JOURNALISTS (Photo credit: drinksmachine)

The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, opened applications for the 2013 MJ Bear Fellowships for early career digital journalists, in honor of founding member MJ Bear.

For the third year of the Fellowships, the search committee will again select three promising, up-and-coming digital journalists — two in the United States or Canada and one internationally, in partnership with MSN International — who are just beginning to make their voices heard in the industry.

Selected Fellows will be paired with a digital news leader as a mentor; receive a free three-year ONA membership and an expense-paid trip to the Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet, Oct. 17-19, in Atlanta, where they’ll have a chance to share their fresh perspectives.

Last year’s Fellows — Hagit Bachrach, Council on Foreign Relations; Tricia Fulks, freelance digital journalist and founding story director of “Hollow,” an interactive documentary, and Denise Hassanzade Ajiri, Radio Free Europe — are posting weekly blogs on that chronicle their progress over the year, showcasing their work and the tools and technology they use. Learn more about the Fellowship and past Fellows here.

Applicants must be working journalists between the ages of 23 and 30 and fluent in English. They will be asked to describe recent concepts, experiments or projects that move digital journalism forward or resulted in valuable lessons or outcomes, and provide a recommendation and a personal statement. Application deadline is May 31, 11:59 p.m. ET.

Review the criteria and apply here.

“There’s no shortage of talented young journalists out there with big, bold ideas on how to transform the craft,” said ONA Board President Jim Brady, Editor-in-Chief, Digital First Media. “But many of them are finding it difficult to get financial support for those ideas. The MJ Bear Fellowship provides that, while honoring a journalist who made a career of embracing exactly these kinds of innovative ideas.”

Bear, whose wide-ranging career took her to pivotal roles at Microsoft’s MSN Portals and MSN International, NPR and American University, was renowned for her kindness and digital know-how. She played a vital role in ONA’s history as a member of the original Board of Directors, helping to incorporate the organization in 1999 and serving on the Education, Fundraising, Conference and Legal Affairs committees until 2003.

For more information on the Fellowship, contact [email protected].

The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, developers, photographers, educators, students and others who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

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