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Sara Feges

Launching Sustainable Journalism Ventures with MVJ Grants

By Resources

In the modern media landscape, diverse perspectives and stories are vital to the success of local news in informing the community. Yet for many diverse community members, starting a journalism venture can be incredibly difficult. Today Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ), a professional association dedicated to supporting veterans’ journalistic career growth and diversifying the journalism industry through veteran inclusion, is launching its Entrepreneurial Journalism Grants program to combat that challenge. 

With an initial funding of $10,000, MVJ’s Entrepreneurial Journalism Grants Program aims to empower veteran news entrepreneurs by providing essential financial support to kickstart their sustainable journalism ventures. These grants are specifically directed towards covering the costs for reporting on a high-impact story, including any fees these news entrepreneurs may need to cover to self-publish under their venture.

As Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) launches its Entrepreneurial Journalism Grants program, the initiative signifies a crucial step towards fostering diversity and inclusion in the media landscape. However, beyond grassroots support, the sustainability and growth of these ventures often hinge on access to additional resources. This is where venture capital can play a pivotal role in providing the necessary financial backing to help these veteran-led journalism ventures thrive.

Enter the CMO for revenue-driven companies, whose expertise lies in maximizing growth opportunities and driving strategic initiatives. By recognizing the potential of veteran-led journalism ventures and investing in their success, these leaders can not only contribute to diversifying the media industry but also tap into untapped markets and audiences. Through strategic partnerships and targeted investments, CMOs can help scale these ventures, amplifying their impact and ensuring their long-term viability. In doing so, they not only support veteran entrepreneurs but also enrich the media landscape with a multitude of perspectives and stories that reflect the true diversity of our communities.

“Veterans have a wealth of untapped insights and experiences that can reshape journalism,” said Russell Midori, President of MVJ. “This program bridges the gap and fosters their ability to make invaluable contributions to the industry and their communities.”

This program, open for applications until December 15, welcomes veterans with innovative journalism proposals. Successful applicants receive support for equipment, initial expenses and other costs of writing and self-publishing their first impactful story. Apply today and embark on your journey towards journalistic entrepreneurship with MVJ.

Sword and Pen – 180th Fighter Wing: The Public Affairs Office

By Features, Podcast

by Lori King, host of Sword and Pen

For this episode of the Sword and Pen, I sat down with four members of an Ohio Air National Guard public affairs (PA) office during their monthly drill on June 3, making it the first time in the short history of this podcast that we recorded a show from a military base.

As I drove through the gate of the 180th Fighter Wing near Toledo, Ohio, I felt a sense of nostalgia and pride because I retired from this unit 23 years ago. I worked out of the public office and was the editor of the unit’s newsletter, The Stinger.

The mission of the Sword and Pen is to inspire and educate our MVJ members. With that in mind, I reached out to the wing’s PA office last month to ask if they would share their own mission with us. After all, joining the guard or reserves after transitioning out of active duty is certainly a viable option for our members. It’s also beneficial to know the role of a PA office in case you need to reach out to them for a story you’re doing on any particular base, military member or issue.

On this episode, you will hear three enlisted airmen and one officer share their personal stories of how and why they got into the public affairs field and what their duties are. 

  • Sword and Pen host Lori King, from top left, chats with Staff Sgt. Kregg York, Maj. Matt Eck and Airman First Class Sarah Stalder-Lundren at the 180th Public Affairs Office in Swanton, Ohio on June 3. (Photo by Airman First Class Nick Battani)

    Senior Master Sgt. Beth Holliker, the full-time public affairs superintendent and chief enlisted manager keeps the shop running smoothly. She joined the unit as a photographer just two months before I retired. 

  • Award-winning photographer and public affairs specialist Staff Sgt. Kregg York helps train the staff in all things multimedia. He graduated from DINFOS as a broadcast specialist. He’s created his own distance learning course on photography, and it’s open to anyone who wants to learn the craft of photography.
  • Public affairs specialist Sarah Stalder-Lundren, is a recent graduate from the Defense Information School’s mass communication course. She works in human resources in her civilian job.
  • Public affairs officer Maj. Matt Eck was a weapons loader in the 180th prior to transferring to the public affairs office. He is also the director of video production for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

We chatted about their social media policies, the skills they honed while at the Defense Information School (DINFOS), the value they gain from working in the 180th PA office, and much more.

The 180th FW is home to F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, and we were fortunate to hear the loud thunder of jet engines roar over us during the podcast recording. And yes, you can hear the jets in the podcast. It’s quite a sound.

Please follow the Sword and Pen podcast, published on the 15th of each month, on Spotify so you don’t miss an episode. 

