Talent search: Freedom Forum Diversity Fellows
|From left: Denny McAuliffe, Catalina Camia, Victor Merina and Ramon Chavez.
To create a larger pool of diverse talent for newspapers, Freedom Forum Fellows visited campuses across the country to spread word about opportunities in journalism.
In 2000, Fellows began traveling to colleges, universities and junior colleges that are not heavily visited by newspaper recruiters but have significant student populations of color. The fellows completed their work in December 2001.
"My goal as a traveling Diversity Fellow was to fish where the fish are. But first, we've got to make sure that the pond we're fishing in is deep and wide, and that is why we needed to go to college campuses that don't get much attention from recruiters," Fellow Catalina Camia said.
While on campus, the Fellows had informal discussions with students about career opportunities in newspaper newsrooms, visited educators and campus newspapers and participated in classroom lectures.
Their goal was to find students with an interest in journalism and link the students to internships and other newsroom opportunities.
"Campus newspaper advisers and journalism instructors want to be up-to-date on career opportunities that are available to aspiring journalists of color," Camia said. "I was able to help students find scholarship and internship opportunities on the Internet and encourage them to take advantage of The Freedom Forum's Chips Quinn Scholars program. Every little bit helps the industry expand its employment of journalists of color."
The Fellows were Camia, a Washington, D.C.,-based journalist and past president of the Asian American Journalists Association, and Dennis McAuliffe, former Freedom Forum journalist in residence at the University of Montana.
Ramon Chavez worked as a Fellow until summer 2001, when he became chairman of the Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.
Victor Merina, a former Freedom Forum journalist in residence at the University of California-Berkeley, coordinated their work. Kevin Olivas of the California Chicano News Media Association also participated in the program.
Director, Allen H. Neuharth Center for Excellence in Journalism
University of South Dakota
414 East Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069
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