Representation at the highest levels of leadership in journalism is essential to an equitable, well-functioning democracy that truly reflects the lived experiences of all of our people. Right now, the journalism industry is falling well short of having the diversity of voices in the room at the leadership level necessary to make the strategic, editorial, product and budgetary decisions to ensure that our collective stories are being properly told. This must change.
As one of the premiere executive education programs for leaders of the world’s most respected news organizations, the Columbia Sulzberger Program has a responsibility to help those organizations deepen their bench of leaders from underrepresented backgrounds. Besides encouraging news organizations to sponsor and nominate leaders from underrepresented backgrounds, we think it is important to provide both a path for underestimated leaders to apply to the Sulzberger program directly and a way to fund their tuition and travel to attend. Thanks to the support of the Google News Initiative, that path is now open.
Today I am excited to announce that Google News Initiative will be sponsoring four scholarships, including tuition and travel, for leaders from groups typically underrepresented in journalism to attend the upcoming 2021 Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia Journalism School.
The Columbia Sulzberger program trains leaders of the world’s most respected news organizations and promising media start-ups to lead innovation and solve strategic business challenges in a time of rapid transformation, uncertainty, and opportunity. Fellows use the 21-week program to launch, accelerate, and implement a real-world project that is critical to the mission of their organizations and integrated into their day-to-day work. The program will begin with a two-week residency on the campus of Columbia Journalism School in New York City August 2-13, 2021 and conclude with one final week of residency, January 3-7, 2022, with weekly virtual cohort sessions in between.
Any leader in journalism across the world who self-identifies as being from a group typically underrepresented in journalism is eligible to apply for a GNI scholarship. All tuition and travel costs for three weeks in New York City will be covered.
These four new GNI scholarships are in addition to the two Gordon Gray Jr. scholarships that are also available. The Gordan Gray Jr. scholarships cover full-tuition only and are available to leaders from news organizations that focus on covering one geographic region of the United States, more than national or international stories.
Applications for all scholarships are open right now through a simple form (no letters of recommendation required) and are due no later than June 10. Final decisions will be made by June 21.
Ready to apply? Read more about the program on my blog and on the Columbia Journalism School website, join me for a virtual information session on Wednesday May 26 at noon ET, and start your application today.