The second cohort of the Fresno-area Journalists of Color training program has been selected, and now there are 14 students in the program designed to create a pathway that will offer greater diversity to the reporting staffs of San Joaquin Valley newsrooms.
The students are paid $300 a month during the academic year and can stay in the program for up to five years from their senior year in high school through four years of college. This is the second year of the highly acclaimed program.
“Our goal with this initiative is to build a pipeline of skilled journalists from diverse communities who are ready to enter the workforce and report on the Central Valley with accuracy, honestly and multicultural sensitivity,” said Dr. Kathleen Schock, a program steering committee member and journalism instructor at Fresno City College. “The launch of our second cohort marks a key moment in this effort. As the program continues to grow, I anticipate bright futures for our students in the years to come.”
The program will offer regular training workshops to prepare students for a media career and give them academic advising support to help them along the college path. Students will write and create multi-media news projects for The kNOw, which since 2006 has been helping young journalists with media training so they can tell stories about the communities they live in.
The Journalists of Color program was created by the Institute for Media and Public Trust at Fresno State in partnership with the Youth Leadership Institute, and the journalism program at Fresno City College and the Fresno State Media, Communications and Journalism Department. Major funding comes from The California Endowment, the James B. McClatchy Foundation, Microsoft and the Institute for Media and Public Trust.
“We believe San Joaquin Valley newsrooms must be more diverse if local media outlets are going to tell the full stories of their communities,” said Jim Boren, executive director of the Institute for Media and Public Trust.
Students in the first cohort have welcomed the experience.
“Being part of the Journalists of Color program has been such a welcoming and comforting experience,” said Gloria Flores. “The program has allowed we to freely express myself through writing as well as utilize my voice to communicate on both communal and world issues.”
Jordan Jackson said the program has become important in his daily life, “and it does my soul justice to provide information to society that can affect their thoughts and decisions.”
When reporting facts, honestly and accurately, I’m not sure where multicultural sensitivity comes into it. Or should. It’s no wonder there’s no respect for the profession.