Welcome to O'Brien

O’Brien Fellows spend nine months reporting and writing the stories they care most deeply about — journalism with the potential to drive action and improve lives.

Backed by Marquette University and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the O’Brien Fellowship helps news professionals do the best work of their careers on important issues while they mentor the next generation of journalists.

Fellows are funded with a $65,000 salary stipend over nine months and can tap into generous allotments for housing, reporting-related travel and equipment.

A Unique Journalism Fellowship

  • • Report and produce an in-depth public service journalism project on a regional, national or international topic.
  • • Work from the new O’Brien suite at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication near the heart of downtown Milwaukee and the Lake Michigan shore.
  • • Publish or broadcast the project through your home news organization or, in the case of independent journalists, another outlet.
  • • Integrate Marquette’s best journalism students into your projects as reporters and researchers.
  • • Help to identify a journalism student for a university-funded summer internship at your organization after the fellowship.
  • • Partner with the Journal Sentinel as you wish and access its journalists, staff and production resources.
  • • Tap into training in advanced investigative reporting skills such as data analysis.
  • • Join in the college experience by auditing classes, guest lecturing, meeting faculty experts and attending campus events.
  • • Participate in a public forum aimed at heightening awareness of your findings.

Marquette University challenges students and staff to “be the difference” in improving the community. The Catholic and Jesuit institution has educated journalists for 100 years.

Apply to the O’Brien Fellowship today!

Our Journalism

In “Florida’s Disposable Workers,” 2016-17 Fellow Maria Perez uncovered how companies are profiting off workers compensation laws at the expense of undocumented employees.

In her series, “Lessons Lost,” 2017-18 Fellow Erin Richards looked at how high student turnover between schools is stalling academic progress in Milwaukee and across the nation.

For "Outbreak," Mark Johnson, a 2016-17 Fellow, traveled globally to document the threat of pandemics from zoonotic diseases such as Zika.

As an O’Brien Fellow and Baltimore Sun reporter, Justin George investigated the growing lethality of gun violence in “Shoot to Kill.”

O’Brien Fellow Hal Bernton of the Seattle Times reported extensively from China to explain the global struggle to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, in “Losing Ground.”

Raquel Rutledge’s “Gasping for Action” series for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exposed health dangers at coffee roasteries and in e-cigarettes.