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MVJ Scholarship for Bitchin’ Writers Course

By News

The Bitchin’ Writers Course is an informal online class that teaches you how to pitch stories and sustain a career as a freelance journalist. The course normally costs $900 per person. However, Military Veterans in Journalism is offering a $700 scholarship to cover the cost down to $200 for two veterans.

According to Abby Lee Hood, the course designer and instructor:

“You’ll be delivered video content via my website and Facebook, get 1-on-1 calls, and participate in group calls. You can watch the content at your convenience, in a timeframe that works for you. Work through quickly or take your time. You’ll also be given action steps and homework to help you absorb the content and take steps to get results quickly. The FB group is a great place to network and ask questions, too. You’ll get continued support throughout.

We’ll meet once week on a small group call. You can ask questions to workshop problems you’re having, and we’ll look at pitches, ideas, stories, social media promotion—anything you need. I’ll also be available for one-on-one calls if you need them.

We’ll break our work down into into month-long focus areas:

Month ONE- Establish & learn the basics
Month TWO- Scale & grow
Month THREE- Promote yourself & diversify income”

Learn more about the course on Abby’s site.

Fill out this form to apply:

Adapt and Overcome: Video Journalism Workshop Kicks Off in Spring of 2021

By News

by Mark Payumo

The pandemic barely slowed Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) down, ending 2020 with sizable grants from generous foundations that allow MVJ to continue serving the needs of the veteran community with one simple goal in mind: to get more vets to work in journalism. MVJ’s video journalism workshop that is scheduled to launch in the spring of 2021 found a place in The Walton Family Foundation’s long-term vision for quality education in America, which will spearhead the sponsor of the workshop that will be attended by 10 military veterans. The University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism and New Media with support from FUJIFILM are also sponsoring the event.

Originally intended as an all-expense paid, 10-day workshop before COVID-19 that would have covered flights, lodging, food, and rental cars (to cover stories in and around Oxford, Mississippi), the workshop will now be conducted entirely online over the course of eight weeks, culminating in a film fest where a winning video will be selected for a prize—one of the judges will include Michael McCoy whose work was included in Time Magazine’s Top 100 Photos of 2020. FUJIFILM will provide and award an X-T4 camera kit valued at $2,199.95 to the winning video.

More than the high-profile entities and personalities coming together to make this workshop a reality, quality learning experience is the primary intention of the workshop that will equip the participants with this valuable skill in order to make them competitive in terms of what they actually bring to the table as they seek employment.

Setting them up for success is Duy Linh Tu of Columbia University, one of the most renowned professors in the field and author of Feature and Narrative Storytelling for Multimedia Journalists, the first text that truly focuses on the multimedia and documentary production techniques required by professional journalists. Alongside him teaching is Julian Lim, also a faculty member of Columbia University’s Journalism School. Julian is an Emmy-nominated documentary producer and co-founder and creative director of 511C Productions whose works have appeared on Bloomberg, Axios, Newsweek, and New York Magazine.

As the workshop’s Jan. 4 kickoff date draws near, MVJ is keen on posting updates across social media with a particular focus on promoting the veteran participants. One good starting point is on Facebook and LinkedIn. There are also other ways to support MVJ and the veteran community and it’s all about getting involved by becoming a member, mentoring a veteran, or volunteering. But if, say, you want to see meaningful impact for any potential dollar that you might want to put in, anyone can consider donating here and see MVJ in action bring in veteran energy, talent, grit, and dedication to work in America’s newsrooms.

Hearst Television Career Opportunities

By Career Opportunities, Resources

Building a career at Hearst Television isn’t only about successfully transferring from military to civilian life. It’s much bigger than that – it’s an opportunity to build on your military experience, learn new skills, and succeed in a supportive environment where you’ll feel valued.  Hearst has an average of 10 open positions at any given time that are geographically dispersed.  The real kicker is, Hearst is prioritizing hiring US veterans!

If you decide to pursue one of these gigs, please email Zack at [email protected] with this information: a) link to the job post; b) title of the job & location & c) your resume.  We ask that you do this so we can reach out to our partners like Hearst to let them know one of our members has applied.

MVJ’s Top Veterans in Journalism

By Resources

Welcome! Thanks for your interest in nominating someone for MVJ’s Top Veterans in Journalism.

