Journalism Funding Partners to Oversee Chips Quinn Program for Diversity in Journalism

Freedom Forum to Fund 10 Young Journalists with $10,000 Per Person Stipend

Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2024)Freedom Forum announced April 15, 2024, that the nonprofit Journalism Funding Partners will take over the administration of the Chips Quinn Program for Diversity in Journalism this year.

Freedom Forum will support the transition of this program for the next three years, providing a $10,000 per person stipend to 10 young journalists selected by JFP each year. Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit foundation whose mission is to foster First Amendment freedoms for all. Journalism Funding Partners is a nonprofit that connects newsrooms with funders to promote coverage of underreported stories.

Freedom Forum will work with JFP to connect the journalists with mentors from the Chips Quinn Program alumni. The goal: To offer both financial and professional support to young journalists, particularly those from underrepresented communities, in hopes they will not just survive but thrive in the news industry.

“Since it began in 1991, the Chips Quinn program has supported more than 1,400 young journalists with training and mentorship,” says Jan Neuharth, chair and CEO of Freedom Forum. “This partnership with Journalism Funding Partners allows us to continue this program that has touched so many lives with what journalists tell us they need most: the advice of more experienced journalists and financial support.”

The median salary for journalists is $55,960, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with considerably lower pay in impoverished areas. The average federal student loan balance is $37,088, according to the Education Data Initiative.

In another partnership with JFP, Freedom Forum funds two full-time reporters who are dedicated to covering First Amendment issues in Florida and Tennessee.

The 2024 class of Chips Quinn Reporters will be selected by JFP with a goal to meet in-person in July in Sacramento, California, at JFP’s annual meeting.

“JFP has grown the number of funded journalists in local newsrooms 50 percent year over year for the past three years, and a lot of those journalists have been early-career,” says Rusty Coats, executive director of Journalism Funding Partners. “The JFP Board of Directors unanimously supports this partnership as an extension of our mission. With Freedom Forum’s generous support, it’s also a way that JFP can evolve the impact of the program for tomorrow’s news leaders.”

The Chips Quinn Program for Diversity in Journalism began in 1991 with the mission to diversify the industry’s workforce pipeline. This new partnership with Journalism Funding Partners will continue to honor the program’s namesake, the late John C. “Chips” Quinn Jr., a newspaper editor who believed that diverse newsrooms would improve journalism by better reflecting the communities they serve. The Chips Quinn program was created by the late John C. and Loie Quinn, Chips’ parents. John C. Quinn was former deputy chairman of Freedom Forum and editor-in-chief of USA TODAY.

About Freedom Forum: Established on July 4, 1991, by USA TODAY founder Al Neuharth, Freedom Forum’s mission is to foster First Amendment freedoms for all. Freedom Forum works to raise awareness of First Amendment freedoms by educating, engaging and inspiring people, sharing the stories of Americans who have exercised their rights to ignite change. Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan 501 (c)(3) foundation that advances First Amendment freedoms through initiatives including the Power Shift Project , the annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference , the Chips Quinn Program for Diversity in Journalism, the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media , the Free Expression Awards , the Journalists Memorial and Today’s Front Pages .