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The Newmark-Military Veterans in Journalism Fellowship Program

By Career Opportunities, News

Two military veterans will be awarded nine-month fellowships in nonprofit newsrooms after graduating with master’s degrees in journalism from the City University of New York (CUNY), thanks to a grant awarded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

The Newmark Veterans in Journalism Fellowship Program is a partnership between Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ), the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

MVJ and Newmark J-School will recruit veterans to attend the school’s 16-month M.A. in Journalism, M.A. in Engagement Journalism or M.A. in Journalism with a bilingual concentration.

The veterans will be hired by newsrooms that are members of INN — a national network of nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations. The fellowships will allow these individuals to build portfolios of journalistic work and form a network of peers.

Applications for the program open in the Fall of 2021, and those veterans selected will start attending the program starting in the Fall of 2022.

 

Any veteran that wishes to apply for this Fellowship, please fill the form to send your inquiry. You can use the following link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1zEhwMJ0xQ9Ue5HzZPv8tBtzZ6NbTdwWpHSpvxIcPyV4/edit?usp=sharing

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 www.mvj.network

About the Institute for Nonprofit News

The Institute for Nonprofit News strengthens and supports 300 independent news organizations in a new kind of media network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. From local news to in-depth reporting on pressing global issues, INN’s members tell stories that otherwise would go untold – connecting communities, holding the powerful accountable and strengthening democracy. Learn more at inn.org.

About the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, founded in 2006, has become nationally recognized for its innovative programs. The only public graduate journalism school in the northeastern U.S., it prepares students from diverse economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds to produce high-quality journalism. As the profession rapidly reinvents itself for the digital age, the Newmark J-School is at the forefront of equipping the next generation of journalists with the tools to find stories and tell them effectively – using print, broadcast, visual, interactive, and social media. The school offers two master’s degree programs: a Master of Arts in Journalism and the nation’s first M.A. in Engagement Journalism. We also feature an M.A. in Journalism with a unique bilingual (Spanish and English) component. All of our master’s degree programs include a paid summer internship.

American University professor teaches investigative skills at #MVJ2021

By News, Resources

by J.P. Lawrence

Think “investigative” was the mission that award-winning reporter Chris Halsne gave to veterans and troops working or interested in journalism.

Halsne, a professor at American University, provided the advice in a webinar in the final hour of the Military Veterans in Journalism’s inaugural convention on Oct. 21.

The investigative journalist spoke to attendees about how to acquire government-held public records, the kind of evidence that is the bread and butter of investigative journalism.

“In 30-plus years running broadcast investigative news,” Halsne said, “I can’t think of many blockbuster, award-winning stories that changed laws and how the community saw certain things that didn’t start with a good public records request.”

Conducting investigations is different from reporting breaking news, said Halsne, who managed special-projects units in Seattle, Denver, and Oklahoma City and has won three National Press Club awards.

If there were to be a disaster, a breaking news reporter would report on the events of the day, but investigative reports get to take a step back and take a look at the larger picture and take accountability for who was at fault. “Were there any warning signs to prevent what happened?” Halsne said.

Halsne shared the results of his investigation on how bullet-proof vests worn by police failed to protect their wearers. During three decades in television, he also completed investigations across different subjects such as the collateral damage of a government program to poison booby traps to kill coyotes, and the dark side of sports.

“Investigative reporters are vacuum cleaners,” Halsne said. “You gather what’s there; nine times out of ten, it’s nothing. The one time it is, you dig your teeth into it.”

Attendees of the online webinar included veterans and servicemembers at various levels of experience in journalism. Allison Erickson, a writer and a former Army officer, said she joined the webinar for industry insight on how investigative reporters are used in the newsroom.

“When do you run or request reports? Is it clockwork?” were questions she said she was interested in.

Halsne said he regularly requests information from the various levels of government and has probably filed about 10,000 queries. He also shared his tips about the correct time to speak to an organization about an investigation that’s being done on them, how to handle hostile public information officers, and how to structure Freedom of Information Act requests.

