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MVJ Welcomes NBC10 & Telemundo62 Anchor Lucy Bustamante to Board of Directors

By News

May 20, 2024 – Military Veterans in Journalism is pleased to announce the addition of journalist and diversity advocate Lucy Bustamante to its Board of Directors. Currently a morning news anchor with NBC10 and a breaking news anchor with Telemundo62 in Philadelphia, Bustamante brings diverse experiences and insights from her career to this new role.

Lucy Bustamante is passionate about serving the Hispanic, Latinx and military-connected communities. She was the co-founding President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, along with fellow military spouse/Telemundo News Anchor, Iris Delgado. Bustamante has also worked with the Naval Officers Spouses Association and the NBC Universal Veterans network to support military families in Philadelphia and beyond.

“I’m honored to be joining the Board of Directors of Military Veterans in Journalism in support of the organization’s work,” said Bustamante of her new role. “As a long-time supporter of MVJ and its initiatives to bring more veterans into the news environment, I look forward to guiding MVJ in the near future as it grows with the community of vets in journalism.”

Bustamante has a storied journalism career, with four Emmy awards and one Telly award for her work in her current role. She has also received several Associated Press awards for her work as an anchor, three Edward R. Murrow awards for her 2011 documentary work on the Affordable Care Act in Virginia, and one Edward R. Murrow award and one Peabody Award for New Orleans breaking news and coverage of Hurricane Katrina, respectively.

“We at MVJ are thrilled to welcome Lucy to our Board of Directors,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s Executive Director. “She has been a vocal supporter of veterans in newsrooms and a wonderful guide and advocate for MVJ. We look forward to having her insight and guidance on board as we move into the future of our organization and community.”

Military Veterans in Journalism extends a warm welcome to Lucy Bustamante as she joins the MVJ Board of Directors. We look forward to learning from her and working alongside her to build new efforts to support veterans in journalism.

Nominations Open for Top 10 Veterans in Journalism 2024

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism is thrilled to announce the return of the Top 10 Veterans in Journalism Competition for 2024.

The competition celebrates the outstanding achievements of military veteran journalists throughout the preceding year. Recipients of the awards will be honored during the highly anticipated MVJ24 Convention, a premier event that gathers journalists, industry leaders, and media professionals from across the globe.

The deadline for submission is June 15, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Neither the submitter nor the nominee needs to be a member of MVJ to submit a piece for consideration.

Eligibility and Requirements

MVJ welcomes submissions from all armed forces veterans of any branch. To be considered, they can either submit their own work or that of a fellow veteran. Self-nominations are permitted.

  • Only pieces created by veterans of the armed forces are eligible. While collaborative efforts are accepted, journalists involved will only be eligible if they are veterans themselves. All submissions must be published work completed and made publicly available within the past 12 months.
  • Submissions must include the original publishing or release date, all contributors, and the organization under which the work was published.
  • Submissions are not limited to any one form of media; they can include traditional print and broadcast, as well as emerging forms such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Interactive Data Visualization, and others.
  • Submissions should also include a brief description of the nominee and why they should be recognized as a Top 10 Military Veteran in Journalism.

The submissions will be scored on originality, newsworthiness, journalistic quality, and diversity. MVJ’s panel of judges will apply their experience, editing standards, and personal background to decide how well a piece ranks 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 reviewed 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!

Military Veterans in Journalism and the USA TODAY Network Launch Paid Fellowships for Military Veteran Journalists

By Career Opportunities, News, Resources

March 27, 2024 – Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) announced today a new partnership with Gannett to launch the 2024 USA TODAY Network Military Veterans Fellowship Program. This program offers four paid fellowships designed to employ more veterans as journalists within the national USA TODAY Network.

Gannett, the largest media company in the United States, has a rich history spanning several decades. Renowned for its commitment to delivering trusted, fact-based news, Gannett operates a diverse portfolio of media outlets across the country including its flagship national publication, USA TODAY, and over 200 local publications across the country. Gannett continuously emphasizes the significance of unbiased reporting and journalistic integrity.
“Gannett is excited to announce the 2024 USA TODAY Network Military Veterans Fellowship Program launch in partnership with Military Veterans in Journalism,” said Samantha Howland, Chief People Officer at Gannett. “Gannett and the Military Forward Employee Resource Group understand the value of military veterans and recognize their unique perspectives, professional experiences, and diversity of thought enhance our business and the communities we serve.”

