Journalism Center Receives Large Grant
March 6, 2007 7:06 PM
The Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism of the SF State Journalism Department has received a $550,000 grant from the Ford Foundation.
"The Center for the Integration and Improvement of Journalism plays a vital role in the media by ensuring that the diversity of America is well-represented in news coverage and newsroom staff," Margaret Wilkerson, Ford Foundation director of media, arts and culture, said in a statement released by SF State. "The projects funded with this grant will not only benefit the center and SF State students, but also the journalism industry and media consumers nationwide."
The funds will be administered over two years and will be used to support the CIIJ’s many programs that, since 1990, have aimed to increase the diversity of the nation’s newsrooms with fair, accurate and journalism representational of the changing demographic of society.
“There are numerous new things we want to launch based on the” 4 R’s” of research, recruitment, retention and revitalization,” said CIIJ Director Cristina Azocar.
Azocar coined the term to define the focus of the non-profit organization’s goals for journalism students and educators.
This is the third consecutive grant of this size from the Ford Foundation. Funds from this year’s grant, the biggest yet, will be used to provide students and educators with workshops and conferences, continue research in the field of diversity and provide the CIIJ with capacity to strategically plan and implement its many programs by providing the hiring of necessary staff.
Specifically, in the research field is a four-year study of journalism students that will track them in their careers from journalism school into the work field through a documentary and website.
“Grants like these are so important because they allow for the continued change the CIIJ has to go through because the industry changes so fast,” said Azocar.
The CIIJ will receive $250,000 in July of this year and $200,000 in August of next year. The remaining $50,000 will be matched by the Ford Foundation.
In the Fall, the CIIJ will hold its second annual fundraiser, a dinner on campus for around 150 people. Last year’s fundraiser raised $10,000, and they hope to double that this year.
The first two of the “4 R’s” refer to the CIIJ’s continuation of providing groundbreaking research in the fields of diversity and its recruitment activities designed to attract high school and college students, particularly those of color, to a career in Journalism.
“Retention” and “revitalization” refer to the development of programs to provide students with career services such as coaching and training programs and the CIIJ’s overall vision of serving as a physical and virtual hub for the Journalism community.
An example of how the previous year’s money has been put to use is the new Ethnic News Service course, in which students write for ethnic news media in the Bay Area.
“We continue to show results and continue to serve the population, be innovative and change,” Azocar said. ”In many ways we have students that are producers of news people want to be watching and reading because they are technologically savvy, young, under 34 with diverse backgrounds and a lot of life experience.”
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