“It’s super helpful to better understand the processes for records requests,” said Dan Lyons, a photo editor at Chalkbeat, a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on education. He said he also thought it was helpful to learn tips like using official letterheads for FOIA requests to give them more legitimacy.

The webinar capped off the inaugural MVJ convention. The two-day event included videos and panels by Jake Tapper and Brianna Marie Keilar from CNN, Kelly Kennedy from the War Horse, Xanthe Scharff from the Fuller Project, and Paul Szoldra from Task and Purpose.

Two military vets to be award 9-month fellowships in nonprofit newsrooms

By News

NEW YORK – Two military veterans will be awarded nine-month fellowships in nonprofit newsrooms after graduating with master’s degrees in journalism from the City University of New York (CUNY), thanks to a grant awarded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

The Newmark Veterans in Journalism Fellowship Program is a partnership between Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ), the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

“Veterans are vastly under-represented in journalism despite our nation being at war for more than 20 years,” said Zack Baddorf, a Navy veteran turned journalist who is now MVJ’s executive director. “This partnership creates a unique opportunity for two military vets to get a jump start into the news world where their lived experience and expertise are desperately needed.”

MVJ and Newmark J-School will recruit veterans to attend the school’s 16-month M.A. in Journalism, M.A. in Engagement Journalism or M.A. in Journalism with a bilingual concentration.

“We’re proud to ensure that our school represents the diversity of our nation,” said Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism and the J-School’s Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism Innovation.. “Once they graduate, we know they will bring their perspective to diversify the outlook of newsrooms, letting veterans’ voices be heard.”

The veterans will be hired by newsrooms that are members of INN — a national network of nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations. The fellowships will allow these individuals tol build portfolios of journalistic work and form a network of peers.

“Nonprofit news is a growing and mission-oriented field,” said Sara Shahriari, director of leadership and talent development at INN. “This fellowships program strengthens our member newsrooms’ ability to provide nuanced coverage of military and veterans affairs while also launching veterans into a new phase of their careers: public service journalism.”

Craig Newmark Philanthropies has previously provided support to MVJ in partnership with the Poynter Institute with a fellowship program and online educational training.

“Veterans working in the media have unique life experiences and skills that strengthen our media,” said Craig Newmark, founder and customer service representative of Craig Newmark Philanthropies and craigslist. “Our democracy will ultimately be strengthened by having more vets in our nation’s newsrooms.”

MVJ will also hold a five-day workshop as part of this partnership.

Applications for the program open in the Fall of 2021, and those veterans selected will start attending the program starting in the Fall of 2022.

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 www.mvj.network

About the Institute for Nonprofit News

The Institute for Nonprofit News strengthens and supports 300 independent news organizations in a new kind of media network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. From local news to in-depth reporting on pressing global issues, INN’s members tell stories that otherwise would go untold – connecting communities, holding the powerful accountable and strengthening democracy. Learn more at inn.org.

About the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, founded in 2006, has become nationally recognized for its innovative programs. The only public graduate journalism school in the northeastern U.S., it prepares students from diverse economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds to produce high-quality journalism. As the profession rapidly reinvents itself for the digital age, the Newmark J-School is at the forefront of equipping the next generation of journalists with the tools to find stories and tell them effectively – using print, broadcast, visual, interactive, and social media. The school offers two master’s degree programs: a Master of Arts in Journalism and the nation’s first M.A. in Engagement Journalism. We also feature an M.A. in Journalism with a unique bilingual (Spanish and English) component. All of our master’s degree programs include a paid summer internship.

Nonprofit newsrooms put focus on mission, impact

By News, Resources

by Genaro J. Prieto

The Nonprofit News Panel on Day 2 of the Military Veterans in Journalism convention presented a discussion on why nonprofit news matters for communities and the nation as a whole. 

Sarah Shahriari, the Director of Leadership and Talent Development at Institute for Nonprofit News, opened the discussion by describing innovation and community engagement tools employed by the 350 non-profit and non-partisan news organizations INN supports. 

