Knight Foundation supports students
Nonprofit grants $150,000 to NABJ/NAHJ Student Projects program
The Knight Foundation has granted $25,000 to each of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists for their 2016 joint student multimedia projects program.
The foundation will be contributing $75,000 to each organization — $150,000 in total — over a three-year period to help sustain the fellowship.
The program, which is normally divided between the two groups, gives 28 student journalists the opportunity to work in a converged newsroom during the NABJ/NAHJ’s Joint Convention and Career Fair in Washington D.C. The student fellows work to create content for multiple mediums focusing on stories surrounding the convention and local community.
Karen Rundlet, program officer for the Knight Foundation, said the organization wanted to fund the project because it considers the distribution of objective information an integral part of society. They believe groups that produce content should be diverse.
“The Knight Foundation supports the field of journalism because we believe informed and engaged communities are critical for a healthy democracy,” Rundlet said. “Knight Foundation supports diversity in newsrooms because it increases accuracy in editorial coverage.”
Allison Davis, NABJ founder and student projects mentor, said the foundation’s donation didn’t surprise her given its track record of stressing the importance of a diverse newsroom.
“That’s just the kind of organization they’ve always been,” Davis said.
In addition, she said the grant will help them further develop NABJ’s program, which is in its 25th year.
“The faith that the Knight Foundation has put in the project will help us to even get more money to expand the project and include many more students,” Davis said.
The donation will help support a new breed of journalists as digital literacy becomes more necessary in the industry, according to Rundlet.
“This grant supports the next generation of journalists, technologists, and entrepreneurs of color by giving them access to training, a network of mentors, and a network of peers,” Rundlet said. “The student journalists will add to their portfolios of professional work, receive coaching on how to interview for a job, and receive hands-on digital journalism experience.”
Sophia Boyd contributed to this report.