Military Veterans in Journalism wants to recognize the amazing veterans doing great work in media. This is just one opportunity for us to do that. We want to highlight the achievements and work that veterans in our field are doing every day, and support them in recognizing their expertise and contribution to the community.

Submissions can be made on behalf of someone that you directly work. Self-nominations are also acceptable.

The submissions will be scored on originality, production value, newsworthiness, and journalistic quality. Our panel of judges will apply their experience, editing standards, and personal background to understand how well a piece does in each category. Judges will be looking for accurate and insightful storytelling that engage them as the audience.

Submissions will 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 conducted by an veteran of the armed forces is eligible. While pieces developed by a team are acceptable, journalists involved will only be considered eligible if they are a veteran.

Please only submit one piece per nominee. Only stand-alone works are eligible. Please do not include multi-part series, segments, or alternate versions. If there is a composite work of a series, that is acceptable, but will be considered as a single finished piece.

All submissions should be work completed and made publicly available within the past eighteen 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. However all works, 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 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 comments.

Please also give a brief description of why the nominee should be recognized in this forum. We’d like to know about the person themselves, along with seeing their amazing work!

Nominations will be closed on December 20, 2020 at 2359 Eastern.

Finally, you DO NOT have to be a member of MVJ to submit a piece of work, nor does the nominee, however we encourage you to join.

 

Nominations have closed. Thanks for applying. Be sure to come back next time!

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America’s newsrooms must hire more veterans

By News

By Zack Baddorf

A new, $250,000 Knight Foundation investment to Military Veterans in Journalism will support the military veteran community through journalism fellowships, virtual workshops and resource sharing.

On Veterans Day, we honor the service of our nation’s military veterans. About 7% of Americans — roughly 18 million people — have served in the U.S. armed forces. Yet veterans are shockingly underrepresented in America’s newsrooms. Only 2% of journalists are veterans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Veterans represent a cross-section of the country, bringing unique experiences, perspectives and technical expertise that are valuable for our nation’s newsrooms and ultimately media consumers. Their voices are critical for our democracy.

Today, Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) is announcing $250,000 in new support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to advance our work to place more vets in newsrooms. MVJ is a professional association that builds community for vets, supports their career growth, and advocates for diversifying newsrooms through hiring and promoting more vets.

We’ll use Knight’s investment to hire two new staff members and offer four paid, six-month fellowships for military veterans in local or national newsrooms. In addition, Knight support will allow us to hold a series of career guidance webinars for those who served, connect veterans directly with newsrooms, and create a program focused on developing veterans’ radio production skills.

As I transitioned out of the military in 2006, I struggled to find a job in journalism, despite working in the U.S. Navy as a photojournalist, building a portfolio and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism in my off-duty hours. I applied for dozens and dozens of media jobs across the country, but I got no response. I was deeply discouraged by this and still today feel like I failed.

Could I have done a better job on my resume? Could my portfolio have been stronger? Surely. At the same time, the media industry itself doesn’t place enough value on how diverse candidates can contribute to their newsrooms.

But this isn’t a sob story — ultimately, I worked as foreign correspondent as a freelancer in places like Syria, Afghanistan and Crimea. And most recently, I reported for The New York Times, the Associated Press and other outlets throughout sub-Saharan Africa while based in Bangui in the Central African Republic. I’m incredibly proud of my work.

What I didn’t have during my transition was a professional network or a mentor to guide me. I also didn’t find any newsrooms seeking to diversify their newsrooms by creating opportunities for veteran voices and perspectives.

That’s why I founded MVJ — to help connect vets with important opportunities. Since launching the organization, I’ve spoken to many newsrooms about potential partnerships. During one conversation, a senior leader at a large national newsroom struggled to name more than two veterans on staff. But this same person said they’ve long wanted more vets in the media.

The support for veterans must be translated into action.

Media leaders must actively hire more veterans and create opportunities for early-career hires, as part of a broader effort to diversify their newsrooms. Philanthropic organizations must work with organizations like MVJ to enable such opportunities as well.

Knight Foundation’s investment will help MVJ provide a range of opportunities for the veteran community. We owe it to those who put on the uniform of America to provide them with opportunities to strengthen democracy at home after they fought for it abroad. This investment is a great start, but we know we have much work ahead of us — and we are eager to find additional partners to ensure veterans’ voices are heard.

Zack Baddorf is the executive director of Military Veterans in Journalism.

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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. For more, visit www.mvj.network

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit KF.org.

