The 19th is a non-profit newsroom that covers politics through the gender lens. It has received support from Howard University and Nikole Hana-Jones.
The fellowship program is named after Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (mother of African American journalism). It will provide five HBCU graduate positions that are one-year and salaried at The 19th. These fellows will receive “advisory assistance” from Hannah-Jones (Hughes Knight Chair for Race and Journalism).
The goal is to have more journalists of color, and their lives, in the industry, stated Errin Haines. Hannah-Jones and the 19th want to create a diverse pipeline of future journalists. “And the perspectives that those students bring to our journalism ecosystem .”
Applications will open in mid -2022, and will be opened in September 2022,. This coincides with the opening of Howard’s Center for Journalism and Democracy which will offer additional support for the fellows. The 19th will hire staff to support the program. This is made possible by a $3.8million donation from philanthropists Michelle Mercer (and Bruce Golden).
The idea for the fellowship was born out of a conversation that Haines and Hannah Jones had at the 19th annual summit in August. After listening to the journalists discuss the role of media in advancing racial equality, Mercer & Golden approached the 19th for assistance. The 19th suggested that HBCUs fund a fellowship for Black journalists.
Howard’s inclusion in the program was a natural step given that Hannah-Jones had recently announced she would take a tenured professorship there instead of the University of North Carolina, which had initially offered her a non-tenure position. But, The 19th wanted visibility for all HBCUs and not just Howard.
We all agreed that we wanted to extend this beyond Howard to other historically Black colleges. Although they don’t get the same resources or attention as Howard University, but still do the work of training the next generation of journalists,” Haines stated.
The fellowship is open to recent graduates as well as mid-career alumni from HBCUs. Haines stated that they will be able to find jobs in newsrooms by the end the year.
Haines was a participant in the Tribune Company’s Minority Editorial Training Program (or Metpro) earlier in her career. This was her first experience in mainstream daily journalism.
“I know how these opportunities can really help to jumpstart a young journalist’s career,” she stated. “That program really reinforced for me that the lived experiences I had were a valuable tool in my journalism and my storytelling. .”
That is something we hope to pass on to fellows We don’t always teach young journalists
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