As part of this effort, MVJ and Gannett will select four military veteran journalists for paid fellowships within the USA TODAY Network. This opportunity is perfect for veterans who are up-and-coming journalists seeking to receive six months of paid journalistic employment and growing their skills and connections within a national network of publications.

Ideal fellowship candidates will have some experience reporting and writing on deadline prior to entering the program. Candidates should be interested in a professional career covering both local and national stories in an unbiased manner. Fellows will also participate in MVJ’s mentorship program during their fellowship.

“Military Veterans in Journalism is proud to partner with Gannett on this initiative to employ vets within the USA TODAY Network,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s Executive Director. “This collaboration will provide a great opportunity for veterans to jumpstart their journalism careers and grow within a local news environment. Participation in these fellowships will ensure the selected military veteran journalists develop skills essential to their ongoing success in the journalism field.”

For more information on the program and positions available, visit: https://www.mvj.network/2024-usa-today-network-veterans-in-journalism-fellowships

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About Gannett
Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is a diversified media company with expansive reach at the national and local level dedicated to empowering and enriching communities. We seek to inspire, inform, and connect audiences as a scalable, growth focused media and digital marketing solutions company. We endeavor to deliver essential content, marketing solutions, and experiences for curated audiences, advertisers, consumers, and stakeholders by leveraging our diverse teams and suite of products to enrich the local communities and businesses we serve. Our current portfolio of trusted media brands includes the USA TODAY NETWORK, comprised of the national publication, USA TODAY, and local media organizations in the United States, and Newsquest, a wholly-owned subsidiary operating in the United Kingdom. Our digital marketing solutions brand, LocaliQ, uses innovation and software to enable small and medium-sized businesses to grow, and USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures, our events division, creates impactful consumer engagements, promotions, and races.

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. Led and run by a dedicated corps of military veterans and military family members, we are working with newsrooms and other non-profit organizations to create opportunities for vets to get a jump start in the media industry. Whether through internships, fellowships or mentorships, our work has created a pipeline to get vets into newsrooms.

Contacts
Gannett | USA TODAY Network
Lark-Marie Anton
Chief Communications Officer
[email protected]

Military Veterans in Journalism
Devon Lancia
Partnerships Director
[email protected]

Military Veterans in Journalism Joins #ListenFirst Coalition

By News

MVJ joins a group of over 500 organizations working to bring Americans together across differences to build social cohesion.

Military Veterans in Journalism is proud to announce it is joining the #ListenFirst Coalition, a bridge-building collaborative effort of the ListenFirst Project. As a Coalition member, MVJ joins a group of organizations working across the country to give diverse communities opportunities to bridge divides.

The #ListenFirst Coalition was created in 2017 by four bridging organizations to aggregate, align, and amplify bridging efforts to reach farther and create greater impact. Bridging brings together people and perspectives that are disconnected or divided to cultivate understanding, trust, and productive disagreement that can lead to collaborative problem-solving and a way forward together. The nonprofit Listen First Project serves as the backbone of the Coalition and manages its campaigns that aim to turn down the heat, and save our country from tearing apart. Today, the #ListenFirst Coalition’s campaigns and events bring Americans together to reduce toxic polarization and build social cohesion, so we can find a way forward together.  

MVJ joins the #ListenFirst Coalition as an extension of the MVJ Counter-Disinformation Program and as a way to provide its community with opportunities to bridge divides via storytelling. The organization will collaborate with other coalition members on events and opportunities to bring members of the military-connected community together to listen and understand each other, find common ground, and help bridge the gap between military service and civilian viewpoints.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the #ListenFirst Coalition,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s executive director. “Our participation and collaboration with this esteemed group of organizations will help us learn and develop our work, especially as we work to inoculate veterans from violent extremist propaganda.”

The list of coalition members spans over 500 national and local organizations, each with a diverse community and a focus on bridging divides to combat the toxic polarization in America. MVJ has previously worked with several of these member organizations, including Project Over Zero, to train journalists on ways to create positive dialogue and discourage politically-charged violence via journalism.

Navy & Army Veteran Caron LeNoir-Kelly To Join NBC10 & Telemundo62 in Philadelphia As MVJ-Wyncote Foundation Fellow

By News

January 18, 2023 – Military Veterans in Journalism is pleased to announce that NBC10 (WCAU-TV) and Telemundo62 (WWSI-TV) have selected Navy and Army veteran Caron LeNoir-Kelly to join its local newsroom team as an MVJ Fellow. This fellowship, supported by the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation, is part of a new partnership between the Philadelphia NBC- and Telemundo-owned station and MVJ to increase the number of military veterans in their newsroom.