Marine Corps Veteran Dustin Jones Selected For MVJ/NPR’s First Internship

By News

Earlier this year, Military Veterans in Journalism partnered with National Public Radio (NPR) to offer a paid, remote Fall internship to one military veteran. NPR chose Dustin Jones, who served in the United States Marine Corps.

Dustin provided an update on what he has been working on since September.

“I have focused on the wildfires in California, tracking down and interviewing sources for the Weekend edition All Things Considered,” Dustin writes. “One story was about former incarcerated persons who hope to become fire fighters after serving their sentences. Another story was about the wildfires near Santa Rosa, CA and how the increasing intensity of wildfire season is making residents reconsider their choice to live in California.”

“NPR has long been a beacon in broadcast journalism, and their work to expand the diversity of their staff shows they will lead and innovate within our beloved field for generations to come,” MVJ President Russell Midori said. “Dustin’s work will inform you, inspire you, and break your heart. People trust him with their stories – stories they might never tell anyone else.”

Dustin spent four years in the Marine Corps from 2007-2011. He served on two combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan in the First Battalion Third Marine Regiment. Within that time, he exemplified strong leadership while selecting and training new platoon members. He also has won multiple awards, including two meritorious promotions and was selected as Marine of the Quarter.

While deployed to Afghanistan in 2009-2010, journalists from The New York Times were at his small patrol base. Marine Corps veteran turned journalist CJ Chivers and Photographer Tyler Hicks wrote several stories about Dustin’s unit and his friends. His passion and purpose for journalism flourished from the stories they covered.

“I realized that was what I wanted to do when I left the military, share people’s stories,” Dustin said. “So after leaving the Marines in 2011, I attended the University of Colorado, where I studied journalism and photography. I worked as a reporter and news manager for a small Montana paper for a year and a half before attending Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I received my masters in journalism with a focus in documentary production.

Despite his accomplishments and familiarity with weapon systems, land navigation survival tactics, and training, the military did not fully prepare him for a career in journalism.  Dustin spoke candidly about obstacles in getting his big break.

“I didn’t have much help after leaving the military, which definitely made the transition harder than expected. Classes were not particularly hard because of the work ethic I developed in the Marines, but I didn’t have many networking opportunities. When I graduated in 2015, it took me over a year to find a journalism job, which brought me to Montana in January of 2017,” Dustin said.

Dustin is now a well-rounded storyteller with skills in photography, writing, editing, and video production. He is currently producing a film about a Marine struggling with PTSD and suicidal tendencies in a VA inpatient program.

He is grateful that Military Veterans in Journalism secured an opportunity like this to help shape his professional growth further in journalism.

“My chances for landing the internship went up drastically because of the efforts of MVJ. I am also working with mentors to try and map out a career path and finding a home for some of my other work,” Dustin said.

Kristin Van Meerbeke has worked as the Talent Operations and Intern Program Manager at NPR for over two years.  She assists with on-boarding new employees, works with our temporary employee population, and manages the intern program at NPR.

“We canceled our summer 2020 program because of COVID as we weren’t ready to pivot to a remote program so quickly and we wanted to make sure we were not only providing a rich experience for our interns; but also supporting our staff,” Kristin said. “We didn’t think we could do that so soon; but we brought our program back this fall in a fully remote capacity. We limited the number of positions from our typical 60+ to about 34 interns anticipating there would be some new and unique challenges offering our program remotely for the first time.”

An internship is a great way to get started in journalism. It allows for networking and getting hands-on experience, positioning one for a full time role. With NPR, interns will gain exposure to training, its daily operations, and work alongside world-class journalism professionals.

internship

MVJ-NBC Partnership: Internship Program

By Resources

We’re proud to announce that Military Veterans in Journalism has partnered with NBC Universal to help get more vets into America’s newsrooms.

We will flag the applications of MVJ members to NBC directly for consideration in their highly competitive (PAID!) internship program for Spring 2021.

Step 1: Apply here: https://www.nbcunicareers.com/internships

Step 2: Fill out this form so we can flag your application to NBCUniversal. https://forms.gle/pt2NnycE6WLX7M4K9

Deadline: Thursday Oct. 1 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern

Note: you must be a current member of Military Veterans in Journalism. More info: www.mvj.network/membership

Email us with any questions: [email protected] 

MVJ and Video Consortium Collaboration

By News

Calling all MVJ members in photojournalism and video journalism: Do you want to feature some of your best work for Veterans Day?

