Recently established by America Media, the Joseph A. O’Hare, SJ, Post Graduate Writing Fellowship is awarded to recent graduates of Jesuit colleges and universities. The fellows will be housed at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus while producing stories across town at the offices of America Media, and will also be invited to take part in events of the master’s program in public media being launched at Fordham in the fall.
Funded by a gift from William J. Loschert, GABELLI ’61, the fellowship will help meet the need for journalists who can creatively combine traditional reporting and new media skills while skillfully covering church-related issues, said Matt Malone, SJ, America Media’s president and editor in chief.
“It is hard to imagine a more appropriate honor for Father O’Hare than this fellowship program, created at the confluence of Jesuit, Catholic education and journalism, and of course created by generosity of Bill Loschert, a distinguished Fordham alumnus,” said Joseph M. McShane, SJ, president of Fordham. “We are pleased to welcome the inaugural fellows, and proud to support them in a program that places journalism in the context of our Jesuit identity.”
At America Media, “we tend to write about issues that are at the intersection of the church and the world,” Malone said. “Cultivating a group of young people who can actually stand at that intersection and who can understand both in some fundamental way I think will serve both the church and the larger media world very well.”
It made “perfect sense” to name the fellowship for Father O’Hare, president emeritus of Fordham, since he served as editor in chief of America Media’s America magazine before becoming president of Fordham in 1984, Malone said.
Announced by America Media on May 16, the three inaugural fellows are Wyatt Massey, Teresa Donnellan, and Nicholas Genovese, graduates of Marquette and Georgetown universities and Boston College, respectively.
During the yearlong fellowship, recipients will be prepared to write for either Catholic media or other professional outlets. They’ll produce content for print, web, digital, social media, and events; learn from America’s editorial staff members including James Martin, SJ, the bestselling author; and engage with high-profile members of the New York communications community and build their professional networks.
At Fordham, the fellows will be invited to lectures, workshops, and extracurricular activities of the master’s program in public media, and they’ll have access to the library and other facilities, said Jacqueline Reich, PhD, chairwoman of the Department of Communication and Media Studies.
The master’s in public media also involves Fordham’s public radio station, WFUV (90.7 FM, wfuv.org), and WNET/Channel 13 public television. Its focus is multiplatform journalism and strategic communication with an eye toward civic and social engagement, Reich said.
The department is checking out other possibilities for collaborating with America Media, like creating a series of lectures and workshops by America correspondents, she said.
“We’re basically exploring ways that we can collaborate with both the fellows and America Media in general,” she said. “We see a lot of synergy between America Media and our department.”
The fellowship includes health coverage and a stipend. More information about eligibility and applying is available online.