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How long is the program?

The NewStart program includes a one-year fellowship, with continuing support as an engaged community of practice from the Reed College of Media, the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, participating regional organizations, and the community of fellows who work their way through the program. The first group of fellows will begin their journey in July 2020.

Who can apply for a fellowship? Are there specific qualifications needed?

A bachelor’s degree is required. Fellows who participate in the program should also intend to purchase and operate a publication in one of the program’s participating regions.

Do I need to live in Morgantown to take part in this WVU program?

No, it is not necessary to move to Morgantown to participate. The majority of the program is done online, so you can live elsewhere. There will be several in-depth, in-person workshops that will be held during the year in Morgantown, but residing in Morgantown is not required.

How can I apply?

The official application form can be found here.

What is the application deadline?

Applications must be submitted by Jan. 30, 2020.

Is the program only open to those who receive a fellowship?

No. The Media Solutions and Innovation program at WVU is open to more than just selected fellows. Anyone who has an interest in owning their own media outlet is encouraged to apply. The program is also available for current media outlets that would like to train rising stars in their organizations for future leadership positions. More information on enrollment can be found on the Reed College of Media website.

Who is leading the NewStart program?

Jim Iovino, Ogden Newspapers Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Innovation at West Virginia University is the director of the NewStart program. He is working with West Virginia Press Association Executive Director Don Smith, as well as Dana Coester, creative director and associate professor and Tyler Channell, lecturer and multimedia specialist at WVU. 

This program is an interdisciplinary public/private initiative envisioned and developed by West Virginia University Provost Maryanne Reed, formerly the dean of the Reed College of Media. 

Who is funding NewStart?

We are grateful for the support of The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

If you would like to help fund this crucial community journalism initiative, contact Jim Iovino, Ogden Newspapers Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Innovation, at

What if I have more questions?

Please email Jim Iovino, Ogden Newspapers Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Innovation, at You can also sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Twitter @wvunewstart.