Up next month: Stephanie Ramos, ABC News national correspondent.

Military Veterans in Journalism Announces Counter-Disinformation Program Advisory Board

By Resources

Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ), a professional association dedicated to supporting veterans’ journalistic career growth and diversifying newsrooms through veteran inclusion, announced the appointees to its Counter-Disinformation Program  Advisory Board. 

This Advisory Board will provide editorial guidance, advice and story leads to the Military Times reporting team and the MVJ community engagement team. Their collective wealth of expertise and diverse perspectives will help ensure the initiative’s success in combating disinformation and extremism. 

Members of the Advisory Board will assist with reviewing the reporting team’s stories, discussing trends in disinformation narratives, and strategizing on how to counter those same narratives. In addition, leaders from two other prominent military- and veteran-serving publications — and Task & Purpose — are joining the advisory board to expand publication of the reporting team’s coverage. The MVJ team welcomes these advisors and the feedback and support they will provide as the reporting and engagement teams begin their work.

“We are honored to have these experts join our Advisory Board, as their advice will significantly enhance our efforts to counter disinformation within military and veteran circles and beyond,” said MVJ Executive Director Zack Baddorf. 

Counter-Disinformation Program Advisory Board:

Dr. Anne Speckhard

Director/Founder, International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism

Dr. Anne Speckhard is the Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. As an expert in interviewing terrorists and extremists, she has developed counter-narrative projects that utilize real testimonials to discredit extremist ideologies.

Christa Sperling

Co-Founder & Board Member, We The Veterans

Christa Sperling is a Co-founder and Board member of We The Veterans, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening American democracy by empowering the veteran and military family community. Through her work on the Mis-/Dis-/Malinformation (MDM) Working Group, Christa contributes to novel solutions that counter misinformation.

Doowan Lee

CEO & Cofounder, VAST-OSINT

Doowan Lee is a technologist and national security expert specializing in aggregating, detecting, and analyzing large-data sources related to foreign and extremist information operations. Lee's work has focused on studying, mitigating and preventing the harms of malign influence exploiting the openness of the information environment.

Ellen Gustafson

Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, We The Veterans

Ellen Gustafson is a Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of We the Veterans, empowering the veteran and military family community to strengthen democracy. With her background in entrepreneurship and social impact, she contributes to building effective strategies to counter disinformation and promote a more inclusive society.

George Chewing

Deputy Director, Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation,

George Chewning is a veteran advocate and technology expert who has served in various roles, including as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow at the Department of Veterans Affairs. His experience at the intersection of technology, policy, and well-being contributes to developing innovative solutions to combat disinformation.

Jeff Schoep

Founder, Beyond Barriers

Jeff Schoep, Founder of Beyond Barriers, brings a unique perspective as a former leader of a neo-Nazi organization. Through personal transformation, he now dedicates himself to helping individuals leave extremist organizations and supports communities affected by extremism.

Kristofer Goldsmith

Founder & CEO, Task Force Butler

Kristofer Goldsmith, a former US Army sergeant turned advocate and investigator, specializes in countering disinformation and extremist recruitment efforts targeting American troops and veterans. His work at High Ground Veterans Advocacy and Sparverius, LLC focuses on training veterans and detecting and disrupting disinformation campaigns.

Marty Skovlund Jr.

Editor in Chief, Task & Purpose

Marty Skovlund is an award-winning journalist and editor-in-chief of Task & Purpose. Known for his narrative long-form storytelling, Marty's coverage of high-profile events and conflicts provides important perspectives in countering disinformation and shaping public discourse.

Scott M. Parrot

Associate Professor in Journalism and Creative Media, The University of Alabama

Scott Parrott is an academic researcher specializing in media representations of mental illness and how exposure to media content influences attitudes and behaviors related to mental health. His expertise in media studies brings unique insights into the impact of disinformation on public perceptions and provides valuable guidance for countering such narratives.

Zachary Fryer-Biggs

Managing Editor,

Zachary Fryer-Biggs is the managing editor at and an experienced national security journalist. With a decade of experience covering defense and security issues, his expertise in investigative reporting contributes to the development of effective strategies to counter disinformation campaigns with high-quality journalism.

Fact Brief Writer Opportunity

By Resources

Gigafact, a nonprofit organization working to counter misinformation and build trust in local media, is seeking part-time fact brief writers to support local newsrooms in addressing unsupported claims. These fact brief writers will join the teams at MinnPost, The Nevada Independent, and Wisconsin Watch to combat misinformation in Nevada and Minnesota. This is the perfect opportunity to make a real impact in journalism by ensuring accurate reporting and countering misinformation with your skills.

