I write about the social impact of entertainment and how media can be used for good. Views are my own.

© 2024 • All Rights Reserved
Tahera Rahman, an Illinois native who became the first American reporter to wear a Hijab on-air, reporting for CBS affiliate WHBF-TV.

Journalism Programs Committed to Improving Newsroom Diversity

This is the first in a series of posts that will summarize diversity programs that are available in different sectors of the media and entertainment industry. In the research I’ve done, I’ve realized how difficult it is to learn about diversity programs in media because there’s no central database that keeps all that information consolidated and up to date. I don’t know if this is going to turn into a database per se, but fingers crossed, it’ll be a step in the right direction!

This post will focus specifically on journalism programs committed to improving newsroom diversity, something I’m personally very passionate about. Studies show that newsroom diversity leads to better, more balanced journalism by widening the range of perspectives providing coverage, while also driving commercial outcomes (NiemanLab). Despite that, newsrooms still struggle to ensure that their journalists reflect the communities they serve. Almost 80% of newsroom employees identify as non-Hispanic white (Pew Research Center), yet make up ~58% of the US population (US Census Bureau).

You might be interested in: How to Diversify On-Screen Talent for TV and Film

Embed from Getty Images

In a best case scenario, diversity and inclusion are engrained into the DNA of a newsroom, rather than viewed as a discreet and separate pipeline of programs and fellowships. However, in the absence of the former, the latter is completely appropriate and respectable, and perhaps even a necessary step towards truly holistic reporting.

If you’re a journalist from an under-represented background, or if diversity in journalism is a priority for you, here are a few examples of programs and fellowships that are addressing this challenge in a meaningful way.

Embed from Getty Images

Bloomberg Business Journalism Diversity Program

The Bloomberg Business Journalism Diversity Program is a partnership with the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley that welcomes students who are interested in learning about business journalism. Bloomberg journalists and executives including Matt Winkler, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Bloomberg News, teach courses while other classes are led by faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill and UC Berkeley. The program leads participants through principles of reporting, editing and applied business and economic knowledge. More information can be found here.

Embed from Getty Images

Yahoo Multimedia Journalism Fellowship

Yahoo’s portfolio of 20+ media and technology properties reach over one billion people globally. They’ve built an award-winning team of investigative, enterprise, trending and breaking news editors, reporters and producers, and have partnered with several organizations to provide diversity journalism fellowships.

More information about each of the partnerships can be found below:

Embed from Getty Images

Online News Association Diversity & Inclusion Scholarships

The ONA Conference is an annual gathering of digital journalists to discuss innovations in audience engagement, news product development, forecasting trends and digital business strategy. Each year, ONA partners with organizations to offer diversity and inclusion scholarships to under-represented participants. The application for this year’s conference is due on July 15th at 11:59pm EDT, so it’s not too late to submit your application! More information can be found here.

You might be interested in: African Content Shaping Global Entertainment

Embed from Getty Images

NBCU Academy

NBCU Academy is a digital program that provides university and community college students with scholarships, education, on-campus training, online programming and funding for accredited journalism programs. It also gives them access to world-class journalists from NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo News. As part of the partnership, NBCU Academy provides grants to partner institutions to award scholarships to students interested in media and tech. More information can be found here.

Embed from Getty Images

ViacomCBS HBCU Diversity in Journalism Scholarship

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and ViacomCBS have created a new scholarship that advances a robust pipeline for Black journalists to both enter and lead in newsrooms. Supported by a $1-million endowment, the ViacomCBS HBCU Diversity in Journalism Scholarship covers yearly tuition costs for one or more graduates of HBCUs to enroll in one of USC Annenberg’s journalism master’s programs.

The new fund demonstrates USC Annenberg’s continued investment in expanding scholarship support for journalism students of color. In 2020, GRoW @ Annenberg partnered with USC Annenberg to establish a multi-year scholarship that fully underwrites the cost for graduate studies for Black journalists. The prior year, the Iger-Bay Diversity in Journalism Endowed Scholarship was established to support students who hail from communities that are historically underrepresented and underserved in the journalism field. More information can be found here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2024 • All Rights Reserved