Become a FactorDaily Fellow

What role do newsrooms play in a world dealing with information overload? A multifold one where it can curate the most relevant information to a hyperlocal audience, to present data points and information in a discerning format and to help its audience make sense of things. Newsrooms are also responsible to raise public consciousness and influence public opinion. But around the world newsrooms are struggling to compete for human attention, a race in which they are pitted against tech giants, their complex algorithms and a constantly evolving tech space. In a struggle to keep the lights on and stay relevant, journalists of most newsrooms who earlier were solely responsible for reporting and presenting now have to worry about page views, engagement and distribution of their stories as well. 

At FactorDaily, we are trying to flip the narrative of storytelling through the lens of impact it creates. A story told to a room of 30 people can be as effective or even more than the one that reaches 30,000 page views. A powerful visual can convey more than the 2000 word limit. And a story about migrant workers when translated in their regional language can create more impact in their life than the engagement it generates on Twitter.

Why?

FactorDaily Fellowship program aims to facilitate exceptional storytelling done by people who wish to create impact through their work. Our fellowship program is open to journalists, academicians, researchers, students and almost anyone who wants to tell stories that raise public consciousness.

Newsrooms that have historically limited its scope to word limits, formats, credentials and until most recently have been restricted by page views, news cycles, deadlines can benefit from a liberal approach of reimagining storytelling without these constraints. Our fellowship program allows our fellows who come from various backgrounds to experiment with their storytelling to reach its best possible outcome.

Journalists around the world today face plenty of challenges, including uncertainty and a forever changing landscape of our profession. At FactorDaily we want to build a community of journalists and storytellers who will ride the wave through upskilling, collaborating and believing in the power of storytelling.

The long term goal of FactorDaily fellowship is to foster this community, encourage and facilitate collaborations among institutions, platforms, tools and individuals that can benefit from each other to work towards our common goal. This community will have space for journalists, academicians, domain experts, readers and students who wish to tap into the expertise within the community. Our young fellowship program that targets young professionals and journalism students aims to guide them to thrive in the changing landscape of journalism.

How?

At its core FactorDaily focuses on story projects rather than stories in line with our mission to move the needle to create impact. Our fellows are encouraged to think along the lines of topics that resonate with a societal leaning while thinking of stories as an outcome. For example some of our current projects, including digital culture, startups and society, mental health are topics that require narrative building through a series of stories.

Fellows can pitch their ideas to us at pitch@factordaily.com. You can pitch an idea that fits into one of our existing focus areas or make your case for us to help you lead a new project. If your idea is interesting and relevant for us, we will reach out to you for a discussion with our team where we can formulate a story outcome together.

FactorDaily Fellows

ROHINI LAKSHANE

Technologist, Researcher & Wikimedian
Rohini, an engineer, blends technology and policy in her advocacy for civil liberties, gender equity, and the intersection of gender, sexuality, and the Internet.

MONICA JHA

Independent Journalist
The biggest appeal for me, both as a reporter and a reader, is the time that FactorDaily invests in reporting, resulting in stories great in-depth and rich in detail.

PAVITHRA JAYARAMAN

Founder-Director, The PARC
Writing for FactorDaily’s mental health project and working with the editorial team allowed me to deep dive into the topic with deliberation without making any compromises on nuance or complexity for want of space or time.

SHAMSHEER YOUSAF

Independent Journalist
FactorDaily’s enthusiasm for good, old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting (a rarity among media publications these days) and its ambition in storytelling have drawn me to write for them over the years.

APARNA MUKHERJEE

Student, Design Fellow
Working at FactorDaily on the development of the annual print product was an enriching experience. I was able to reflect on my practice as a fledgling graphic designer and experience working in an environment where people are passionate about the stories they tell and the power this holds.

We strive to create a space where stories can breathe, grow, and evolve, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding of the world around us. Our fellows in the past have helmed our core projects, including CSAM that was led by Shamsheer Yousaf and Monica Jha or Mental Health by Pavitra Jayaraman. You can check some of the work done by our fellows here, here and here. 

We will value your contribution with an upfront grant of INR 100,000 for a series of stories, or more, depending on actual work required in terms of reporting, visual storytelling, technology tools, and other costs.

Checklist for a story project pitch

  • Sits at the intersection of technology, society and public interest
  • Idea based on evidential data and reported anecdotes
  • Topic of a project is highly focused.
  • Journalist proposing the project has enough passion about the topic and backs it with data and reporting required to convince a majority in the team
  • The topic fulfills the important objectives—(a) opportunity to raise public consciousness, (b) deep enough to be pursued for a minimum of 12 months with stories, research and tools in the lab, and (c) the issue impacts a specific community or a section of people.
  • We would be happy to look at a video pitch, a visual essay, an audio pitch or even a comic depending on the format that fits a story outcome.
  • Think of stories in a project as outcomes of the core idea; not start with stories we see out there to build a project backwards.

What happens when you become a FactorDaily fellow

Typically if we like the idea you’re pitching, you would have a series of discussions with our team where we formulate your story outcome to fit in the FactorDaily universe. We encourage our fellows to find collaborative opportunities with research and academic organizations within the scope of their project to help with achieving a certain breadth and depth to their story outcomes. We also encourage our fellows to imagine their story outcomes in multiple formats and think about the visual, social and community aspects while they are reporting on their stories. Our visual and community teams will be involved in the project through the ideation and reporting stages to help our fellows.

As FactorDaily fellows we would expect you to carry the passion of your project beyond your story submission and engage with community members within and outside the scope of your project to keep our mission alive. Our fellows in the past continue to be a part of the FD community happy to learn, participate, collaborate and pass on their learnings to the new members of our community. 

Our vision to break the mold of conventional storytelling has also helped us find our core team members like our resident art director Somesh Kumar who helps us visualize stories in various formats. Our fellow Aparna Mukherjee helps us envision our digital stories into print formats. The brain behind our community engagements and a core team member Sehar Dabur helps us build connections to increase our reach within communities. All of these point to our attempt at building a collaborative learning experience for storytellers to spread out and maximize the outcomes of stories that we believe in turn help with increasing their impact. We expect to find new ways to learn through our fellows while offering them a range of talented team members to reimagine storytelling in the internet era. We are also happy to offer tools and collaboration opportunities within our community based on the scope of your story projects.

Besides the publishing of your story outcome, we would also help you place your story outcome in physical and digital spaces where it can generate impact. In the past we have had our fellows host meetups, talk about their work at relevant events and grow their community to find more collaborative opportunities. We would also help you apply for relevant journalism awards where your story outcomes could gain a wider audience.

Young Fellowship program

If you are a student in the age range of 16-23 years old and want to apply for our fellowship program, please go through the checklist above on what makes for a story/story project. We can help you formulate your ideas better and handhold through the journey of your project as and when required. We will offer you a compensation of INR 50,000 for a story project with a minimum two stories.

Please send us
1. A story/project pitch up to 500 words explaining your idea clearly.
2. An approval from your institution to work on this project
3. A sample of your writing. 


Your story pitch does not need to be necessarily in words either. We would be happy to look at a video pitch, a visual essay, an audio pitch or even a comic depending on the format that fits a story outcome.

For further questions on pitches or fellowship please reach out to shadma@factordaily.com