“INN members are really working to convey the truth, to build community ties, and to inform people in their communities so they can make decisions about their own lives and about their civic life,” Shahriari said. 

Xanthe Scharff, the CEO and Cofounder of The Fuller Project – a global newsroom centered on women, said the mission-focused nature of nonprofit news sets it apart in the types of journalists it attracts and the way outcomes are measured. 

“When I got into non-profit space I already had a bias for this sort of work…this mission work,” said Sherman Gillums, who sits on the board of the veteran-focused non-profit newsroom, “The War Horse.” Gillums said he was driven by the work of “Speaking truth to power…and making the public a part of it.”

The panel unanimously echoed the importance of truth and accountability, and the need to give a voice to those who typically are overlooked. Nonprofit news is especially valuable for its ability to impact issues through telling the story and capturing the moment.

The War Horse Managing Editor Kelly Kennedy said her reporting and leadership has been intended to bring light to the needs and perspectives of soldiers on the ground. “When things were going down in Kabul we thought about how it felt for the veterans to be processing it right now, and we ran a series of reflections every day that week from people just talking about how it felt. And it was a way to process the story and to deal with the trauma of it.” 

Sherman said, “We are going to keep doing this.  We are going to keep pressing truth as a friend to the public.”

Kelly offered insights for attendees about building their portfolio of clips, taking initiative, and suggested veterans can use the Warhorse reflections series as a starting point. She said, “You can’t wait for someone to make you an investigative reporter. You can’t do that. You have to become the investigative reporter.”

One audience member asked “would you say it is easier to enter nonprofit journalism as opposed to traditional journalism?” 

Regardless of a journalist’s military experience, whether reporting in combat or down the street, the nonprofit sector of journalism has its unique qualities. But ultimately the passion for telling the story truthfully and accurately is essential, and the work gives reporters the power to influence positive change and give voice to groups without wide representation.

The highest value of nonprofit news seems to be it’s power to tell the stories of those that might otherwise be forgotten. 

CNN’s Jake Tapper kicks off inaugural #MVJ2021 convention

By News

The two-day virtual event advocates for hiring and promoting more veterans in the newsroom

by Allie Delury

Military Veterans in Journalism kicked off its first annual convention in virtual style Thursday with a keynote speech from CNN’s Jake Tapper – a notable advocate for military troops – to discuss the diversity of experience veterans bring with them into newsrooms.

“Veterans deserve to have their stories heard, especially as America’s longest war in Afghanistan came to its unceremonious end,” said Tapper, before speaking about his own personal experience with war correspondence.

Currently serving on the advisory board for MVJ, Tapper introduced the inaugural conference by highlighting CNN’s involvement in veteran newsroom placement, proudly announcing that a former Army officer will be working on his daily show “The Lead.”

“Deadlines in uniform are a lot tougher than the deadline for my show at 4 o’clock,” he said.

Tapper outlined various attractive traits that veterans bring to newsroom, to include their deep-rooted government and military sources, the ability to work in austere environments, a knack for timeliness and strong work ethic, and a desire to bring objectivity to the newsroom “having been part of an apolitical arm of foreign and domestic defense.”

“You know war better than any TV anchor, no matter how many times he’s been embedded, ever will,” he added.

Following his remarks, the conversation continued with input from Brianna Keilar, anchor of CNN’s morning show “New Day,” who spent a large part of her career shedding light on military families in hopes of bridging the military-civilian divide.

“Our civilian audience is so incredibly curious about the military, but there is a difference between having empathy and feeling sorry for them. And that’s something that I think is an important needle to thread when you’re telling these stories,” she said.

Other notable speakers included Duffel Blog founder Paul Szoldra, whose work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, MSNBC, CBS News, USA Today, and ABC News. During the panel discussion, he spoke about cracking the code of getting into a newsroom and battling the many misconceptions about veterans and the military.
“Don’t go in with a chip on your shoulder – no one owes you anything just because you served in the military,” said Szoldra. “You have to come in and prove yourself just like anybody else.”

