The Democracy Group Launches Fellowship For Aspiring Gen Z Podcasters

The Democracy Group, a collective of 17 podcasts on democracy and civic engagement, is thrilled to announce the launch of a new initiative to help high school and college students make their voices heard on topics in democracy.

The network’s podcast fellowship will pair students with mentors from The Democracy Group to develop a concept for a podcast and record a trailer and at least one full episode. In addition to one-on-one coaching, students will have access to a library of on-demand content about how to produce and promote podcasts that build and provide educational value to listeners.

According to The Creators from Sounds Profitable, only 25% of podcast creators are in the 18-24 age group. That number is likely even lower among politics and government podcasts, which tend to be hosted by experts and professionals in the field.

“This fellowship will give younger generations the opportunity to share their perspective and help bridge generational divides in politics,” said Jenna Spinelle, founder of The Democracy Group. “I’m so excited to hear what the students come up with.”

The fellowship is open to any high school or college student or group of students working as a team. Applications are due October 21, and acceptance notifications will be sent November 28. The first cohort will begin the program in January.

The program is supported by a gift from the Bridge Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 organizations dedicated to strengthening American democracy. Podcasts produced by fellowship participants will be shared across The Democracy Group’s podcasts and on The Fulcrum, a democracy-focused news site run by the Bridge Alliance.

“The Bridge Alliance hopes to excite, encourage and educate young leaders to be the citizens our nation needs. This fellowship program expands our possibilities and increases the potential that future generations will live up to the promise in our founding documents,” said Bridge Alliance Founder and Chairman David L. Nevins. “America is stronger if we use our civic voices to strengthen our democracy. We are excited to support that opportunity to the next generation of leaders.”

In addition to the contribution from the Bridge Alliance, Democracy Group partners Think Media and Muckraker shared expertise on podcast marketing and addressing misinformation in fellowship lessons.

Visit The Democracy Group website to learn more about the fellowship and access the application. The Democracy Group is an initiative of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State.