Joanna Hernandez is the head of the Knight CUNYJ Diversity Initiative, made possible by a $1.2 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The program aims to address underrepresentation in U.S. newsrooms by building a stronger pipeline of academically excellent, digitally trained minority journalists.
Since the summer of 2015, Knight’s grant has paid all expenses to bring 20 aspiring journalists to New York City in June and July to receive digital-journalism training and participate in media internships. The Knight CUNYJ fellows are also in the running for five full scholarships to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, if they apply and are admitted.
Hernandez is the former career services director at the CUNY J-School. Previously, she was a multiplatform editor at The Washington Post.
Before that, she worked as a copy editor for The Record and the Herald News newspapers in northern New Jersey; director of the Feature Production Center for The New York Times Regional Media Group; weekend entertainment editor at The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J.; copy editor at the San Francisco Examiner, and copy editor at Newsday in Melville, N.Y. She began her journalism career as a reporter for several newspapers in New York and Connecticut.
Hernandez is former president of Unity: Journalists of Color. She has been a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists since 1993 and is a former director of NAHJ’s Region 2, representing members from eight northeastern states.
She earned a Master of Public Administration from CUNY’s Baruch College, a B.A. in Journalism from New York University, an A.A.S. from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and a certificate in newspaper management from the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education at Northwestern University.