Each newsroom may have its specific requirements, but the role of a fact brief writer generally encompasses several key activities. As a fact brief writer, applicants will have the opportunity to:

  1. Research and Identify Unsupported Claims: The primary responsibility of the role will be to conduct thorough research and identify unsupported claims circulating on social media platforms and public forums within your organization’s area of expertise.
  2. Pitch and Assess Potential Fact Brief Claims: The fact brief writer will pitch potential fact brief claims to your editor for assessment. This collaborative process ensures that the most impactful claims are selected for further investigation.
  3. Draft Fact Briefs: Using the Gigafact publishing platform, fact brief writers will draft fact briefs for publication. These briefs will provide clear, concise, and well-supported findings, citing high-quality sources.
  4. Amplify Findings: Fact brief writers will play a crucial role in amplifying fact briefs by sharing them through various channels. This dissemination of accurate information helps combat misinformation and promotes informed discussions.
  5. Participate in Training: Gigafact provides training to enhance team members’ research skills, fact-checking abilities, and effective writing and publishing of fact briefs. This ongoing training ensures that team members are equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to excel in their role.

At The Nevada Independent, fact brief writers will receive $75 per published fact brief with a desired weekly commitment of 3-5 fact briefs, requiring approximately 10 hours per week.

MinnPost offers competitive pay rates: $25 per hour for writers with professional experience and $17 per hour for beginning writers. The desired weekly commitment for MinnPost is 5-10 hours.

By applying for these positions, you can actively contribute to countering misinformation while making a tangible impact in the field of journalism. Don’t miss out on these exciting opportunities to join reputable news organizations. Seize the chance to combat misinformation and promote accurate reporting by submitting your application today!

MVJ’s Counter-Disinformation Program Welcomes Two New Military Times Hires

By Resources

Military Veterans in Journalism announced today the addition of two new members to its Counter-Disinformation Program team. 

Allison Erickson and Nikki Wentling have joined the program as part of MVJ’s partnership with Military Times. Erickson, an Army veteran, serves as the program’s investigative reporter, while Wentling serves as a disinformation and extremism reporter. Both work directly for Military Times.

MVJ’s nonpartisan Counter-Disinformation Program combats the spread of disinformation within military and veteran communities. Military Times will maintain editorial independence while receiving financial support from this program for the hiring of the two reporters. The program is funded by the Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Craig Newmark Philanthropies.  

“We are thrilled to have Allison and Nikki join us for this project,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s executive director. “Their extensive experience and expertise in reporting on issues that impact the military community will help us achieve our mission to combat disinformation and provide accurate information to the public.”

Erickson, a former Medical Service Corps officer in the U.S. Army, brings a unique perspective to her role as the project’s investigative reporter. She completed a combat deployment to Afghanistan and earned several medals, including the Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal. Her journalism career began before her military service when she studied editorial journalism at Texas Christian University. Erickson has since worked on various freelance assignments in print and digital news and produced podcasts reporting on migration, politics, and health. She previously served as MVJ’s Texas Tribune Military Affairs Reporting Fellow for 2022.

Wentling, a former reporter for Stars and Stripes, has covered issues affecting veterans, service members, and their families at the national and local levels. She reported from Congress, the White House, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as throughout the country. Wentling is also an alumna of the Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellowship and has been recognized for her reporting on homeless veterans during the coronavirus pandemic.


“We are excited to welcome Allison and Nikki to our reporting team,’’ said Mike Gruss, Military Times’ editor in chief. “Their reporting on the important challenges of disinformation and extremism in the military and veteran communities will be invaluable to our readers. We are grateful to partner with MVJ on this important project.”


counter-disinformation project hires announcement graphic

MVJ’s counter-disinformation program welcomes two new members

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism has strengthened its counter-disinformation program with the addition of two new team members, Hugh Harsono and Carla O. Their wealth of experience and expertise will be instrumental in enhancing our efforts to combat disinformation and ensure accurate information is accessible to the military and veteran community. We are confident that their contributions will play a significant role in achieving our program’s goals and continuing to protect our community from harmful narratives perpetuated by extremist groups.

MVJ’s counter-disinformation program is dedicated to countering disinformation efforts in the military and veteran community. The program works to provide non-partisan investigative reporting, analysis, and research to help combat disinformation campaigns.

Carla O, a former combat correspondent and news director for the U.S. Marine Corps, joins the program as the counter-disinformation marketing manager. With a focus on social media, O will engage the online military and veteran community around information that counters extremist propaganda in this new role. She holds a Bachelor of Science in public policy and a minor in writing from Oregon State University and is a distinguished honor graduate of the Defense Information School.

