I am pleased to announce that the Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship will be supporting three Texas Tribune journalists over the next year. The program will support a photojournalist who is rejoining the Tribune, a new reporter, and an existing reporter.
Evan L’Roy, who was a photo fellow in 2021 and then a contract photo editor, will rejoin our staff as a photojournalist and photo editor, focusing on investigative, enterprise and feature stories. He has done superb work covering the Uvalde tragedy, and we expect him to continue documenting its aftermath. Evan, who grew up in Plano and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, has worked as a videographer and photographer for Austin TV station KXAN and The Daily Texan and on commercial and film productions in Austin.
William Melhado, currently a journalist at the Santa Fe Reporter, an alt-weekly in New Mexico, starts Wednesday as a breaking news reporter. Originally from Colorado, William graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in chemistry and then taught science at a public high school in the Bronx, New York, while completing a master’s in secondary science education at CUNY Lehman College, also in the Bronx. He then taught science at schools in Tanzania and Nepal before changing careers. He has also received fellowships from the Education Writers Association and The Hechinger Report.
Reese Oxner, who joined us as a breaking news reporter last year, previously interned on NPR’s news desk, was a summer reporting fellow at the Tribune and worked part-time covering Arlington for The Dallas Morning News. He was the editor-in-chief of The Shorthorn, the University of Texas at Arlington’s student-run newspaper, where he earned the 2019 editor of the year award from the Texas Collegiate Press Association. He graduated in 2020 with a degree in web design and was part of the News Product Alliance Summit’s student newsroom earlier this year.
Announced in 2019, the Poynter-Koch fellowship is for early-career journalists who are aspiring future leaders in the industry. Fellows gather online weekly and in person three times a year, in the Washington, D.C., area and in St. Petersburg, Florida. The training, workshops and discussions address not only the hard skills of reporting and storytelling techniques but also the pillars of First Amendment law, foundations of a free press and the core values that underpin public service journalism.
The Poynter-Koch fellowship is a teaching partnership between the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism training organization founded in 1975 by the newspaper publisher Nelson Poynter, and Stand Together, a philanthropy first established in 2003 by the industrialist Charles Koch. Per Poynter’s ethics policy, Poynter maintains editorial independence regarding curriculum and content. The fellowship program covers 60% of each fellow’s salary up to a maximum award of $50,000. One graduate of the program already works at the Tribune: Brian Lopez, who began his 2021-22 fellowship while covering local government for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Disclosure: Stand Together, the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas at Austin have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
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