Three veteran journalists have been named the latest recipients of the McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism. Each of the winning projects will receive a grant of up to $15,000.

The new McGraw Fellows will explore subjects ranging from the environmental and economic impact of the global market for second hand clothes and the growth of the plastics industry, to an analysis of the spending habits of police departments across the United States.

The McGraw Fellowships, an initiative of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Business Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, were created in 2014 to support ambitious coverage of critical issues related to the U.S. economy and business. The Fellowships – awarded twice a year – enable experienced journalists to produce deeply reported works of investigative or enterprise business journalism. Roughly 45 journalists have won McGraw Fellowships to date.

The new McGraw Fellows for Spring 2021 are:

Beth Gardiner: A freelance environmental journalist based in London, Gardiner will use her Fellowship to report on the growth of the plastic and petrochemical industry.

Gardiner is the author of Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution, named by the Guardian as one of 2019’s best books, and a finalist for the National Association of Science Writers’ Science in Society book award. Her work explores the ways health, equity, economic concerns and policy choices intersect in stories about the environment. Her reporting on air pollution’s dangers was the cover story of the April 2021 issue of National Geographic, and her writing has also appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, HuffPost, Smithsonian and Yale Environment 360. A two-time fellow of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Gardiner is a former longtime Associated Press writer.

Daniel Penny: An independent journalist and critic based in Cambridge, UK, Penny will examine the economic and environmental effects of the flow of second hand clothes from the Global North to the Global South during his Fellowship.

A native New Yorker with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Columbia University, Penny recently left Brooklyn for the United Kingdom, where he is a tutor of Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge. He has written about fashion, art, design, and other subjects for many outlets, including GQ, The Financial Times, and The New Yorker, where he was an editorial staff-member. Penny is currently at work on a book about the growth of men’s fashion, its causes and its consequences.

Matt Stroud: A freelance journalist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Stroud will report on the spending habits and purchasing decisions of police departments in the United States.

Stroud is the author of Thin Blue Lie: The Failure of High-Tech Policing, which The New York Times called an “incisive, muckraking expose of the police industrial complex.” His six-part, investigative podcast, “Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment,” is in production to become a scripted television series. A former correspondent with Bloomberg News and The Associated Press, his investigative work on law enforcement and courts has unearthed secretive police surveillance programs, overturned murder convictions, and ousted CEOs, earning him numerous local and national awards for journalistic excellence.

Close to 100 journalists working in a dozen countries applied for the latest round of the Fellowships. Each winning project receives funding up to $15,000. In addition to financial backing, the McGraw Center provides Fellows with editorial guidance and assistance in placing stories with media outlets.

Applications for McGraw Fellowships are considered twice a year. The next deadline for proposals is July 16, 2021. For more information and the online application, please go to

The McGraw Center for Business Journalism was established in early 2014 by the family of the late Harold W. McGraw, Jr., former chairman and CEO of McGraw-Hill and long-time publisher of BusinessWeek magazine. The Center is dedicated to enhancing the depth and quality of business news coverage through training, student scholarships, and support for veteran journalists.


Jane Sasseen
Executive Director
McGraw Center for Business Journalism
[email protected]