MVJ is proud to be teaming up with Video Consortium, a global nonprofit creative community committed to supporting and uniting today’s top emerging voices in documentary film and video journalism.

This is a chance to screen your nonfiction films and photography next month, and we’re asking for submissions. We would love to showcase your hard work and skills. From covering disaster relief efforts, to Black Lives Matter protests, to what is happening within our current news climate, this is an event you certainly don’t want to miss. This is an opportunity for you to connect with other veterans in the business while promoting your strongest work.

When deciding which films, videos or photos to submit, please keep in mind that it must be nonfiction and relevant. So if your film or video is a year old, ask why it must be shown today. Moreover, look at the visual and technical precision.

Here’s how it will work:

1) If your film or video is a long piece, then an excerpt will be shown.

2) Space is limited, so you have until Friday, October 30th at 4pm ET to submit. *Please note that in order to successfully submit your work, you must become a member of MVJ first. If you haven’t purchased a membership yet, click here.

3) If your film or video is chosen, you will also get the chance to do a virtual Q&A with Video Consortium and the audience later in November.

4) Submit your films to Video Consortium at [email protected] with “MVJ VC Submission” in the subject line.

5) We plan to publish a short teaser video that features all submissions on our social media channels before the Veterans Day screening. More details TBD.

6) Once we provide updates about our screening, feel free to post your work with our hashtags “#MVJVCEvent, #MVJVCFilms, or #VetsinPhotoJournalism.”

To learn more about Video Consortium, visit here.

Activate Your Membership In Our New System

By News

Over a year ago, MVJ formally launched as just an idea and a little website. We’ve grown a lot since then and in order to maximize our full potential to support our community, we are implementing some new changes in membership here:

Let me explain.

MVJ started small — without a full realization of just how much we as a community can do to support our fellow vets in journalism. We are now more than 300 members. We have an all-volunteer team of about 10. We have created multiple ongoing (paid) internship programs and have several more in the pipeline. We have more than 20 active mentorships pairing members like you with seasoned journalism pros. We have held a range of events (mostly digital, thanks COVID), including an amazing career fair.

Here’s a breakdown of what we did in the first year.

And so, Military Veterans in Journalism needs to grow as an organization. Aside from many internal efforts that I won’t bore you with, we need to diversify our revenue streams (in non-profit / business speak). We’ve been speaking with leaders of other organizations like the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to learn how they sustain and grow. (Our new membership structure shares some similarities with theirs. Interesting how that happened. Nowhere near as pricey as others.)

So the big question: what are we going to do with your money? It’s an important one and we will always be transparent about that. We have some minor backend costs like website fees, but the bulk of our budget is dedicated to real programmatic costs like paying for Adobe Premiere subscriptions for our upcoming workshop on video journalism, held in partnership with the University of Mississippi and FUJIFILM.

MVJ is never going to be a massive veterans organization bringing in millions of dollars every year. We have programmatic needs within our community but they are finite. We have big dreams (and if you know someone who can give us millions of dollars, hit me up). Point is: we are nimble and budget conscious. Every dollar we spend is carefully spent. 

Next question: What do I get out of this? First of all, you’ll have bragging rights about being a member of MVJ. That’s pretty cool. But more importantly, we are offering you a range of unique programs and opportunities tailored specifically to vets in journalism. For example, our mentorship program pairs you with seasoned professionals. We offer (paid) internships through our media partners. (NPR received 20,520 applications for 27 internship spots this fall. One MVJ member was guaranteed a spot in the program.) We are developing year-long (paid) fellowships and we have some really exciting opportunities in the works that I can’t wait to share with you, once the details are hammered out.

As you’ll see, we have multiple membership levels with varying levels of annual fees:

  • The vast majority of you will be Professional members with $30 due each year.
  • Some of you will be Student members at $25 annually.
  • Active duty service members dues are $20 per year.

Important: We want everyone to remain a member of MVJ. We are issuing no-questions-asked financial waivers each year. (Details on membership are included within the hyperlink of the first sentence.)

I know this is a lot but we want to be open with you about where we’re coming from and why these changes are necessary. You are always welcome to email me with ideas, thoughts, criticisms, whatever you want.

Sincerely,

Zack Baddorf
Executive Director, MVJ