Skip to main content


The NZUS Council has established a media fellowship programme to encourage high-quality reporting that supports informed discussion about the New Zealand/United States relationship.

The fellowship provides an opportunity for a highly motivated New Zealand-based journalist with an interest in international affairs to travel to the United States to undertake reporting for 10-14 days.

To apply, candidates need to propose a clear and well-researched work programme that outlines the topic and stories they aim to explore, the specific people or organisations they intend to engage with while in the United States, and the locations where they will conduct their reporting.

Travel to the United States takes place between March and May, and the successful fellow completes a series of stories in the months following.

The Media Fellowship was launched in 2024 and the first candidate awarded their placement was Fulbright scholar Peter McKenzie.

For further information on the Fellowship, please contact us at [email protected]

About the Fellowship

The NZUS Council is a non-partisan, non-government organisation focused on advancing New Zealand’s interests in a strong bilateral relationship with the United States.

A key element of our work is acting as a conduit for a range of policy discussions between both countries. We support informed discussion and debate about the evolving bilateral relationship in New Zealand, and we recognise the critical role of the news media in helping audiences understand its complex, dynamic, and multifaceted nature.

The purpose of the fellowship is to support our work by encouraging reporting that reflects the depth, diversity, and evolution of connections between New Zealand and the United States. This includes connections in the trade/economic and political/security spheres, among others.

Assistance provided to the NZ US Council Media Fellow

The NZUS Council Media Fellow will receive return airfares from New Zealand to the United States, domestic flights within the United States as necessary, accommodation, and a modest per diem. Travel insurance and visa application costs will also be covered. The maximum total value of the fellowship is $15,000.

The Council will liaise with the fellow prior to travel to the United States and where possible, offer assistance to facilitate their making appropriate contacts.

Following their travel, the fellow is asked to share insights and knowledge from their experience with relevant audiences in New Zealand via public speaking opportunities

Who Can Apply

Entries from journalists working for news organisations must provide a letter or email from their employer or publisher supporting their application. Freelancers must provide correspondence to show that a news organisation is willing to publish work resulting from the fellowship.

  • New Zealand based,
  • working as a journalist for a news organisation or as a freelance journalist,
  • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and;
  • interested (or developing an interest) in international affairs.

How to Apply

Applicants need to complete the application form, including a clear, well-researched proposal with details of their intended work programme in the United States. Proposals should include:

  • The specific topics and stories the applicant intends to report on, and how these contribute to facilitating informed discussion about the bilateral relationship.
  • The key organisations, entities, and individuals the applicant aims to engage with for interviews and reporting, and their locations within the United States.
  • The intended outputs (articles, videos, podcasts, etc.) and a dissemination strategy to ensure the reporting reaches a broad audience in New Zealand.

Applicants should also submit up to three samples of their published work, which preferably have an international perspective. While this isn’t mandatory, the samples will help us gauge the calibre of your reporting and storytelling skills.

Entries open: Thursday, 30 November 2023

Entries close: Wednesday, 31 January 2024

Winner announced: Monday, 12 February 2024

What the proposal should entail

The Council does not impose conditions on the content or subject matter produced by the successful applicant, however, the principle of enhancing New Zealanders’ understanding of the bilateral relationship, and facilitating informed discussion applies.

Preference will be given to proposals that are clear, well-researched, and detailed in terms of the overall story/stories, where the applicant intends to travel, and whom they intend to engage with. Applicants are expected to be able to cover both trade/economic issues and political/security issues.

It is expected that proposals will include travel to multiple locations in the United States, i.e. the West and East Coasts and other relevant centres where connections have been made with New Zealand.

Please note: The Council is unable to support travel by more than one person. Should the applicant wish to engage a television crew, the costs of travel for any additional people will need to be met by the fellow and/or their organisation.

Selection Process

Applications will be assessed by a panel consisting of representatives of the NZUS Council. All applicants, both successful and unsuccessful, will be contacted by the panel at the outcomes of the selection process.

How much experience do I need to apply?

There is no minimum or maximum age requirement to apply for the NZUS Council Media Fellowship; we are looking for New Zealand-based journalists who have an interest in international affairs (or are building their interest) and are keen to add value to their career by developing their knowledge of and contacts in the United States.

I’m not a print journalist. Can I still enter?

Yes. We encourage entries from journalists working in all media.

Are there any conditions on the stories that I can propose?

The Council does not impose conditions on the content or subject matter, however, the principle of enhancing New Zealanders’ understanding of the bilateral relationship and facilitating informed discussion applies.

Will the fellowship cover all costs?

The Fellowship covers international and domestic airfares, accommodation and a modest per diem, as well as travel insurance and visa application costs. All other costs are the responsibility of the fellow.

What other assistance is offered as part of the award?

The Council will liaise with the fellow prior to travel to the United States and, where possible, offer assistance to facilitate making appropriate contacts.

When is the travel period?

Between March and May 2024.

What if I don’t have three pieces of work to submit?

Entrants are encouraged to submit three pieces of work as part of their application; however, entries with fewer than three will be considered.

How many outputs are expected from the fellowship?

There is no requirement that applications must commit to multiple outputs. Proposals will be assessed on their merits.

Will the Council help me get a visa?

It is the responsibility of the winner to obtain the appropriate visas for travel. Before submitting your application, please check the visa requirements for the United States.

The NZUS Council will provide a letter of support for the successful applicant and in the absence of extenuating circumstances, we anticipate a temporary work visa will be issued allowing travel within the required period.

What are the obligations of the fellow after their travel is complete?

The fellow is expected to undertake at least one public speaking engagement to share their experience with relevant audiences.

I have another question about the fellowship.

If you have any questions, please contact Peter Graczer on 027 450 4506 or at [email protected]

Terms and Conditions

The applicant selected by the panel for the media fellowship will be expected to participate in Council activities and remain engaged with the programme post-travel. The Council asks the fellow to:

  • Participate in at least one public speaking opportunity in New Zealand to share their experience, knowledge and insights with relevant audiences, and;
  • Follow the Council on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn) and tag it on all relevant social media posts.

The fellow will be selected on a competitive basis and under the sole discretion of the selection panel.

It is the fellow’s responsibility to secure the appropriate type of visa for travel to the United States. The Council will assist the fellow in getting the right paperwork needed for visas, e.g. letters of support, but it is not in the Council’s authority to ensure visas.

ln cases where the fellow is unable to travel to the United States to carry out the fellowship, due to any circumstances, the NZUS Council reserves the right to transfer the award to another finalist.


The successful applicant has now been selected for the 2024 programme, which will be announced soon. We will be reopening the application process again in early 2025