On Monday, the Education Writers Association announced its first-ever cohort of Education Journalism Fellows, seven teams of journalists who will receive up to $8,000 to pursue a story that might otherwise not get reported.

As noted by EWA, “The first round of EWA Reporting Fellowships is supported by major funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Fellows and their partnering news outlets maintain sole editorial control of the work they produce.”

Lots of familiar names among those who’ve been picked, and few surprise topics. The key to their success will be finding new angles and exploring new ways of telling stories that may already be familiar to readers. Going deep and long isn’t always good, especially if the topic is familiar or complicated.

Maybe there will be some storytelling experiments like the ones employed by the Tampa Bay Tribune, the Miami Herald, or most recently USA Today (ie, interactives, GIFs, video). Or at least some super-strong narratives along with all the wonkery and bureaucracy.

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.