In the virtual audience was a mix of current and aspiring journalists, photographers, podcasters and freelancers who were tuning in from around the U.S. Of those was Dan Gorman, a licensed master social worker who previously interned and worked at Last Week Tonight, Al Jazeera, Hearst Digital Media, and Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets.

“It was very, very difficult to break into a full-time position. Hopefully events like tonight help change that,” he said.

Reacting to Jake Tapper’s keynote speech, Gorman said he “hit the nail on the head” when speaking about the role of veterans in news.

“Veterans can and should tell our story journalistically. It’s not enough to say thank you for our service — give us the tools and platforms to tell what that service looked like,” said Gorman.

The two-day event will consist of a career fair, breakout sessions focusing on investigative and niche reporting, followed by a virtual happy hour to connect with other veterans in news.

NPR selects military vet as part of its 2021 internship cohort

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism is pleased to announce that NPR has selected military veteran Jeff Dean to join its 2021 fall cohort of interns.

Jeff Dean served as a medevac crew chief for nine years in the U.S. Army before earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from the University of Oregon. Since graduation in 2019, Jeff has worked in West Africa helping to investigate human rights abuses and corruption. More recently, he has been working as a stringer for the Associated Press, AFP, Reuters and Bloomberg, covering breaking news, sports and politics in Ohio and Kentucky.

“NPR is an excellent media organization where I’ll have so many opportunities to learn and grow,” Dean said. Jeff will be working with the Business Desk team for the first half of the program as a reporter and researcher and will then switch to working with the team that programs and curates NPR’s digital platforms including our homepage, mobile apps, smart speakers, social media and newsletters for the second half of the program.

“We are very excited to have Jeff join our team and bring his skills not just as a military veteran but also as a journalist,” said Pallavi Gogoi, NPR’s chief business editor. “His perspective will be invaluable.”

Although he has primarily worked as a visual journalist, Dean said he is excited to strengthen his reporting by learning data analytics and having the opportunity to find, research and produce stories with NPR.

Dean is the second veteran to receive the coveted internship position.

“We’re incredibly grateful that NPR is including military veterans in its internship program,” said Russell Midori, MVJ founder and president. “We need more outlets to step up in diversifying their newsrooms so that their staff is reflective of the diversity of our country.”

“This collaboration with MVJ brings to NPR a critical voice and the valuable perspective of someone who, like so many Americans, has seen life through the lens of military service,” said Keith Woods, NPR’s Chief Diversity Officer. “We’re fortunate, through this fellowship, to be able to bring more of that perspective to our newsroom.”

MVJ Hits 2 Year Mark

By News

Dear MVJ Members,

Military Veterans in Journalism recently turned two years old, and it has been an honor to advocate for you in our industry all this time. I’m writing today to personally thank you for being a member in our community and encourage you to go forth and do great journalism.

We founded this organization because we believe journalism is a service to the nation and we want to empower worthy citizens to carry it out. You have proved your commitment to the American people, and you deserve to follow your dreams to great achievement in news reporting.

The news needs us right now. Journalists are struggling in today’s combative public space to reach ever-growing communities who don’t trust “the media,” and your reputation for service and hard work makes you uniquely qualified to restore trust in this necessary institution. Democracy cannot survive without good reporters who have the skill and will to inform the people.

MVJ is in a strong position to advocate for veterans’ voices contributing to the local and national dialogue. I urge you to take full advantage of the career opportunities we have fought to bring you. Apply for our fellowships before the applications expire, join our private Facebook group, check out the skill-building videos and podcasts on our YouTube Page, and participate in our Mentorship Program. Keep reading our newsletters to sign up for great future opportunities, like our upcoming workshops and journeys through America’s newsrooms.

