Newmark J-School Unveils New Partnership with the Center for Journalism & Democracy at Howard University

  • By Newmark J-School Staff
John Smock

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY has partnered with the Center for Journalism & Democracy at Howard University, one of the country’s oldest historically Black universities, to launch The Du Bois Data Lab. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the lab will offer critical training to the data journalists of tomorrow.

The pilot will leverage curriculum from the Newmark J-School to teach students how to find and analyze data to tell stories that carry weight and impact. Fifteen undergraduate students from HBCUs will take part in a one-week intensive workshop taught by professional journalists of color at Howard University in Washington, D.C., from May 29 to June 5, 2024.

The Du Bois Data Lab will be free for attendees and cover travel, housing, and meals. Admitted students will also receive a $400 stipend. The deadline to apply is Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.

The core goal of the initiative is to ensure students understand the role data journalism plays in newsrooms today and empower student journalists to incorporate new methods into their workflow, turning spreadsheets and data points into compelling stories. The skills offered will be two-fold: editorial and technical.

“I’m bringing the Newmark-data philosophy with me,” said Professor Sandeep Junnarkar, who will partner with CJD to introduce admitted students to data coursework he teaches at the graduate level. “I want data to be exciting and full of potential — and not scary — for students. I want to get them inspired and see how data can uncover patterns we don’t spot in our daily lives.” Junnarkar also serves as the Director of Newmark J-School’s Data Journalism Program. 

Newmark J-School’s values around innovation, equity and inclusion in journalism will work in conjunction with the values of The Center for Journalism & Democracy, founded by Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones, which prides itself on historically informed, pro-democracy journalism. Hannah-Jones is also a member of the Newmark J-School’s foundation board. 

“Bringing the most innovative thinking, tools, and expertise to the field will allow us to expand the pool of talent engaged in this crucial public service work,” said Graciela Mochkofsky, Dean of Newmark J-School. “The lab will continue to infuse the field with our school’s core values.”

The lab was named after American sociologist, activist, and author W.E.B. Du Bois, who created data visualizations and understood how data and numbers shape society and power structures. 

To be eligible for the program, applicants must meet these requirements:

  1. Be enrolled as an undergraduate student at a historically Black college or university. 
  2. Have declared journalism as a major. 
  3. Able to attend the full program, from May 29 to June 5, in person at Howard University.

Learn more about the Du Bois Data Lab and apply to take part in the workshop.