It goes without saying that we value Black voices in journalism over here at BAW, and thankfully it looks like media mogul Gayle King does as well. The CBS This Morning co-host announced yesterday (May 13) during the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism’s Class of 2021 virtual celebration, where she popped in as a guest speaker, that she will help launch the ViacomCBS HBCU Diversity in Journalism Scholarship.
The Root provided the official press release, which you can peep below to get fully versed in how the scholarship will work:
“With Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) serving as a critical driver to create more diverse and inclusive newsrooms that accurately reflect America’s communities, USC and ViacomCBS have created – ViacomCBS HBCU Diversity in Journalism Scholarship – to accelerate representation of Black journalists in newsrooms nationwide.
HBCUs make up only three percent of the country’s colleges and universities but enroll 10% of all African American students and produce almost 20% of all African American graduates. Supported by a $1-million endowment, the ViacomCBS HBCU Diversity in Journalism Scholarship, will cover yearly tuition costs for graduates of HBCUs to enroll in one of USC Annenberg’s journalism master’s programs.”
Here are some stats in case you’re wondering why there’s a need for our people in the field: the latest “Newsroom Diversity Survey” from the News Leaders Association reveals that Black journalists represent a mere 7.12 percent when it comes to salaried writers in the newsroom. What’s even sadder is that it’s been like that for over two decades, as that number only jumped less than two percent since the same survey was conducted back in 1999.
In short, the world of Black journalism definitely needs to come together and start flexing our pen game on a much higher scale than what’s currently being presented. Let’s get it, y’all!
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