“I’m excited to be part of this critical program to combat disinformation and promote media literacy. As journalists, we know how crucial it is to provide accurate and reliable information to the public, but our work fundamentally relies upon the public’s ability to recognize and access it,” said O. “With the rise of disinformation and misinformation, it’s more important than ever to equip people with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate these issues.”

Hugh Harsono is a military veteran journalist who has reported on national security issues, cyber warfare and disinformation campaigns. He has worked at outlets including CNBC and Forbes, and has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and other publications. Harsono’s experience and insights as this project’s strategy consultant will be invaluable as we work to combat the spread of disinformation.

Together, Harsono and O will work to monitor and analyze online disinformation campaigns, develop effective counter-messaging strategies, and provide valuable insights to our community.  

“We are thrilled to welcome Hugh and Carla to the Counter-Disinformation Program team,” said Zack Baddorf, executive director of Military Veterans in Journalism. “This is a huge challenge to tackle, and we’re confident they will bring the skills and drive to tackle it.”

While this program currently has funding for 18 months, MVJ is seeking support from other funders to extend this effort. If you are interested in supporting our efforts to combat disinformation and extremism in the military and veteran communities through this program, please email [email protected].

​​We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Knight Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the MacArthur Foundation for generously supporting our counter-disinformation program, enabling us to expand our team and increase our impact. Their dedication to promoting truth and combating disinformation is critical to the health of our democracy.


(Note: Carla O is a full name and has not been abbreviated.)

MVJ and RFA Team Up for Disability Reporting Training

By Resources

Report for America (RFA) and Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) collaborated to host an online training session for reporters, producers, and photographers on disability reporting at the end of February. The session aimed to improve the accuracy, quality, and sensitivity of disability-related news reporting, including coverage of disabled veterans issues.

Three experienced trainers from the MVJ Speakers Bureau led the session: Ben Brody, Director of Photography at RFA; Caron LeNoir, founder of CaronisMedia; and JP Lawrence, Stars and Stripes’ reporter on Afghanistan and the Middle East. These trainers provided education and expertise to the 15-20 participants who attended the event, helping to improve their disability reporting skills.

“We are proud to have collaborated with Report for America to provide this valuable training session on disability reporting,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ Executive Director. “As veterans ourselves, we understand the importance of deep, nuanced coverage of disability-related issues, particularly those affecting disabled veterans.”

The trainers emphasized the importance of accurate, high-quality, and sensitive reporting on disabled veterans and encouraged participants to engage directly with the disabled veteran community. They also shared best practices for reporting on disability-related topics and accessing and engaging with communities of disabled veterans. The session covered many topics, including impactful storytelling, accurate representation, connections between veterans and other marginalized groups, and local and national resources for journalists.

“My part of this training included tips I learned from reporting on PTSD and TBI while a reporter in San Antonio,” said J.P. Lawrence. “I dialed in all the way from Turkey, but it was worth it to hear all the story ideas from the RFA corps members on this topic!”

MVJ Disability Journalism Speakers Bureau training helps reporters access communities of disabled veterans, many of whom feel ignored by news media coverage. The goal is to strengthen coverage on veteran and disability issues and build trust with disabled veterans who may be less trustful of the media. With this collaboration between RFA and MVJ, more news outlets can learn best practices for reporting on disability-related topics and better serve their veteran audiences.

MVJ Disability Journalism Speakers Bureau training sessions are now available for all newsrooms interested in participating. You can book a session for your newsroom here or email Operations Manager Sara Feges if you have any questions regarding the training. MVJ thanks the Ford Foundation for their generous support of this program and RFA for their collaboration on this session.

Elevating Our Mission: MVJ’s Focus on Innovation, Reliability, and Diversity

By Resources

Our core values are at the heart of our mission to provide meaningful opportunities and support for veterans in the journalism field. They guide the way we advocate for our community as we work to empower and uplift veterans in the news media. At MVJ, we believe that innovation, reliability and diversity are vital to bringing about the change we wish to see for the military and veteran community we serve.

These updates to MVJ’s values were the result of a collaborative effort between our team members and leadership. The process began with a leadership course that emphasized the importance of better defining the concepts that guide MVJ’s mission and vision. After that, our team reflected on our successes and challenges, and discussed how we could improve MVJ’s operations to better serve America’s veterans. These conversations became the three core values that we believe embody the spirit and purpose of MVJ.

Innovation is key to achieving our goal of driving positive change for veterans. We believe in being adaptable and willing to experiment in order to create meaningful impact for our community in the constantly evolving information environment. Our dedication to innovation in news media sets us apart as we strive to bring a bold and creative approach to veteran advocacy.

