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Ida B. Wells Society Makes Major Gift to Newmark J-School

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting is donating $100,000 to a scholarship fund at CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism aimed at supporting students who will bring more diversity into the field of journalism.

Society co-founders Ron Nixon, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Topher Sanders announced the gift as part of a campaign by the school to replenish the Ida B. Wells Scholarship Fund, named after the African American journalist, abolitionist, and feminist who led an anti-lynching crusade in the 1890s. Launched in 2018, the fund covers tuition costs for master’s degree students who are members of the Ida B. Wells Society. The organization seeks to increase the ranks and retention of investigative journalists of color and those of all backgrounds who support its mission.

“This partnership goes right to the center of the work we are doing at the Ida B. Wells Society – clearing obstacles and providing opportunities to ensure that the field of investigative reporting reflects the diversity of the country in which we live,” said Hannah-Jones.

“CUNY’s Newmark J-School is the nation’s most diverse and affordable journalism graduate program and yet it is facing unprecedented state cuts due to coronavirus budget shortfalls,” she added. “Therefore, we felt it was critical to support this special program that makes it possible for our members who otherwise wouldn’t to be able to earn their master’s degrees in journalism. As our nation faces threats to our democracy fueled by white nationalism, a story that many mainstream newsrooms took far too long to see, it should be clear to us all why we need to diversify those positions that hold power to account.”

Hannah-Jones pointed out that Black students carry the highest student loan debt, making achieving a graduate degree in journalism especially challenging.

Sarah Bartlett, dean of the Newmark J-School, also extolled the program: “Our school’s relationship with the Ida B. Wells Society has enabled us to attract talented journalists of color to our program and helped them enter the profession. Given what’s going on in our country right now, it’s hard to think of a more important effort.”

The fund is critical to advancing the school’s efforts to expand access for diverse talent to high-quality media jobs and effect change in newsrooms. With help from the Society’s gift and with other donations, school officials say they will be able to fund approximately seven scholarships.

To date, the fund has provided scholarships to eight students. Scholars of the program have gone on to internships and jobs at  Inc., The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and the Today show.

“I left the Newmark J-School more curious, more passionate, and with the tools I need to thrive in an increasingly difficult industry,” said Jazmin Goodman from the Class of 2019 who was the first Ida B. Wells scholar.

Tremain Prioleau II, the 2021 scholar, said the fund is “ a great gateway for people to get into journalism, especially coming from backgrounds like myself. I’m just a kid from South Carolina – this small town called Moncks Corner – and this gave me an opportunity to come to New York and chase my dreams to be able to work in journalism.”

To Prioleau, investigative reporting is all part of carrying on a rich tradition. “It’s in our DNA,” he said. “It’s what we’ve done for centuries, so naturally Black people are going to want to get into investigative journalism and really hold the powers that be accountable.”

About the Ida B. Wells Society

The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting is a news trade organization dedicated to increasing and retaining reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative reporting. Founded in 2016 by veteran journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ron Nixon, and Topher Sanders, the organization seeks to provide free/low-cost training, skills-building, and support for journalists of color pursuing investigative work. The Society is open to journalists of all backgrounds who support the mission and work of the organization. Since its founding, it has served more than 2,000 journalists through its programming. For more information, visit idabwellssociety.org.

About the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, founded in 2006, has become nationally recognized for its innovative programs. The only public graduate school of journalism in the northeastern U.S., it prepares students from diverse economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds to produce high-quality journalism.

As the profession continues to reinvent itself in the digital age, the Newmark J-School is at the forefront of equipping the next generation of journalists with the reporting, writing, interactive, technical, and entrepreneurial skills they need to find stories and tell them effectively. The school offers a Master of Arts in Journalism, the nation’s first M.A. in Social Journalism, and a unique bilingual M.A. in Journalism for students interested in covering Latino communities for English- and Spanish-language media. For more information, visit journalism.cuny.edu.

