The second cohort of the Fresno-area Journalists of Color training program has been selected. There are now 14 students in the program designed to create a pathway that will offer greater diversity to the reporting staffs of San Joaquin Valley newsrooms.

Students in the first cohort have welcomed the experience.

“Being part of the Journalists of Color program has been such a welcoming and comforting experience,” said Gloria Flores. “The program has allowed me to freely express myself through writing as well as utilize my voice to communicate on both communal and world issues.”

Jordan Jackson said the program has become important in his daily life, “and it does my soul justice to provide information to society that can affect their thoughts and decisions.”

The students are paid $300 monthly during the academic year and can stay in the program for up to five years, from their senior year in high school through four years of college. This is the second year of the program.

“Our goal with this initiative is to build a pipeline of skilled journalists from diverse communities who are ready to enter the workforce and report on the Central Valley with accuracy, honesty and multicultural sensitivity,” said Dr. Kathleen Schock, a program steering committee member and journalism instructor at Fresno City College who earned her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Fresno State in 2017. “The launch of our second cohort marks a key moment in this effort. As the program continues to grow, I anticipate bright futures for our students in the years to come.”

The program offers regular training workshops to prepare students for a media career and provides academic advising support to help them along the college path. Students write and create multimedia news projects for The kNOw, a program that has been helping train young journalists since 2006 to tell stories about their communities.

“We believe San Joaquin Valley newsrooms must be more diverse if local media outlets are going to tell the full stories of their communities,” said Jim Boren, executive director of the Institute for Media and Public Trust at Fresno State.

The Journalists of Color program was created by the Institute for Media and Public Trust at Fresno State in partnership with the Youth Leadership Institute, the journalism program at Fresno City College, and the Media, Communications and Journalism Department at Fresno State. Major funding comes from The California Endowment, the James B. McClatchy Foundation, Microsoft and the Institute for Media and Public Trust.

The Fresno State Institute for Media and Public Trust promotes news literacy, identifies fake news and bridges the trust gap between news consumers and media.