We are seeking applicants for the USA TODAY Network Agriculture Data Fellowship at the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting in Champaign, Ill. Deadline to apply is Nov. 2, 2020.

The agricultural data reporter will be embedded in the newsroom of the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and will focus on in-depth agribusiness investigative reporting. 

This fellowship will provide resources needed for the Midwest Center to more aggressively report on agribusiness and its impact on rural communities. The fellowship will also provide the USA TODAY Network with priority access to this reporting and to the Midwest Center’s robust archives and databases — enhancing the coverage of the USA TODAY Network newsrooms across the country. This strategic partnership will further empower the USA TODAY Network newsrooms, particularly in the Midwest and West, by providing additional highly focused and unique resources and content, as the newsrooms continue to develop products and services that target rural audiences.

This is the second year of this partnership.  


The Fellow will be required to produce in-depth data-driven stories over the course of the fellowship; regularly file Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain, clean and analyze data sets as related to agribusiness and agriculture; participate in four webinars on the use of those data sets; work with Midwest Center editorial team to produce data visualizations and interactive applications; work with USA TODAY’s data team to localize data; and other editorial duties as required.  

The fellow’s full-time residency at the MCIR newsroom in Champaign, lll., for the duration of the 12-month fellowship is preferable, although remote work will be considered. Regional travel will be required. Travel and other project-related expenses will be provided.



Experience as a news reporter and/or editor, especially investigative reporting and/or reporting on issues of importance to the Midwest and rural areas

Familiarity with data analysis tools such as Excel, Access, SQL 

A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, English, computer science or a related field.


Experience with SQL, Access, or Python

Experience filing Freedom of Information Act requests for data sets

Experience with data visualization tools, web scraping tools and social network analysis tools


The Fellow will receive a one-year, $50,000 stipend


Submit a resume, cover letter, three writing samples and three references to pamelagdempsey@investigatemidwest.org with the subject line “The USA TODAY Network Data Fellow” by 5 PM CST on Nov. 2, 2020.

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is an equal opportunity employer, and we seek to increase diversity in our own operation and in the news media. We encourage individuals from communities traditionally underrepresented in this field to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry or national or ethnic origin.

About The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit, online newsroom offering investigative and enterprise coverage of agribusiness, big ag and related issues through data analysis, visualizations, in-depth reports and interactive web tools. Visit us online at www.investigatemidwest.org.

About the USA TODAY Network

The USA TODAY Network is owned by Gannett and is the largest local-to-national digital media organization in the country. USA TODAY, our national flagship brand, sits at the center of the Network, surrounded with 300+ local digital properties across 46 states. Our 5,000 journalists live, work and thrive in these communities, providing coverage of the entire nation on the USA TODAY platform. Together, our network news outlets have received 93 Pulitzers and have been recognized with numerous other state, regional, and national awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award; Columbia Dupont; George Polk Awards; Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award; and the American Society of News Editors’ Batten Medal.

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