The Sentient Media Fellowship program recruits and assists animal lovers from all walks of life to write and publish high quality original content advancing the cause of animal rights, in high quality media outlets.
The goal of the Fellowship program is to fill the demand by media outlets for local voices providing sober criticism of factory farming, vivisection, and other mistreatment of animals. By securing these topics the attention they deserve, we believe that together we can create broad-based political and societal change for animals.
To apply, read this page and fill out the application form. Deadline for applications is December 14th.
What Our Program Provides
To guarantee that high-quality content is distributed to publishing outlets as effectively as possible, the fellowship provides the following services to its fellows:
- Editing: The editing team of Sentient Media will provide one to two rounds of editing to the pieces sent our way. Fellows are expected to submit content that is well-researched, well-sourced, and written according to our standards to expedite the editing process. Fellows are also expected to be extremely accepting of suggested changes to respect editors’ time and talents.
- Placement: The editing team will serve as an intermediary between authors and publications, so that our model can build relationships with media outlets, submit material in a format that publications prefer, and reduce the stress associated with submitting content as an individual author. Fellows are expected to provide Sentient Media with as much information as possible about their background and local media outlets to enrich our ability to place content.
- Story Leads and Community: The editing team will manage a Facebook group among the fellows, where breaking news and leads will be shared to stimulate the writing process. There will be regular calls to discuss the psychological research of animal advocacy and discuss new ways of building fellows’ brands as journalists.
- Mentorship: The editing team can serve as a sounding board for ideas and career advice, and is available to support the fellows with other advice and connections as feasible.
What Our Fellows Provide
As volunteers dedicated to advancing the interests of animals, our fellows are expected to write ample and quality content for Sentient Media to distribute:
- Three Articles per Month: in exchange for the services provided by Sentient Media, our fellows commit to writing three articles per month for submission to media outlets across the United States. Fellows who do not uphold this commitment will forfeit their access to these services so that our time and resources can be committed to creating more content. We expect fellows to accept editors’ suggestions without major dispute to streamline the process of getting quality content published.
- Creativity: Our fellows are expected to create content that reaches mainstream audiences, maximizing the impact and appeal of the pieces they write. To this end, views that an average reader might find extreme will be tailored to meet audience expectations and dispel biases that they may have about people who advocate for animals. We encourage our writers to approach the topic of animal exploitation from any angle they are comfortable with: environmental, health-focused, ethical, or humanitarian.
- Professional Social Media Presence: Our fellows will be expected to appeal to mainstream audiences in their Twitter and Facebook media, so as to maximize their ability to generate a following by people who are currently not attracted to the animal rights movement. This means that fellows should maintain Twitter pages and Facebook profiles with a standard pictures, occasional posts of quality content unrelated to animals, and other traits that make the fellow relatable to wider audiences. For example, we would expect a fellow who loves punk rock to emphasize this passion on their public-facing profiles — not just their passion for animals. We would expect someone who loves rock climbing to emphasize this passion on their public-facing profiles — not just their passion for animals.
- Willingness to Volunteer for Other Opportunities that Arise: Throughout the course of the program, we expect to find on-air and radio opportunities, where fellows could appear on television to advocate or explain their journalistic endeavors.
We are looking for fellows with the following qualities:
- Commitment to the expectations listed under “What Our Fellows Provide:” the most important trait we will look for when recruiting our first class of fellows is their ability and willingness to submit three quality articles per month and quickly edit and respond to emails by the editing team. We want to recruit fellows enthusiastic about building their brand as an journalist specializing in animal issues.
- Diversity: We want to recruit fellows from a range of ages, ideologies, professional backgrounds, geographies, personalities, ethnicities, races, and gender identities. We believe that everyone’s identity can help them connect with like-minded people across the world.
- Linguistic Background: While bilingualism is not expected, our editing team considers this a plus because animal exploitation is happening globally. Fellows with a background in South Asian and East Asian languages, in particular, and Spanish and Portuguese can help abate the concerning, growing tide of meat consumption and production across the regions.
- Writing Abilities: You do not have to be a distinguished writer or journalist to make a big difference for animals! That being said, we expect our writers to have a good understanding of conventional grammar, word choice, thesis development, and paragraph structure. If a writer excels in a non-English language, and intends to write in this non-English language, we still expect them to be able to effectively communicate in English by phone and email. While we will be quite accommodating as editors, we expect our fellows to send us content that only needs minor editing and recommendations for improvement.
Our Editing Team
James Davis is an incoming Masters Degree Student at Harvard’s School of Government. He works for Stanford University’s Center on Poverty and Inequality, helping research poverty alleviation, and UBI Taiwan, an organization studying basic income policies for Taiwanese policymakers. James has also worked and volunteered for Mercy for Animals, the Humane League, and Direct Action Everywhere, working to mainstream animal rights. He holds a B.A in Economics and East Asian History from Columbia University. His content has been published in Forbes, the Financial Times, Real Clear Policy, Yahoo! Finance, and dozens of other local outlets.
Mikko Jarvenpaa is the founder of Sentient Media and a former technology marketing professional with Google and multiple startups. He has an MSc from the London School of Economics on Philosophy of the Social Sciences. His content has been published in Huffington Post and multiple tech blogs.