WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Press Club, the world's leading professional organization for journalists, has chosen Derek Schwabe of Morada, California, as the winner of its 2020 Shirley and Dennis Feldman Fellowship. The award is for a student pursuing graduate studies in journalism and is a one-time scholarship of $5,000.
Schwabe becomes the first data journalist to receive the Club's Feldman Award. A student in the new interdisciplinary Master of Development Practice program at the University of California at Berkeley, Schwabe is studying development economics, policy, and natural resource management, with a concentration in journalism using digital communications and storytelling.
Schwabe has been "using interactive and data storytelling tools for 7 ½ years," since he graduated from Houghton College in New York. The 30-year-old international development policy analyst has studied and written about food insecurity and climate change, as well as their fallout on various populations and communities.
One of the letters of recommendation calls Schwabe "an insightful digital creative with a passion for telling stories that inspire action on our world's most urgent governance and development issues. His decision to enter data journalism is, in my view, an ideal opportunity to fully develop his gifts in service of humanity."
His writing samples included the Missing from the Picture project, an interactive microsite that "exposes the shocking amount of data missing on women and girls worldwide."
Schwabe initially accepted a scholarship from Stanford's Graduate School of Journalism, but decided to take advantage of Berkeley's "hybrid" graduate program. Last year's Feldman winner, Brett Victoria Simpson, is also getting an M.A. at Berkeley.
This year's runner-up is Chloe Tenn, a graduate of North Carolina State University, is going to the University of Manchester in England, studying science communication.
The Feldman Fellowship is endowed by members of the National Press Club and by the family of the late Dennis Feldman, a Club member, journalist and public relations adviser who put himself through grad school at night.
"This year has served as a stunning reminder of the vital role of journalism in our democracy and one in which 'running toward danger' has been the norm rather than the exception," said National Press Club President Michael Freedman. "In the end, it will also be about ensuring that journalism survives and thrives going forward. One tangible way we help is by investing in the next generation of reporters and industry leaders, and this year's scholarship recipients certainly represent our best and brightest. They have already shown perseverance and tenacity in their personal journeys and each has demonstrated having the courage of their convictions."
"Our winners, the runners-up, and all of the applicants give us great hope for the future and we congratulate them. We also offer heartfelt thanks to this year's judges who completed the process with great care and attention under extraordinary conditions. We salute them for their inspirational leadership."
Scholarship winners and runners-up are also awarded one-year complimentary membership to the National Press Club.