Now, I’d like to hear from you, if you don’t mind. Please reply to this email by telling me where you get your news. What is your favorite publication, digital outlet, or broadcast program? Also, in a few sentences, tell me if you have any ideas for what we can do to help you in your journalism journey.

Respectfully,
Russell Midori
MVJ President
917-588-4926

Military Vets: Apply for Paid Journalism Fellowships!

By Career Opportunities, News, Resources

MVJ is excited to announce that we will be hosting seven paid fellowships lasting about six months each at the news room of your choice!

Four of the fellowships are funded thanks to generous support from the Knight Foundation, two of the fellowships are possible thanks to the generous support of Craig Newmark Philanthropies and the one fellowship is thanks to the generous support of the Wyncote Foundation.

Learn more and Apply

Deadline: June 11, 2021

 

Military Vets: Apply for Free Online Poynter Institute Journalism Classes

By News, Resources

Since our founding in 2019, MVJ has done some awesome things for veterans in journalism. From a virtual career fair with the biggest names in media, to landing fellowship spots at NPR for our members, we are committed to delivering tangible results for our membership.

Our latest accomplishment: MVJ has secured more than $20,000 in Poynter Institute online courses for our members to take for free.

Made possible thanks to the generous support of the Craig Newmark Philanthropies, these courses will directly help our membership gain actionable skills that they can put to work immediately.

Poynter Institute has a treasure trove of training opportunities for journalists of every type. From courses focusing on how to become a better writer to courses on film and broadcast television, Poynter has it all

What this means for you:
You’ll have free access to some of Poynter’s popular courses. If you find these courses useful, we’ll find other ways to work with Poynter for even more training.

Here is the list:
Newsroom Readiness Certificate: Get ready for your first newsroom job by covering the basics of newsgathering, interviewing, media law, ethics and diversity

A Reporters’ Guide to Getting it Right: Learn how to secure accuracy and fairness in your reporting, well-before your deadline

MediaWise Fact-checking 101: Learn from tools and techniques you can use to fact-check information online and sort fact from fiction across social media platforms

TV News Toolbox for Educators: Bring duPont, Peabody and national Emmy award-winners from local and network news into your classroom with this collection of 38 microlearning activities

The Art of the Interview: How to find and court your story’s characters

Survive and Thrive in Freelance and Remote Work: Improve your effectiveness in your freelance solo act, side hustle or remote work environment

So how to start? Go here to create a free user account if you don’t already have one, and add up to three of these courses to your shopping cart.

Go HERE for the coupon code to access courses. If you’re not a member yet, please sign up.

Members can also apply through MVJ for a scholarship to some of Poynter’s limited-enrollment courses in 2021.

Those course are:

Poynter Aces Certificate in Editing: Six courses with six assessments: ideal for journalists looking to strengthen their understanding of the standards, essential skills and best practices of editing (normally $150)

Poynter ACES Advanced Editing Certificate: Two intensive training opportunities for experienced editors: a four-week online course that includes live online sessions, coaching, homework and discussion forums; and self-directed components include videos, readings, activities and assessments (normally $600)

Write Your Heart Out 2022: Uncover the powerful stories from your life and learn how to share them in ways that resonate with audiences during this four-week online course (normally $349)

Producer Project 2022: An eight-session, four-week online seminar that helps TV producers tell stronger stories and make tough calls on deadline (normally $499)

Apply for a scholarship to one of the above premium courses HERE

Lastly,

As part of our partnership with Poynter, Al Tompkins has agreed to host two courses valued at over $2,500 each. Al is a legend in broadcast journalism and has taught all over the world.

The two courses he will teach are:

Producing for TV News

Writing/Storytelling for Video

Both courses are free for members, so sign up today!

If you have any questions, please contact:

Rich Dolan
[email protected]

For customer support if you need assistance with the Poynter website or after you are enrolled in one of these courses, please contact:

Maria Jaimes
Poynter Customer Experience Supervisor
[email protected]

The MVJ staff hustles hard to create these opportunities for our members, so we really hope that you’ll take full advantage of what we have to offer. And we’re not stopping here. In the coming weeks, we’ll have even bigger news to share with y’all (paid fellowships!). Keep checking in to make sure you don’t miss it!