Reliability is the foundation of all our operations. We are always available to our members, partner organizations, and stakeholders, and make every effort to respond to inquiries and requests in a timely manner. Our reputation for reliable service has empowered us to consistently innovate and foster trust and confidence in our organization.

Diversity is a core value that we embrace in our staffing, programming, and advocacy efforts. We recognize that everyone brings unique experiences and perspectives to our mission, and we strive to create a safe and welcoming environment where everyone feels valued and respected. We are committed to creating pathways for individuals from all backgrounds to achieve their goals.

MVJ’s new core values are essential to our mission of driving change for America’s veterans within the news industry. By prioritizing innovation, we are better equipped to tackle complex challenges and develop creative solutions that empower our community. Our commitment to reliability ensures that our members, partner organizations, and stakeholders can always count on us for dependable service and support. Our focus on diversity enables us to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected. We believe that by serving to these standards every day, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of our fellow veterans. 

MVJ’s new core values will enable us to better serve our community and continue to push America’s veterans to new heights in journalism. Thank you for your continued support of MVJ.

MVJ offers free training sessions on disability reporting across the nation’s newsrooms

By Resources

Military Veterans in Journalism is offering free training sessions on disability reporting, including on veterans, for newsrooms across the nation. 

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that about a quarter of all military veterans — an estimated 4.7 million people — have a service-connected disability.

Thanks to support from the Ford Foundation, over the past year, military veterans in the MVJ Speakers Bureau have been training with top disability beat journalists and experts at organizations like Disabled American Veterans with the goal of improving coverage on disabled veterans and the broader disailed community. Now, the participants are taking that training into newsrooms across the nation to increase awareness and understanding when journalists cover these issues.

The training sessions take roughly 60 minutes, and it’s preferred that the training be in-person, but can also be conducted via Zoom.

What will reporters learn?

  • Relevant data points on disabled veterans 
  • Challenges and common tropes related to disabled veterans
  • Intersectionality in the disabled veterans and broader disability communities – how does improving coverage of disabled veterans affect the issues in disability reporting?
  • Crafting respectful narratives around disabilities – language and storytelling tips and advice

“Vets need to be a part of the national conversation,” Baddorf added. “We know what it’s like to live with post-traumatic stress, to have tinnitus, to work despite hearing loss. Our experiences can help inform a deeper understanding within the media world of what it’s really like for people with disabilities.” 

MVJ will engage the reporters in a powerful conversation that helps them think critically about their own reporting on disability and provide them with best practices. 

Email MVJ Operations Manager Sara Feges at [email protected] to schedule a free training session for your newsroom.

About Military Veterans in Journalism

Military Veterans in Journalism is a professional association that builds community for vets, supports their career growth, and advocates for diversifying newsrooms through hiring and promoting more vets.

MVJ’s Top 10 Veterans in Journalism 2022

By #MVJ2022, News

Military Veterans in Journalism is opening a contest to recognize the top 10 veterans doing amazing work in the news media. We wish to highlight the achievements of veterans in journalism and support them by recognizing their expertise and contribution to the community. Awardees will be honored at MVJ2022, our first in-person convention. 

If you would like to nominate someone, please read the following submission instructions. 


We welcome any submissions, including self-nominations. Please provide a brief description of why the nominee should be recognized along with your submission. We’d like to know about both the person themselves and their amazing work!

You DO NOT have to be a member of MVJ to submit a piece of work, nor does the nominee; we do encourage you to join, however. Nomination submissions will close on August 15, 2022 at 9:00 PM Eastern.

Eligibility and requirements

Submissions must be in the form of finished and published work. All submissions should include the original publishing or release date, all contributors, and the organization under which it was published.

  • Only work done by a veteran of the armed forces is eligible. While pieces developed by a team are acceptable, journalists involved will only be eligible if they are veterans.
  • All submissions should be work that was completed and made publicly available within the past eighteen (18) months.
  • All forms of media are acceptable. Alternate or emerging forms of journalism such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Interactive Data Visualization and others will be considered. 


The submissions will be scored on originality, newsworthiness, journalistic quality and diversity. Our panel of judges will apply their experience, editing standards, and personal background to decide how well a piece does in each category. Judges will be looking for accurate and insightful storytelling that engages them as the audience. All pieces, regardless of media type, will be seen by the same panel of judges and scored in the same manner.

While every submission will be scored and selections for the list will be made, scores will not be released publicly. Outside of scoring, judges will be able to supply commentary if they wish, but not every piece will receive feedback.

Recognize fellow veterans in journalism and the value of their work!

