Minority Journos Umbrella Group Unity Gets Grant to Aid News Entrepreneurs

By: E&P Staff

Unity Journalists of Color Inc., the joint group of the four principal associations for minority journalists, said Monday it received a $100,000 grant from The Ford Foundation to implement a program to develop and encourage “news entrepreneurs.”

New U: News Entrepreneurs Working through UNITY will run a series of two-day training sessions during the conventions this summer of each of its four affiliated associations: The National Association of Black Journalists; National Association of Hispanic Journalists; Asian American Journalists Association; and Native American Journalists Association.

In addition to offering training and one-on-one mentoring, the program will include a competition for start-up funding of an idea developed by participants, the Unity announcement said.

“One of the best and most effective ways for journalists to evolve in the 21st century is to own their work product,” Unity President Barbara Ciara said. “This professional development opportunity will teach journalists the business side of the industry to help journalists of color not only survive but thrive in a changing economy.”

Ford Foundation Program Officer Calvin Sims said the foundation is funding New U because “there are so few opportunities in entrepreneurship for journalists of color.”

New U’s program was designed and will be managed by Doug Mitchell, the founder of NPR’s “next generation radio” and Alli Joseph, a producer and entrepreneur who is a member of the Native American Journalists Association member.

Information on participating in the program will be distributed through Unity and alliance partner websites, newsletters and other member communication outlets, Unity said.

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