PRINCETON, N.J. — The Dow Jones News Fund announced a 2021 operating budget of $550,000 that supports programs designed to help talented young people launch journalism careers and increase diversity in American newsrooms.
The News Fund will train 85 college students in its signature programs for digital media, data journalism, business reporting and multiplatform editing, then place those students in paid newsroom internships around the country this summer. Each intern also will receive a $1,500 scholarship.
The News Fund will support two skills-building workshops for students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). Florida A&M University and the University of Texas, El Paso, will host those workshops, which were canceled last year due to the pandemic.
With generous funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the News Fund will increase its support for summer high school journalism workshops. Our combined support will provide more than 250 teenagers, mostly in underserved communities, a chance to learn newsgathering skills, digital tools and storytelling techniques while reporting on inequities in health care and other social issues.
“Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened awareness of racial inequities, the country’s need for a strong, more diverse and independent news media has never been greater. That means the work we do is more important than ever,” said Shirley Carswell, executive director of the Dow Jones News Fund. “This year’s programming speaks to our ongoing commitment to supply the news industry with a pipeline of talented, well-trained young people who reflect the nation’s diversity.”
COLLEGE PROGRAMS – $424,000
The News Fund plans to train 85 interns to work as digital and data journalists, multiplatform editors and business reporters. Due to the pandemic, all of the pre-internship training programs will be remote for the second year. After a week of training, students will report to paid professional internships, which this year will be a mix of work-from-home and in-person jobs, based on local health guidelines and newsroom safety protocols.
Each intern will be paired with a mentor for one year and receive a $1,500 scholarship upon completion of the internship. Students are also eligible to apply for a needs-based grant from the Intern Assistance Fund, established by DJNF alumni to help with transportation, meals, housing and other costs during the summer.
The News Fund also will pay registration fees for college sophomores, juniors and seniors to attend professional media conferences, offering exposure to skills workshops, career fairs and networking events.
David Herzog, a University of Missouri professor and instructor for Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), will run the data journalism training program with Charles Minshew, IRE director of data services and a 2012 DJNF alumnus.
Digital media interns will be trained by faculty from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, led by Michael Wong, director of career services.
The Fund will sponsor two multiplatform news editing programs, one directed by Dr. Edward Trayes at Temple University, and the other, normally based at the University of Texas at Austin, directed by veteran journalist Beth Butler and Dr. Bradley Wilson, associate professor at Midwestern State University.
Paul Glader, an associate professor and director of the McCandlish Phillips Journalism Institute at The King’s College in New York, will lead the Fund’s business reporting programs, including the American City Business Journals session. For the seventh consecutive year, ACBJ will fund customized training for 10 News Fund interns assigned to its metropolitan business newsweeklies.
The Fund will finance a week-long summer multimedia academy for college professors and students from Hispanic-serving institutions at the University of Texas, El Paso. Kate Gannon, assistant professor and digital content manager of Borderzine.com, will train reporting teams made up of students and professors effective multimedia storytelling techniques while creating a digital journalism project.
Florida A&M University will host the inaugural HBCU Digital Media Institute for up to 25 students attending historically Black colleges and universities. Professor Francine Huff, the Knight Chair for Student Achievement at FAMU, will lead a virtual three-day program in May, focused on the latest newsgathering tools and storytelling techniques. Topics include podcasting, website design, videography, social media management, data visualization and coding.
HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS – $88,500
The summer high school journalism program will support 12 workshops to teach students how to report on, write and disseminate important stories about their communities, especially related to inequities in health and wellness. Last year’s workshops were canceled due to the pandemic; the News Fund has increased support in this area for 2021, especially for students in underserved school districts. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded $50,000 to this initiative.
The News Fund will provide up to $7,500 in scholarships in a contest among high school juniors and seniors attending a DJNF-sponsored workshop. Students will prepare a brief recorded statement about what motivates them to seek a journalism career.
The News Fund will continue to support the National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year awards program, as it has for more than six decades. That program is sponsored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
GENERAL OPERATING EXPENSES – $37,500
The Fund is investing new resources in alumni engagement and mentorship. The goal is to better leverage DJNF’s vast alumni network so that our graduates turn to the Fund when they are seeking jobs or when they have jobs that need filling. The News Fund is also committed to providing a robust mentoring program for emerging journalists and eventually for alumni at any experience level seeking to advance their careers.
Other general operating expenses include marketing, special events and administrative fees.