MVJ To Send Six Military Veteran Journalists to New York for the NAB Show 2022

By Career Opportunities, News, Resources

Thanks to a new partnership with fellow non-profit organization, the National Association of Broadcasters, Military Veterans in Journalism will enable six veterans to attend NAB Show NY 2022 in New York, New York. Attendance costs, airfare, and hotel expenses for the selected veterans will be fully covered.

“We believe that supporting military veterans in their journalistic careers is important to creating a better media, entertainment and technology ecosystem,” said Sylvester Smith, Senior Manager of Member and Partner Revenue Development at the National Association of Broadcasters. “We look forward to giving veterans in broadcasting the tools to demonstrate the value they bring as storytellers, and we are proud to partner with MVJ in this effort.”

Veterans selected to attend NAB Show NY 2022 as part of this program will learn about the business of being hands-on and connect with the right people, knowledge, skills and technology that’s propelled broadcast, media and entertainment to a whole new level. Attendees will:

● Lean into efficiency and learn more about finding solutions. Discover alternate workflows and learn how to use what they’ve got.
● Gain fresh perspective. From training to case study presentations with industry pros, find the tips, tricks and inspiration to stay ahead of the curve.
● Unlock creativity. Feel empowered to try new things with some connection and collaboration. This is when that big picture idea becomes a thing.

“Attending NAB Show NY is a great opportunity for veterans,’’ said Zack Baddorf, Executive Director of MVJ. “We are pleased to partner with NAB to support the career growth of veterans in journalism and provide them with the means to improve their skills.”

NAB Show NY will take place on October 19 – 20 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York and is offered for free to those MVJ members selected. Applicants must be based in the United States and cover their own expenses like ground transportation, baggage fees and meals. While MVJ staff will make hotel arrangements, attendees will be responsible for booking flights with prior MVJ approval. All flight costs will be reimbursed. The deadline for applications is July 27, 2022.

Apply today and secure a spot to attend NAB Show NY 2022!

About the National Association of Broadcasters:
The National Association of Broadcasters is the voice for the nation’s radio and television broadcasters. NAB advances interests in federal government, industry and public affairs; improves the quality and profitability of broadcasting; encourages content and technology innovation; and spotlights the important and unique ways stations serve their communities.

About Military Veterans in Journalism:
Military Veterans in Journalism is a professional association that builds community for vets, supports their career growth, and advocates for diversifying newsrooms through hiring and promoting more vets. Learn more at

MVJ’s launch of the new Reporting Grants program for up to $50,000 over the next two years

By Resources

Thanks to generous support from the Ford Foundation, Military Veterans in Journalism has launched a disability inclusion initiative to create conversations and reporting within American newsrooms about military veteran issues, with a focus on disabled veterans. 

As part of this effort, MVJ is launching our MVJ Reporting Grants program to fund reporting by military veterans in journalism. This program will help aspiring journalists grow professionally in their reporting careers and publish quality stories about issues related to disabilities in the military veteran community.

Grant amounts will vary depending on the story, and will start at $500. Over the next two years MVJ plans to fund up to $50,000 for reporting grants.

MVJ is not a publishing organization – nor do we plan to be. But we care about developing the careers of military vets in journalism. So, if you are selected, we can help you shape your story and assist in getting the story placed. We’d like you to have an idea of where you want to publish your story.

A few notes on what our grant selection committee is looking for:

  • Disability focused. We are seeking pitches for stories related to disability in the military veteran community. Maybe it’s a story about a new healthcare issue, or a personal narrative about a visit to a crummy VA facility, or an investigative piece on an emerging medical issue that affects vets.
  • Be ambitious. We are looking to support deeply reported stories that will make a splash and potentially be impactful.
  • Small (shorter) stories are OK too. For serious investigative reporting, we’ll be looking for proof that you know what you’re doing. If you’re new to journalism, a shorter feature might be more realistic. 
  • Be original. We aren’t interested in the same stories that we’ve all read a million times before. As veterans, we can provide depth and nuance on these stories. Use that experience to come up with unique angles.
  • No PR. Non-profits do great work and they might be part of the story. But we want to see pitches that are more than a happy story about a non-profit providing a house to a homeless vet.  
  • Look for trends. We’re keen to fund stories that only veterans can tell. As vets, you are seeing what’s affecting vets, especially when it comes to healthcare and the VA. Use your networks to find a good story. 

PUBLISH quality stories about disability issues in the military veteran community and get paid for it! 

Note: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed every two weeks. Applicant has to be an MVJ member in order to be eligible to receive the grant.

MVJ Speakers Bureau for 2022

By News

The MVJ Speakers Bureau brings together a group of leaders in military veterans in journalism to advocate for better, more nuanced reporting on disabled military veterans and to share best practices with newsrooms across the nation. 

