Omidyar Network Announces ‘Reporters in Residence’ to Support Ambitious Journalism and Economic Reporting

“We want to help incisive, thoughtful journalists do more of what they do best: report.”

Washington, D.C. – Today Omidyar Network, a social change venture working to build more inclusive and equitable societies, announced the inaugural class of their new “Reporters in Residence” program. Beginning in January, these three freelance journalists will spend the first half of 2023 researching and reporting on critical new stories about big-picture economic issues.

The three selected reporters are Bryce Covert, Kim Kelly, and Edward Ongweso Jr. They will focus on issues tied to the organization’s programmatic work around Reimagining Capitalism: New Economic Paradigms; Worker Power; and Corporations, Capital Markets & the Common Good.

“At Omidyar Network, we are devoted to addressing the structural challenges at the heart of our economic system and to shaping a new, inclusive economy where markets serve the interests of all people and society. And we believe it is impossible to do that work without a steady stream of strong reporting from a variety of viewpoints,” said Alexis Krieg, Senior Manager for Strategic Communications at Omidyar Network. “Edward, Kim, and Bryce each have strong track records in bringing incisive, new perspectives to a wide variety of economic issues. We’re excited to help support their work through this new program.”

About the reporters:

  • Bryce Covert is an independent journalist writing about the economy. She is a contributing writer at The Nation, and her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Time Magazine, the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Wired, the New Republic, Slate, and others. She won a 2016 Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus and the John Swett Merit Certificate from the California Teachers Association in both 2019 and 2022.
  • Kim Kelly is a freelance labor journalist, author, and organizer based in Philadelphia. She has been a regular labor columnist for Teen Vogue since 2018, and her writing on labor, class, politics, disability, and culture has appeared in Rolling Stone, the Nation, The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Baffler, the Columbia Journalism Review, and Esquire, among many others. Kelly has also worked as a video correspondent for More Perfect Union, The Real News Network, and Means TV. Previously, she was the heavy metal editor at Noisey, VICE’s music vertical, and a member of the VICE Union. A third-generation union member, she is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World’s Freelance Journalists Union as well as a member and elected councilperson for the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). Her first book, Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor, was published by One Signal/Simon & Schuster in 2022.
  • Edward Ongweso Jr. is a former staff writer at Motherboard, VICE’s technology section, where he spent three years covering labor, finance, Silicon Valley, and crypto. He’s appeared on NPR, CNN, ABC News, NBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, DW, France 24, and elsewhere. He co-hosts This Machine Kills, a podcast that critically examines the political economy of technology.

The residency will take place from January to June of 2023, with each reporter continuing to follow the leads on the economic issues they deem most important. As part of Omidyar Network’s commitment to transparency and journalistic independence, it will have no editorial discretion over the reporters’ work.

This program builds on work from April of 2021, when Omidyar Network engaged its first Writer in Residence, Zach Carter. “The program was my opportunity to take big swings at ambitious journalism. It allowed me to have the time and space to tackle big ideas and pursue issues I care about, all while developing myself as a writer and supporting myself,” said Carter. “This is a place for reporters who want to be in control of their destiny without being financially or creatively beholden to anybody.” During his residency, Carter published numerous longform pieces in The New York Times, The New Republic, and The Atlantic; he also established his Substack, all while working on his forthcoming book on John Stuart Mill.

Over the past 15 years, more than 2,000 communities have lost their local newspapers, and journalists and media organizations are being asked to do more and more with fewer and fewer resources. Award-winning local papers are being gobbled up by private equity firms as consolidation continues across the industry. Even as more newsrooms are unionizing to improve conditions, some journalists are leaving altogether to embark on freelance careers, and newsroom employment in the United States has continued to plummet.

The goal of the “Reporters in Residence” program is to enable a group of freelance journalists to devote more time to the type of deep, nuanced reporting that drives national conversations and informs policy debates. Applications for the second class of Reporters in Residence are expected to open in May of 2023.