Oakland Voices 2014 Application

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Oakland Voices is a community storytelling program run in partnership with  The Oakland Tribune and Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. The 9-month project was created to put the power of storytelling in the hands of East Oakland residents. The Tribune wants community correspondents to be new voices in the coverage of the city. The program will enable community members to report on what they think is most important.

Correspondents will report on a wide range of issues highlighting the triumphs and challenges of real life in East Oakland. Topics will include community heroes and heroines, health and wealth disparities, and we’ll highlight the work going on in East Oakland Building Health Communities Initiative. Assignments will often be aligned with stories that Oakland Tribune staff are covering. Correspondents will also be asked to generate their own stories to cover.



The correspondents will produce a variety of content – including written stories, photos, videos, Tweets and Facebook updates – for OaklandVoices.us, as well as the Oakland Tribune printed paper and its websites.

Oakland Voices correspondents will be expected to attend meetings throughout the nine-month program. There will be a two-day orientation at the start of the project. We will also hold regular, 2-hour newsroom meetings twice a month, as well as three full-day training sessions.

Training and meetings will be held between East Oakland’s 81st Avenue Public Library, the Oakland Tribune’s offices on Broadway, and our Media Access Center at the West Oakland Public Library.

Correspondents will receive a $1,000 stipend, distributed throughout the nine-month period. The first $200 will be paid after completing the 2-day orientation.


You must be an East Oakland resident to apply. See our East Oakland map at http://oaklandvoices.us/if-you-live-here-join-us/ to find out if you live in OV’s program area.

Any East Oakland resident who is a high school senior or older is eligible.
You do not need to own a smartphone to participate. Oakland Voices provides all of your reporting tools. However, we encourage those with smartphones to apply since they will be valuable reporting tools.

Journalism experience IS NOT REQUIRED. Our mission is to support emerging community voices that have little previous access to media training or publication.

Applicants should be familiar with Oakland and with their own neighborhood. People with a broad range of life experience are encouraged to apply. Those who are accepted in the program will receive training in journalistic skills such as research, writing and multimedia.

Acceptance into and completion of this program do not guarantee future employment with The Oakland Tribune.

Contact Oakland Voices coordinator Brenda Payton with any questions.

Email: OaklandVoices5@gmail.com

Phone: 510-891-9202


Application deadline: Midnight or post-marked by May 23, 2014.
The upcoming program period for Oakland Voices will run from June 2014 through February 2015.


  • ONLINE: Visit mije.org to complete an application online through our partners The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.
  • EMAIL: Click here for an application you can copy and paste into a Word or Google document. Once completed, you can email that application document as an attachment to OaklandVoices5@gmail.com.
  • US MAIL:  You can print an application, and mail it to
    Oakland Voices
    c/o The Maynard Institute
    663 13 St., Suite 200
    Oakland, CA 94612

    You can also drop your application off at The Maynard Institute office between 10am-4pm, Monday through Friday.
Applications must be post-marked by May 23, 2014.
  • FAX: Applications can be faxed to (510) 891-9565, attention Oakland Voices.

Part 1: Basics

To help us recruit a group of correspondents that represents the gender, racial, and age diversity of East Oakland communities, please let us know the following:

Part 2: More About You

In the box above, please enter the highest level of education you have completed. Indicate the name of the institution, the year of completion, degree or diploma earned, and major. Tell us about any specialty education you have completed, such as culinary school or a mechanic's certification.
Interest, activities, organizations: Please tell us what you like to do with your time - any groups or organizations to which you belong, or any activities you enjoy. Your story: Please tell us in 300 words some things you want us to know about you.

Part 3: The Issues

News is happening all of the time; it's all around you. Sometimes, you see or hear about issues that you think deserve more media attention. Here is your chance.

This is the writing section - a required part of your application. Please write TWO stories in the box above. Each story must be 250-300 words, and each one should be about one specific issue, event, or person impacting your community. As a correspondent, you will be asked to find and write about topics impacting your area, so in each story please give us a strong sense of what is important to you. Take time to think seriously about and then write with some detail on issues in your community or neighborhood. They may affect you directly or personally, but they don't have to.
Select all that apply:
In the box above, please describe what you mainly use the Internet for. What other online tools do you use, if any (such as Google Documents, Google Calendar, etc.)?
Select all that apply
Select all that apply