We would like to thank the Ford Foundation for their generous support. With their help we were able to launch a disability inclusion initiative to create conversations and reporting within American newsrooms about military veteran issues, with a focus on disabled veterans. 

We have selected 11 veterans for our speakers bureau this year. They will be provided with training on best practices in disability reporting by Disabled American Veterans, the  Disability Media Alliance Project, and reporter Wendy Lu, who covers disability. After being trained, the veterans will lead their own training and presentations at local newsrooms in the veterans’ communities.

Please, meet MVJ’s 2022 Speakers Bureau Selectees:

Ben Brody

Ben Brody is an independent photographer, educator, and picture editor working on long-form projects related to the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their aftermath. He is the Director of Photography for The GroundTruth Project and Report for America, and a co-founder of Mass Books.
His first book, Attention Servicemember, was shortlisted for the Aperture – Paris Photo First Book Award in 2019. His latest book, 300m, will be released in Spring 2022. Ben holds an MFA from Hartford Art School’s International Low-Residency Photography program. He resides in western Massachusetts.

Caron LeNoir

Caron LeNoir is an American journalist, producer, artist, and activist. The founder of CARONISMedia Group, CARONISM Audio Network, and The Center for Sensual Arts examines life, sexual politics, faith, and power dynamics in the arts and entertainment. A formerly homeless disabled veteran, Caron honorably served in both the US Navy and Army. Her experience informs her advocacy for the diverse voices of women, women veterans, and mental health.

Donna L. Cole

Donna L. Cole is an award-winning multimedia and investigative journalist, based in Annapolis, Md. She’s worked in print, online and broadcasting media. The professional work Donna is most proud of has been her multi-year investigative reporting about the deliberate poisoning of bald eagles on the Delmarva Peninsula. This reporting resulted in global media attention about the issue and garnered numerous journalism awards. Donna is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, mom and breast cancer survivor. She’s also a raptor rescuer, responding to eagles, owls, hawks, falcons and vultures in Maryland that require medical assistance. In her spare time, Donna enjoys wildlife photography. 

Genaro J. Prieto

Genaro J. Prieto is a combat veteran that served over eight years on active duty as an Army Engineer Officer. He possesses a comprehensive background in project management and supervision, training and development of team members, and community relations working in both the private and public sectors. Currently, a Journalism student at Sam Houston State University while holding local positions within the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Combat Wounded of Texas. Previously earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Webster University in 2012 and a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University in 2007. 

J.P. Lawrence

J.P. Lawrence reports on the U.S. military in Afghanistan and the Middle East. He served in the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2017. He graduated from Columbia Journalism School and Bard College and is a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines.

Jimmy White IV

Jimmy White IV is a South Philadelphia native and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who served in the US Navy as a nuclear electrician aboard the submarine USS Montpelier. He is a husband, father of 3 boys, minister, and currently serves as the Director of Engineering for Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at the Comcast Center. As a passionate, professional speaker, Jimmy presents to audiences on the topics of character, leadership and personal/professional growth through his company, Jimmy White Speaks LLC. With the creation of his second company, Inner City Sustainable Solutions LLC, he endeavors to promote environmental and financial sustainability in urban communities through green affordable housing construction. Jimmy is a national award winning youth/veteran advocate, a TEDx speaker, a Leadership Philadelphia alumnus, and a GW Bush Center Presidential scholar.

Joel Searls

Joel’s civilian profession in journalism includes covering Military and Entertainment related stories for USC Annenberg and for We Are The Mighty. He continues his service in the Marine Corps Reserves as Major in the Communication Strategy and Operations occupational field with I MEF at Camp Pendleton. His fifteen years in the Corps includes service across the US and a deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a graduate of the Ohio State University.

Kerri Jeter

Kerri Jeter, Founder of Freedom Sisters Media served in the U.S. Army for 12-years, starting as a Private First Class and exiting as a senior Captain. Kerri and her team of writeHERs promise to share women directed stories and embodied experiences in and out of the uniform with our community through audio, digital media, film, publications, social media, events and in real life.Kerri won the prestigious title Ms. Veteran America 2015, advocating for her Sisters-in-Arms that had fallen on hard times. She has since advocated for military sexual trauma survivors and military veterans with disabilities. Kerri is a mom of five, one of whom has special needs and wife to a 26-year Army Veteran. Together her family embraces mental and spiritual wellness overcoming the challenges of military-connected disabilities and other hurdles in life. 

