San Francisco State University's Center for the Integration and Improvement of Journalism has received a $525,000 grant over three years from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to expand its innovative efforts to increase ethnic diversity in the media.
A large part of the grant will help extend the center's successful writing and photo coach and mentor program with media professionals to CSU Fresno and four Bay Area community colleges: San Francisco City College, Contra Costa College, Laney College and Diablo Valley College.
"We are grateful to the Knight Foundation for helping us build on our success," said Eva Martinez, director of the center at SFSU. "Our efforts have worked well in the San Francisco Bay Area and now we want to grow into new areas of California to help journalism become truly multicultural."
Each semester more than 40 journalism students sign up for the program to work one-on-one with Bay Area reporters on news writing and photo techniques. The coaches, who work for newspapers ranging from the San Francisco Chronicle to the San Jose Mercury News, meet with the students weekly and serve as mentors.
The grant also will be used to coordinate a regional job fair for print and photojournalism majors and recent graduates of those programs; publish a guidebook on how to establish effective coaching and mentoring programs; and increase outreach efforts with California community colleges with substantial ethnic minority student enrollments.
Since SFSU's journalism center was established in 1990, the percentage of aspiring journalists of color graduating from SFSU increased to 39 percent from 15 percent and the percentage of majors rose to more than 50 percent from 30 percent.
Established in 1950, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation makes national grants in journalism, education, and arts and culture. Its fourth program, community initiatives, is concentrated in 26 communities where the Knight brothers published newspapers, but the foundation is wholly separate from and independent of those newspapers.
San Francisco State University is a highly diverse community of 27,000 students and 3,500 faculty and staff. It is one of the largest campuses in the nationally recognized 23-campus California State University system.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News