference.
“I’m naming the fund in honor of my parents, Richard and Marylee Salomon, because they worked hard to ensure that my siblings and I could attend college without assuming debt. These days, particularly at Purchase, it’s unusual to find students who graduate without loans. This is my way of paying forward a tiny measure of the financial freedom my parents gave me. It’s also my way of passing on their values and their unqualified support. That last part might be most important to me: that alumni of Purchase know how much all of the faculty here value the work they do. It’s important that current students know it as well, that this relationship can continue long after they leave.”
Although Salomon will read all applications, the annual recipient will be determined by the five other members of the Journalism Board of Study.
We strongly encourage journalists working in all news media to apply for this grant. This includes print/text, video, audio, still photography, or a combination thereof.
Upon publication/production of the work, the recipient of the grant will return to Purchase to present it and speak about their experiences with students, faculty, and invited guests.
Applicants will be asked to send to a packet of information that includes the following items. A full explanation of details will be provided once applicants contact the Salomon Fund via email.
A detailed description of the story they are reporting, including at least five named sources, and descriptions of how these people fit into the overall story.
We will not fund any project that substantially relies on anonymous or pseudonymous sources. In general, applicants should do a substantial amount of “pre-reporting” before making their pitch, so that they can demonstrate they are familiar with their subjects and the world they inhabit.
A contract or letter of support from a sponsoring news organization.
Candidates who can clearly demonstrate that their work will be published or produced upon completion are strongly preferred. The ideal candidate will have written an accepted query letter to a news organization before applying to the Salomon Fund.
An up-to-date resume, with a list of major works published or produced since graduation.
Limit clips to those works of significant length.
Three examples of work that have been published or produced since graduation.
The ideal candidate will have a track record of getting work published or produced outside of an academic environment.
FAQs and Figures
Who is eligible to apply?
Alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years. For the first year, this means graduates of the Class of 2008 and later. If you graduated before 2008 and have a project that you think is worthwhile, apply anyway. The committee will consider your application. The 10-year rule will be more rigidly enforced within the next few years.
What do you mean by “substantive”?
The grant is designed for projects that require several weeks or months of reporting and will run at some length. For a text-based project, this probably means an article of 5,000 words or more; a series of articles that total 5,000 words or more; a video or audio documentary that runs for 20 minutes or more; a photo essay of 15 images or more; or a multimedia project that reflects a significant amount of work.
In addition to size or scope, the committee will want to see depth and originality. You should be investigating an issue that has a broad impact, or is highly unusual, or hopefully both. If you are tackling an issue that is familiar to a general audience, your approach, angle, or perspective on it should be unfamiliar.
In short: Your project should look like a grown-up version of a Senior Project.
What are my responsibilities?
You have one year from date of receiving the grant to get your project published/produced. Hopefully, you will already have an agreement in place with a news organization to publish/produce your work before receiving the grant.
Upon publication/production of the work, the grant recipient will return to Purchase to present it and speak about their experiences with students, faculty, and invited guests. This is a mandatory condition of receiving the grant.
How do I apply?
Applications are reviewed by a committee consisting of members of the Purchase College Journalism Board of Study. Andrew Salomon, associate professor and the current Board of Study coordinator, is the funder and does not get vote on the final candidate. However, until Purchase creates a dedicated email for the fund, you will send your application materials to him: firstname.lastname@example.org