 

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Outcomes

The alumni of our Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership will:

  • Gain a thorough understanding of how to build and execute a product strategy.
  • Understand the market forces that impact the business model of journalism and know how to develop new revenue models, business plans and growth strategies.
  • Learn how to foster a data-driven mindset to drive audience-centric innovation.
  • Understand and apply industry best practices in organizational structure, revenue models and innovation management.
  • Strengthen their leadership skills to attract and retain diverse talent and manage interdisciplinary teams.
  • Become more effective in how to drive change and manage transformation in their news organization.
  • Build lasting relationships with their cohort, the Newmark J-School community, and the NYC media innovation ecosystem.
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How to Apply

Applications for the class of 2021 are now closed.

In addition to a non-refundable $75 application fee, applicants will be expected to provide:

  • two letters of recommendation from people who can speak of their leadership skills and potential
  • a resume
  • a letter of intent of up to 1,000 words explaining what makes them a good candidate for this program

Participants who make it through the first round will be scheduled for a video call with the program director.

FAQs

The program runs from May 17, 2021 to April 8, 2022. Weekly classes take place Thursdays in the morning (Eastern Time) and are video-recorded in case a participant can’t join in person. Residencies in NYC are scheduled to take place October 25-November 5, 2021 and April 4-8, 2022. Commencement will be held after the end of the last residency. Participants are encouraged to arrive in New York the Sunday before the start of each residency as classes run weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. In the case in-person classes are not possible due to COVID-19, classes will be held online.

Syllabus

CLASSES

The Business of Journalism

Product Management and Development

Revenue Models and Business Development

Managing Technology and Innovation

Strategy and Execution

Audience, Data, Marketing and Metrics

Managing Culture and Change

Teams, Structures and Diversity

WORKSHOPS

Media and Innovation Ethics

Leading with Resilience

Managerial Decision Making

Leadership Communication

User-centered Design

ONGOING ACTIVITIES

Capstone Project

Coaching and Mentoring

Networking, Events, Fireside Chats and Company Visits

2020 Cohort

Susanne Amann's profile

Susanne Amann

Managing Editor
DER SPIEGEL

Ana Arriagada'profile

Ana Arriagada

Cofounder and Executive Director
El Soberano

Thierry Backes'profile

Thierry Backes

Managing Editor
Süddeutsche Zeitung

Lauren Berry's profile

Lauren Berry

Global Managing Editor for Data-Driven News and Deputy NYC Bureau Chief
Bloomberg LP

Kim Bui of the Arizona Republic.

P. Kim Bui

Director of Audience Innovation
Arizona Republic

Rosy Catanach's profile

Rosy Catanach

Vice President of Product, Publishing
The New York Times

Styli Charalambous' profile

Styli Charalambous

CEO and Publisher
Daily Maverick

Jonah Comstock's profile

Jonah Comstock

Director of Content Developer and Editor-in-Chief
HIMSS Media

Alexander Droessler's profile

Alexander Droessler

Digital Transformation & Product
Nordkurier

Ethar El-Katatney's profile

Ethar El-Katatney

Former Young Audiences Editor
The Wall Street Journal

Daisuke Furuta's profile

Daisuke Furuta

Google News Lab Teaching Fellow
Tokyo

Maye Primera's profile

Maye Primera

Researcher / Producer
NBCU Universal / Telemundo Enterprises

Abbie Scott's profile

Abbie Scott

Deputy Managing Editor
Financial Times

Almudena Toral's profile

Almudena Toral

Executive Producer
ProPublica

Graham Watson-Ringo's profile

Graham Watson-Ringo

Managing Editor
San Antonio Report 

Mary Wilson's profile

Mary Wilson

Director of Communication and Engagement
A + Colorado

Contact Us

Do you have a question about our executive program? If so, please contact us.

Anita Zielina
Director of Strategic Initiatives
anita.zielina@journalism.cuny.edu
(Twitter) @Zielina

Melissa DiPento
Program Coordinator
melissa.dipento@journalism.cuny.edu
(Twitter) @mdipento

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