The National Press Club, the world’s leading professional organization for journalists, has chosen Veronica Irwin of San Francisco, California, as the recipient of its 2023 Shirley & Dennis Feldman Fellowship. The award for graduate students is a one-time scholarship of $5,000.
Irwin, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, recently worked as a breaking news reporter at Protocol. She will join New York University’s Business and Economic Reporting Program this fall.
The judges were impressed with Irwin’s writing skills and versatility. She has covered a wide range of topics, including the Elon Musk jet tracker, Oakland’s sideshow culture, San Francisco’s homeless crisis, and open banking.
“I want to continue my education so I can have a bigger impact on the lives of the people I write about,” Irwin wrote in her application essay.
After graduate school, she plans to continue reporting on financial technology.
“I don’t want to continue reporting on these topics via the daily news cycle,” she wrote. “I want to write stories driven by a comprehensive analysis of the facts, where conclusions are so thoroughly supported that readers can’t help but to take what they’ve learned and create change.”
Recommendation letters from her supervisors praised her creative story ideas, drive, and collaborative spirit.
“I edited a story of hers about an arcane section of the Dodd-Frank Act. Her thinking on the story was utterly convincing, even thrilling. … Veronica had the sources lined up and knew there was a great story buried in the regulatory weeds,” Michael Reilly, said managing editor at The Markup who worked with Irwin at Protocol. “The result would redefine the rights and services people have when they log in to their online banking accounts.”
“Veronica has a strong work ethic, a driving curiosity, and considerable empathy” said Owen Thomas, a senior editor at Protocol. “She has shown she can win over sophisticated sources like venture capitalists while considering the points of view of borrowers and workers.”
Scholarship winners are awarded one-year complimentary membership to the National Press Club.
“We are excited to celebrate Veronica’s commitment to business reporting and were particularly impressed with her feature-writing skills,” said Eileen O’Reilly, president of the National Press Club. “I also look forward to getting to know Veronica as a member of the Club this year.”
National Press Club scholarships are administered by its nonprofit affiliate, the National Press Club Journalism Institute. Click here to learn more.