Caron LeNoir-Kelly is a journalist, radio host, artist, activist, and advocate. The founder of CARONISMedia Group and a podcasting pioneer, Caron has had a passion for journalism since childhood. Caron honorably served in both the US Navy and Army, and her experiences from service and as a formerly homeless disabled veteran inform her coverage of women, women veterans, and mental health issues.

“I am thrilled to join NBC10 and Telemundo62. Philadelphia is an amazing place, and I am honored to help tell the stories of its people. Military Veterans in Journalism is one of my most cherished communities. I continue to be amazed by how we lift each other up, continue to climb, and support the mission of increasing the number of veterans in America’s newsrooms. I am excited to have the leadership and guidance of both organizations in a new chapter of my life as a journalist and proud veteran.”

During this fellowship, LeNoir-Kelly will learn the ins and outs of Philadelphia news coverage on-air and online, plus work on new streaming programming.

“Supporting Caron with this opportunity is a powerful way to amplify diverse voices in our newsroom,” said Elizabeth Flores, Vice President of News for NBC10 and Telemundo62. “We embrace the value that Caron’s experience as a veteran brings to our team, and we are excited to create an inclusive space that nurtures the talent and experiences of military veterans. Together, we can significantly impact and ensure that all perspectives are represented in our stories.”

LeNoir-Kelly will spend six months in this fellowship, during which time she will make connections with some top local journalists. She has said she looks forward to contributing to thoughtful and nuanced coverage of a variety of issues in the Philadelphia area as she learns from the NBC10 and Telemundo62 team.

“The MVJ team is grateful for NBC10 and Telemundo62’s dedication to the inclusion of diverse voices, including those of veterans, within their newsroom. We are also incredibly grateful for the support of the Wyncote Foundation team, which made this fellowship possible,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s Executive Director. “We are excited to support Caron’s growth under the NBC10 team’s guidance, and we look forward to the future of this new partnership.”

ABOUT NBC10 PHILADELPHIA / WCAU

Owned by NBCUniversal, NBC10 Philadelphia has been delivering local news, information and weather for more than 60 years, serving nearly six million viewers throughout Greater Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley, South Jersey and Delaware. Viewers turn to NBC10 for the most up-to-date breaking news and weather on a variety of platforms, including online at nbc10.com and via mobile and social platforms. NBC10 produces more than 41 hours of local news programming per week. For more information, visit NBC10.com.

ABOUT TELEMUNDO62 PHILADELPHIA / WWSI

Owned by NBCUniversal, Telemundo62 / WWSI is NBC’s Owned Television Stations local station serving Spanish-speaking viewers throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, including 18 counties across Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware. Telemundo62 viewers start their weekday mornings with hourly news cut-ins from 6 a.m.–11 a.m. and continue to receive the latest in local news and weather information during Al Mediodía, a 30 minute newscast airing weekdays at 12 p.m. Noticiero Telemundo62 is a locally produced, live Spanish-language newscast, airing weekdays at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Viewers turn to Noticiero Telemundo62 for local news, weather, sports and community coverage on-air and on the Telemundo62 app. Telemundo62 produces more than 13.5 hours of local, Spanish language news programming per week. For more information, visit Telemundo62.com.

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.

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MVJ Launches Information Integrity Freelance Fund of $20,000

By Career Opportunities, News, Resources

Military Veterans in Journalism is pleased to announce the establishment of a new journalism fund as part of our commitment to combating the spread of misleading narratives within veteran and military communities. 

The MVJ Information Integrity Freelance Fund will offer freelance journalists and newsrooms a unique opportunity to contribute to countering the spread of propaganda, deceptive narratives, and extremism within the military and veteran community. 

The fund of $20,000 will be used to support the publication of stories that focus on propaganda and violent extremism in the military and veteran communities. The reporting fund is intended to focus on investigative and feature stories that examine these issues at an individual and group level as well as governmental and non-governmental responses to the challenge. 

“We know that bad actors actively seek out and prey on veterans and service members. We want to expose what they’re doing,” said MVJ Executive Director Zack Baddorf. “We are very excited to launch this new fund and support stories that make a difference within the military and veteran communities. We welcome freelance journalists and newsrooms to join us in creating this impactful storytelling.”

Journalists or newsrooms can submit their pitches directly to MVJ using this form. Freelancers will ideally have identified a potential partner publication that wants to work with them to publish their work. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Pitches will be reviewed by a committee formed by MVJ. The project ends in early 2025.

