Berkeley Journalism First Generation Fellows
We passionately believe that who the storytellers are matters.

More than three-quarters of newsroom employees – those who work as reporters, editors, photographers and videographers in the newspaper, broadcasting and internet publishing industries – are non-Hispanic whites, according to a 2018 report from the Pew Research Center.

A new initiative at Berkeley Journalism aims to counter this disparity by providing guaranteed funding for tuition and fees for at least five students annually. The Deans Fellowship Program will also offer individualized coaching, mentoring and leadership development to these students.

The program reflects the School’s priorities under Dean Geeta Anand, who became the first woman–indeed first woman of color, to lead Berkeley Journalism when she accepted the deanship a year ago.

“The time has come for journalism schools to take a much more proactive leadership role in the industry to combat the exclusion,” Dean Anand said. “We passionately believe that who the storytellers are matters because we all view the world through the prism of our own lived experiences. We must use our institutional power to take the lid off who gets to be a journalist.”

The lack of diversity within the field of journalism has had devastating consequences for the future of democracy. It means we miss key stories because we don’t see them. We need to change the class and caste and race of journalism, and journalism schools need to play a key role in this movement.

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