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Explore 2023-2024 19th News Fellows’ Work

The 19th is proud to share the work of our second class of our groundbreaking Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Fellowship, which seeks to create meaningful pipelines for those historically excluded from U.S. newsrooms. 

Fellows spend a year working in reporting, audience and product or technology with full-time salaries and benefits. They receive on-the-job training, mentorship, development opportunities and career coaching to prepare them for their path after their fellowship.

Learn more about the Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Fellowship, and explore the work of the 2022-2023 fellows here.

Explore their work by track: ReportingProduct and TechnologyAudience


The 19th’s three reporting fellows are embedded in The 19th’s distributed newsroom and rotate between editors to gain experience reporting across politics, breaking news, caregiving, health, education and LGBTQ+ issues. They’re encouraged to pitch and report on stories or topics about historically excluded communities that interest them.

Darreonna Davis

A headshot of 19th News fellow Darreonna Davis.

At The 19th, Darreonna solidified her mission of highlighting the financial achievements and unveiling economic disparities of racial and gender minorities. She wrote about how Black women would benefit from policy that permitted employers to match employees’ student loan repayments in a retirement account and how education has not solved the gender pay gap.

As a self-proclaimed artist, Darreonna merged her journalism skills with her interest in the arts by writing about women dominating this year’s Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards and the stagnation in women directing top-grossing films. In addition to being a valuable member of the editorial team, Darreonna stepped up to support the organization’s biannual membership campaign efforts to raise over $40,000 in membership revenue. Read all of Darreonna’s work at The 19th here.

In her next role, Darreonna is interested in covering economic policy’s impact on marginalized communities.

Eshe Ukweli

A headshot of 19th News fellow Eshe Ukweli.

At The 19th, Eshe took an audience-first approach, expanding coverage of diverse communities and highlighting the 19th’s top coverage.

Beyond reporting, Eshe worked across departments with the partnerships and production teams, identifying potential partners from diverse publications as well as thought-leaders who could help promote The 19th’s new podcast, The Amendment with Errin Haines. Read all of Eshe’s work at The 19th here.

In her next role, Eshe aims to continue expanding companies’ reach through strategic communications and digital marketing. She believes that building communications strategies and growth marketing initiatives can help organizations create authentic connections with their audience and drive business forward.

Merdie Nzanga

A headshot of 19th News fellow Merdie Nzanga.

At the 19th, Merdie continued writing about politics with a focus on race and equity. She branched out from reporting breaking news to more contextual feature and profile writing, and truly enjoyed it. The highlight of the fellowship has been covering stories about race, including how alopecia impacts Black women.

She also plans to continue looking at race through the lens of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and its impact on the corporate world. During the second half of her fellowship, Merdie plans to focus on election reporting and how it connects with DEI. Read all of Merdie’s work at The 19th here.

In her next role, Merdie hopes to cover politics through the lens of race and equity from a solutions journalism perspective.

Product and Technology

The 19th’s product and technology fellow participates in team design thinking cycles, including conducting audience interviews, drawing data-driven insights about our audience’s needs and wants and generating ideas that meet audience needs, advance business goals and align with our mission. They also learn how designers create product and brand experiences, and how engineers test product feasibility, and test and launch products.

Racquel Bethea

A headshot of 19th News fellow Racquel Bethea.

At The 19th, Racquel translated almost a decade of experience as a multimedia educator into a deeper focus on how technology serves news audiences. She immersed herself in the user-experience using product knowledge and data to improve our audience’s overall experience on our website. Racquel built designs using Figma and created databases using Airtable to support the product team’s work. She also received a Digital Product Management certification from the University of Virginia to complement her hands-on experience with the product and technology team. Racquel has enjoyed learning how technology can advance the world of journalism through content optimization and data mining. She’s learned that journalism is layered — in data, tasks, careers and innovation.

She is most proud of her experience creating dashboards and data visualizations on Metabase, which supported drawing and summarizing insights from a year of interviews with 19th audience members across multiple platforms. Her work helped drive decision-making across the organization, from how this website functions to the stories we tell. Read all of Racquel’s work at The 19th here.

In her next role, Racquel wants to use technology to improve other’s experience with and understanding of media. She plans to continue the work of using multimedia storytelling to bring underrepresented voices to the forefront.


The 19th’s audience fellow works within the audience team to find, pitch and report on audience-focused journalism. They monitor real-time metrics and trends as well as cover social media shifts. They also work to engage audiences through alternative story formats such as working on The 19th’s Amendment podcast, and optimizing and distributing The 19th’s journalism across platforms, including on our website and newsletters.

Victoria Clark

A headshot of 19th News fellow Victoria Clark.

At The 19th, Victoria used her writing to highlight underserved communities. She produced Twitter Threads, social-first posts for Instagram and social media campaigns, including one for Black History Month featuring artists who cultivated change through their work. In the first five months of her fellowship, Victoria garnered more than 100k impressions and an above-average engagement rate of close to 9% on Instagram. Victoria also worked cross-departmentally to transcribe, edit and produce site posts for The Amendment podcast with Errin Haines on The 19th’s website. She’s also had reporting bylines. One of her favorites is her profile on disability inclusion advocate, Natasha Nelson. Read all of Victoria’s work at The 19th here.

In her next role, Victoria is looking for social media coordinator and writer positions. She wants to continue using her passion for writing in various forms and telling the stories of others. Whether it’s through producing social content or writing articles, Victoria hopes to find a work environment that supports her growth, ideas and allows for both teamwork and individual projects. She hopes to continue focusing on underserved communities, gender, race and inclusion.