2016 Media Changemaker Prize and Scholarship Competition

Media Changemaker Prize and Scholarship Competition

Interested in journalism or media studies? Compete to earn a full-tuition scholarship and paid summer fellowships in media!

Media Changemaker Scholars earn 4-year scholarships, up to full tuition.

To illustrate our commitment to attracting the best young minds, CCJ offers dedicated scholarships for students interested in journalism or media studies. Our Media Changemaker Scholars receive four-year scholarships to Mercer—up to and including full-tuition, a value of over $135,000.

Selected applicants are invited to campus for a preview day and interviews in late January. The 2016 Media Changemaker Prize and Competition is January 30. The priority deadline to apply is December 1; applications will be accepted through December 31.

The application deadline has been extended to January 15.

John M. Couric Media Fellowships

CCJ places incoming John M. Couric Media Fellows in paying media jobs each of their three summers at Mercer.

At the invite-only competition, CCJ also selects incoming John M. Couric Media Fellowships. These fellowships provide paying summer jobs at leading media organizations throughout the country, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Entering students compete for fellowships guaranteeing relevant media jobs for each of their three summers while enrolled at Mercer. CCJ lines up the fellowships; Couric Fellows do the work, get paid and graduate with a portfolio to rival any in the country.

The fellowship is named after John Martin Couric, a 1941 Mercer journalism graduate who was an editor at the United Press wire service, a political reporter for the Atlanta Constitution and a public relations professional whose clients included the National Association of Broadcasters, the American Health Care Association and the Food and Drug Administration. He was also father to Katie Couric, the Yahoo! Global News anchor and former co-anchor of NBC's Today show and anchor of the CBS Evening News.

Ms. Couric graciously agreed to naming this fellowship after her father and to working with CCJ students. "My dad loved Mercer, journalism, and teaching," she said. "And this fellowship is a wonderful way to honor him. I learned so much from him through the years, and I've tried to carry on his journalistic integrity and high standards and I hope to be able to pass those on to the students who are a part of this program."

Media Changemaker Prize

Finally, CCJ also uses the competition as an opportunity to gather leading innovators and changemakers in media, awarding the Media Changemaker Prize to a national media-maker who is transforming the ways we consume news and information and interact to find civic solutions. Scholarship applicants, CCJ students and journalists from around the country—including CCJ's National Journalism Advisory Board—glean ideas and inspiration to help shape the future of media. 

Applying for the Media Changemaker Scholarship and John M. Couric Fellowships

To receive an invite to the competition and be eligible to become a Media Changemaker Scholar, you must complete a separate application by December 31, 2015 January 15, 2016. Priority will be given to applications completed by December 1. This form requires EITHER links to samples of the applicant's best work in media OR an essay.

Work samples can include any Internet-accessible pieces that showcase the applicant's writing, broadcasting, multimedia and/or digital skills. These could be stories on student or professional news websites, scans of published print pieces, posts on a blog, videos on YouTube, audio on SoundCloud, podcasts on iTunes, code on GitHub, etc. Applicants may submit multiple pieces, but judges may limit their reviews to a subset of samples.
If the applicant chooses to submit an essay, he or she should answer ONE of the following questions in 650 words or less: 1) How should news organizations adapt to stay relevant as technology advances? 2) Discuss the technological advances that you find most exciting and discuss their potential uses in media and impact on our civic life.
You will also need to attend the Media Changemaker Scholar Competition on January 30 and be interviewed by CCJ representatives. 

Of course, you will also need to apply to Mercer University to use the scholarship. We strongly recommend completing your Mercer application prior to January 15, but we do not require a completed application before the competition. Use the code CCJBEAR to apply to Mercer for free.

To view the keynote from the 2015 Media Changemaker Prize winner, Matt Thompson, video of our media innovation panels, the full schedule and key scholarship winners for 2015, see 2015 Media Changemaker Prize and Scholarship Competition.