Following Funding Snub, CNN Gives NAJA $50K For Scholarships

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By: E&P Stafff

CNN has pledged $50,000 to the scholarship program of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), the association announced.

The pledge comes about seven months after CNN aroused the group’s ire when it donated a total of $1 million to the scholarship programs of NAJA’s three Unity: Journalists of Color Inc. partners: the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

At the time, CNN said it had divided the scholarship funding among those three groups because they were the minority journalists associations they had worked with over the years.

In this latest funding announcement, made late Friday, NAJA said CNN had pledged to work with it to get more internships for Native students interested in broadcast journalism, and to train broadcasters during its 2006 convention.

CNN also pledged financial support for NAJA’s conventions this year in Tulsa and next year in Denver, the group said.

“In today’s world, it is imperative that a news organization such as CNN employ a diversity of journalists that reflect the diversity of the world they cover,” CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton said in a prepared statement.

NAJA Executive Director Kim Baca said Native Americans “continue to be the most underrepresented group in TV.” NAJA is working with the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation to create a week-long high school radio training program during the summer of 2007.

NAJA recently announced that its Challenge Fund for Journalism II had received a $25,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. The grant requires NAJA to match each dollar received.

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