The Military Veterans in Journalism Association (MVJ), helping vets find careers while diversifying newsrooms


Meet Russell Midori, a New York City freelance news photographer, documentary filmmaker and co-founder and president of the Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ), a relatively new professional association that builds community for vets, supports their career growth and advocates for diversifying newsrooms through hiring and promoting more vets. Midori served as a combat correspondent in the Marine Corps from 2008 to 2012, working as a video producer for Marine Forces Europe and Africa and the NCOIC of the Parris Island Public Affairs Office. During his enlistment, he held the rank of sergeant and was twice named an honor graduate of courses at the Defense Information School.

According to  U.S. Census data, even though military veterans make up 7% of the population, approximately 2% percent of those who work in U.S. media are post-9/11 veterans. Why is this important? A recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) sponsored study conducted by the RAND Corporation and Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans revealed that organizations gain employees with extensive experience and competencies when they hire veterans. The study states, “Vets deliver subject matter expertise, years of on-the-job training and advanced skills in everything from information technology to transportation logistics and from supply-chain management to public relations. Vets can raise a company’s workforce to the next level in many areas.”

The MVJ is led and run by military veterans such as Midori and co-founder Zack Baddorf who acts as the Executive Director. Their work includes creating opportunities for veterans to break into the media industry and to also serve as a career pipeline by providing news outlets access to talent and diversity for their members. 

In this 126th episode of “E&P Reports,” Publisher Mike Blinder is joined by Russell Midori, co-founder and President of Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ), to discuss the organization’s goals of supporting career growth for vets in the news publishing industry and diversifying newsrooms through hiring and promoting more vets. Joining the discussion is Lori King, host and producer of the MVJ podcast Sword & Penand a journalism instructor at The University of Toledo and Kent State University.


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