Annenberg Foundation has awarded $5 million to the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism in the form of a grant intended to support a multi-year diversity and inclusion initiative. The launch announcement on the USC Annenberg site details components of the long-term program:
Recognizing that the most effective and innovative newsrooms are fed by diverse classrooms, the new Annenberg Leadership Initiative will focus on supporting journalism students and young professionals from communities that are underrepresented in the news industry.
“This generous gift speaks to The Annenberg Foundation’s unshakable and admirable commitment to diversity in journalism,” USC President C. L. “Max” Nikias said. “With newsrooms being reimagined for the digital age, and the breadth and shape of the news ever-changing, it is critical that young reporters and editors of different backgrounds be a part of the process. Such diversity encourages critical thinking, and critical thinking leads to more insightful journalism.”
The program will offer scholarships to students and fellowships to early-career journalists, who will learn to harness emerging communication technologies in the state-of-the-art digital facilities of Wallis Annenberg Hall.
Willow Bay, Director of the School of Journalism, said, “We are building a new generation of technologically and journalistically skilled communicators who will lead the complex digital newsrooms of the future. These young professionals will enrich newsrooms with new voices and perspectives, and be a driving force in informing a broader audience.”
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