The First Things Junior Fellows program was established in 2001 to provide recent college graduates with first-hand experience in the world of print journalism while adding vital capacity to our editorial operations. Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, junior fellows spend two years learning from our editors and offering critical support to each facet of our editorial process, from podcast production and digital media to copy-editing and research support. By providing a stipend and housing in Manhattan, First Things is able to attract the highest-caliber candidates, as our growing list of fellowship alumni affirms. Indeed, alumni include Matthew Rose, Senior Fellow and Director of the Barry Center on the University and the Intellectual Life at the Morningside Institute, Columbia University; Ryan T. Anderson, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Founding Editor of Public Discourse; Stefan McDaniel, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Notre Dame; and current First Things editors Ramona Tausz (deputy editor) and Veronica Clarke (associate editor).
Our current junior fellows are Elizabeth Bachmann and Hunter McClure. As they approach the end of year one of their fellowships, Elizabeth and Hunter have both written reflections on their time at First Things thus far. As Elizabeth writes:
In my college years, I looked up to First Things as a pantheon of perfection in tone, topic, and mission. It was the one publication I consistently read—even when my paper assignments began to pile up. Having now been a junior fellow for six months, I see beneath the magazine's glossy cover to the small group of quiet, dedicated people who care intensely that First Things continue to pursue truth in the public square through faith in the eternal God. First Things is not simply its external face: an outstanding magazine of religion and public life. It is the fruit of the continuous mental and spiritual labor of its editors, straining doggedly to keep their eyes on the first things and to bring them before our readers' eyes. My time at First Things has filled me with gratitude for the people who care enough to work hard to produce something truly beautiful.
In Hunter’s words:
I have deeply appreciated my time at First Things and am eager to see the work that we still have left to do. First Things is at its best when it rises above the news cycle, calling readers to contemplate what remains true, good, and timelessly beautiful, avoiding that which appeals to our lowest, most fleeting drives. In an internet-addled age of outrage and paranoia, this is no easy task.
First Things is pleased to provide this formative opportunity to two talented recent graduates each year.