Raychel K. Young-Porter

Raychel started her full-time career as a combat photojournalist in 2017 with her graduation at the Defense School of Information in Maryland. In 2019, she attended the Eddie Adams Workshop and was awarded the Colton Family Award. In 2020 she was awarded 1st place for Combat Training Documentation for the Military Visual Awards. In 2022, one of her images documenting mountain warfare training was placed in the National Museum of the Marine Corps as a part of a new exhibit displaying the best 30 to images of the year.

Russell Midori

Russell Midori is a photojournalist and documentary producer based in New York. He served in the Marine Corps from 2008-2012 and holds a masters degree in Investigative Journalism from Columbia University. He serves as president of Military Veterans in Journalism and the MVJ Mentorship Program administrator. 

Scott D. Bourque

Scott Bourque is an award-winning journalist who specializes in long form storytelling. He is passionate about issues of military/veterans affairs, economic equality, and housing and urban development. He is also an adjunct professor of journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University, and served in the U.S. Navy from 2009 to 2014, completing a deployment to Afghanistan in 2013. 


Vets: Apply to MVJ’s 2022 Speakers Bureau 

By Career Opportunities, News

Thanks to generous support from the Ford Foundation, Military Veterans in Journalism has launched a disability inclusion initiative to create conversations and reporting within American newsrooms about military veteran issues, with a focus on disabled veterans. 

As part of this effort, MVJ is launching a speakers bureau of military veterans in journalism to advocate for better, more nuanced reporting on disabled military veterans and to share best practices with newsrooms across the nation. 

MVJ is seeking applicants for its 2022 Speakers Bureau. MVJ will provide training to eight military veterans on best practices in disability reporting. Afterwards, the veterans will lead their own training and presentations at local newsrooms in the veterans’ communities.

Over the course of 12 months, each veteran will:

  • Attend about 8 hours of training (held virtually) by subject matter experts in Disabled American Veterans and the Disability Media Alliance Project as well as a reporter specializing in disability reporting.
  • Attend about 3 hours of group presentation preparation (held virtually) 
  • Attend about 3 hours of individual presentation mentorship (held virtually) 
  • Conduct about 90 minutes of presentation at 2 local news outlets

Each selected veteran will receive a $3,000 stipend to participate in the pilot program.

Ideally, the selected veterans will:

  • Be based in military or veteran-heavy areas, creating incentives for local news outlets to provide more nuanced reporting on this reporting issue
  • Have experience conducting news reporting on military / veteran affairs or issues in the disability community
  • Have at least 1 year of professional news reporting experience 
  • Have personal experience with their own disabilities, including receiving care at the VA

‘’This program is a great opportunity for military veterans in journalism to help shape better news reporting on disabilities within their community,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s Executive Director. “We hope these conversations elevate this issue within newsrooms while also leading to more nuanced reporting.” 

Ford Foundation and Military Veterans in Journalism to improve news coverage of disabled veterans

By News

The Ford Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to Military Veterans in Journalism to improve national and local news coverage of disabled veterans. 

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that about a quarter of all military veterans — an estimated 4.7 million people — have a service-connected disability. 

“Simply put, newsrooms are just not representative of the American people,” said Zack Baddorf, the executive director of Military Veterans in Journalism. “We don’t need more superficial inspiration porn. Our nation deserves news coverage that is nuanced and doesn’t try to make everything into a perfect box with a bow on top.”

Military veterans represent just 2% of journalists in America’s newsrooms, according to U.S. Census data. 

“Vets need to be a part of the national conversation,” Baddorf added. “We know what it’s like to live with post-traumatic stress, to have tinnitus, to work despite hearing loss. Our experiences can help inform a deeper understanding within the media world of what it’s really like for people with disabilities.” 

MVJ will launch a speakers bureau of military veterans to advocate for better coverage of military and veteran affairs. As part of this effort, MVJ has partnered with Disabled American Veterans and the Disability Media Alliance Project to provide training to veterans about best practices on disability reporting. These veterans will then share their experiences and knowledge with newsrooms where the veterans are home-based. 

MVJ will also conduct multiple virtual events to share guidance with newsrooms across the nation about how they can improve their reporting on disability issues. These recommendations will be consolidated on MVJ’s website for future reference. 

“This three year grant is a demonstration of the Ford Foundation’s commitment to disability inclusion,” said Rebecca Cokley, the first U.S. Disability Rights Program Officer for the Ford Foundation. “We see this as a unique opportunity for strong veteran voices to unite with the broader disability community. Together, we can work to ensure our nation’s media treats people with disabilities with the dignity and respect that we deserve.”

About Military Veterans in Journalism

Military Veterans in Journalism is a professional association that builds community for vets, supports their career growth, and advocates for diversifying newsrooms through hiring and promoting more vets. Learn more at