- Date Awarded
- Grant Period
- 10/01/09 to 03/31/11
- Focus Area
- Journalism & Media Innovation
- St. Petersburg, FL
To promote diversity and boost under-represented groups in journalism through subsidized training and operational support
For decades, mass media scholars have argued that general-interest newsrooms work best when they reflect the communities they seek to serve. Yet members of key demographic groups – African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, women, and gay and lesbian journalists – are still not in newsrooms in the way they are in the general population. As the digital age causes the “creative destruction” of traditional media, newsroom diversity is shrinking, not growing. Yet the same digital age is creating many new individual opportunities for the most eager and entrepreneurial of these underrepresented journalists – if they have the right training.
This grant creates a seven-way partnership between the nation’s most popular provider of journalism training, the Poynter Institute, and six professional journalism groups to offer training scholarships to worthy individuals. Poynter Institute is a school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses. It stands for a journalism that informs citizens and enlightens public discourse.
The six participating journalism organizations are: National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ); National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ); Native American Journalist Association (NAJA); Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA); Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS); and National Lesbian and Gay Journalism Association (NLGJA). This grant will give $50,000 to Poynter to partner with six professional journalism organizations to subsidize individual costs associated with Poynter’s on-site and online training. The winners of these awards will be known as Knight-Poynter fellows. Poynter will use its range of training venues, including NewsU, Poynter Online, webinars, chats, on-site seminars and regional workshops to broadly reach journalists. In addition, each of the six journalism organizations will receive $20,000 for a one-time injection of operational support. This grant will increase the training opportunities for at least 100 journalists from under-represented groups by freeing limited organizational funds and by partially or fully subsidizing digital training programs. It is expected that this grant will promote a group of journalists in digital training to become more employable and more promotable. Knight scholars will blog about their experiences.