Six Ways to Succeed on LinkedIn

By News

By David Bruce

A lot of people become jaded with LinkedIn when they first get started. They think because they opened a profile job offers will just start rolling in. But when has anything been that easy in life? With a little bit of effort and consistency LinkedIn can help you get a job, get freelance work, or put you in contact with an expert for your next article. Here is how to set yourself up for success on LinkedIn.

1.) Profile: You want people to get a sense of who you are when they look at your profile. You are allowed 120-characters to accomplish that. Do not use seeking opportunities in your headline. Recruiters are searching by job titles. If you are looking for writer jobs, use writer. Or be more specific and use, Adventure Writer or Travel Writer; use whatever is in your writing niche.

Have a picture. You know how alarm bells go off when people try to connect with you on social media and they don’t have a photo? The same alarm bells go off for recruiters when you don’t have a photo on your profile. The photo should be a straight on shot of your face, sans sunglasses and without your cat. Unless you’re writing about cats.

2.) Summary Section: Time to sell yourself. The Summary section is where you can define yourself in the first person, in 2000 characters. Opportunity is knocking here. Make the most out of this section.

Example: My dream has always been to chase adventure and write engaging articles about my experiences. It seems like an appropriate dream given my experience serving in the military and my BA in Journalism… You get my point. Tell them what you are passionate about and what you do, or want to do.

Most important on this list is to have a completed profile. LinkedIn will let you know when you are 100% complete. LinkedIn members are 40 times more likely to be contacted by a recruiter when their profile is complete. Only 50% of the 760 million members on LinkedIn have a completed profile.

3.) Display your work: Not long ago, a recruiter contacted me via LinkedIn and we set up a phone call to discuss an opportunity. The job wasn’t a good fit due to location, but it gave me an opportunity to find the holes in my LinkedIn game. I asked the recruiter if there is anything that I should be doing differently with my profile. She was hesitant at first, but then told me.

She said, your profile says ‘Writer’, but I had to search through your posts to find any of your writing; there was nothing in your ‘Featured’ section. She sounded almost frustrated. You have to understand, they are scanning a lot of profiles and if you don’t give it to them up front they will move on to a profile that does. I immediately moved my posted articles to the Featured Section and now my published work comes up as soon as someone opens my profile.

4.) Listen to podcasts and then connect: Whatever your niche is listen to podcasts to find experts in this area. I like to write about terrorism. I often listen to podcasts on my commute into work. When people go on podcasts they are often coming off the heels of something timely, like writing a book about a current situation. I listen to the podcast and then send a connection request to that person. I also send along a note saying, I heard your podcast today and found this point interesting, and then I thank them for connecting. This has been a good formula that has led to work. Sometimes later I’ll interview them or have them give me an expert quote for an article I am reading. What I don’t do is cold pitch them in an introductory message; no one likes that. I don’t sell myself to them or ask for anything. That happens somewhere else, typically their email inbox, after some time.

5.) Join LinkedIn Groups: LinkedIn has a group for whatever it is that you like to write about. People exchange ideas there and they also ask questions that you might be able to answer. Many times, in these groups people will reach out to you for internships and freelance opportunities. Don’t overlook the opportunities that these groups can provide you.

6.) Stay Active: LinkedIn is an interactive platform. You should post your original content, which is simple because they have a template for you to write articles in. You can also repost other articles with your own commentary. My recommendation is to stay away from political, or divisive posts. When people look at your profile they see what your comments and posts are, remember this is a career platform, not Facebook. We want to avoid anything that comes off as negative and could potentially turn off a recruiter or someone looking to do business with you.

I hear a lot of people that are critical of LinkedIn, particularly when it comes to getting employment on the platform. In reality, it’s like anything else, with a little bit of effort, strategy and consistency it is a great tool that can bring opportunities into your life.