2023 Impact Report & 2024 Goal Setting

By News

Dear MVJ Members,

As we reflect on another dynamic and impactful year at Veterans in Journalism, I’m filled with pride for the strides we’ve made together as a community.

In 2023, our fellowship and internship programs reached greater heights as new partners joined prior partners to provide even more opportunities for our members nationwide. The success of these programs reinforces MVJ as a catalyst for impactful journalism careers for veterans and military spouses. At the same time, our flourishing mentorship program is fostering relationships that help new and long-time journalists alike navigate the complexities of the media landscape.

Our commitment to countering disinformation and improving media literacy in the military community remains unwavering. Throughout 2023, we equipped our counter-disinformation team with tools to combat propaganda effectively. From immersive in-person training sessions at the Poynter Institute and Medill’s Washington, D.C. campus to online sessions with a variety of training partners, program reporters and other MVJ members engaged in collaborative learning that strengthened their skills and will make a positive impact on the industry.

This year, our disability journalism program awarded $3,700 in journalism grants to amplify impactful reporting on disability and disabled veterans issues. Our new entrepreneurial journalism program created opportunities for MVJ members to start their own sustainable ventures and cover the topics most important to them. These two programs have supported impactful reporting this year and set our members up for a wealth of opportunities and continued growth.

At the end of the year, MVJ2023 in New York City brought together MVJ community members and supporters from newsrooms across the country. Supported by sponsors including CNN, Spectrum, DAV, and many others, this year’s convention featured workshops and panels on a variety of topics, among other networking opportunities. This year’s event provided a platform for veterans and military spouses in journalism to connect with each other, learn from other talented journalists in America’s biggest news organizations, and shape the future of media with their ideas. In the coming year, we hope to build on what this year’s convention started, creating an even greater opportunity for our community and supporters to join together.

This report encapsulates the essence of MVJ’s impact in 2023 and highlights our vibrant, supportive community. My heartfelt thanks to our members, sponsors and partners for making this year’s journey possible. Together, we will continue to provide opportunities for veterans to thrive in and meaningfully contribute to the media industry in 2024.

Zack Baddorf
Executive Director
Military Veterans in Journalism

Military Veterans in Journalism In Numbers

MVJ’s total number of members as of year-end is 905, a growth of 213 (30.7%) new members this year. That’s 13 more members than our 2023 goal.
We expect to see another 22% membership growth in 2024 – or 200 new members within the calendar year.

A breakdown of MVJ members by military branch:

  • Army: 42.9%
  • Marine Corps: 16.3% 
  • Navy: 16.0%
  • Air Force: 13.4%
  • Coast Guard 1.3%
  • National Guard: 0.9%

MVJ members average 10.5 years of service. 87.8% of our members have served and 13.3 % have served in multiple armed forces. Of the remainder, 1.3% are military spouses and 7.8% civilian journalists who support veterans in journalism.

 

MVJ members identify as follows:

  • White 62.2 %
  • Black or African American 13.5% 
  • Asian: 4.4% 
  • Native American 3.6%
  • Native Hawaiian 0.2% 
  • Other: 5.7%
  • Prefer not answer 10.1%

In addition, 24.1% of our membership identifies as Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish origin.

Our Team

We could not be successful without the dedication of our team – who are predominantly military veterans, military spouses, and military family members.

MVJ has ten Core Team members (listed alphabetically):

  • Casandra Burr, Community Engagement Manager
  • Clyde Gunter, Team Member / Navy Veteran
  • Devon Lancia, Partnerships Director
  • Drew F. Lawrence, Sword & Pen Co-Host / Army Veteran
  • Lori King, Sword & Pen Co-Host / Army, National Guard & Air National Guard Veteran
  • Marcela Loor, Memberships Coordinator
  • Noelle Wiehe, Mentorship Manager / Army Veteran
  • Rich Dolan, Programs Manager / Army Veteran
  • Russell Midori, President / Marine Corps Veteran
  • Sara Feges, Operations Manager
  • Zack Baddorf, Executive Director / Navy Veteran

MVJ has five Board of Directors members, three of whom are female and three of whom are people of color (listed alphabetically):

  • Jen Paquette, Board Member / Military Spouse
  • Kyra Davenport, Membership Voice Board Member / Army Veteran
  • Priya Sridhar, Board Member / Navy Reservist
  • Russell Midori, President / Marine Corps Veteran
  • Zack Baddorf, Executive Director / Navy Veteran

2023 Impact

Thanks to generous support from our funders and partners, MVJ offered seven fellowship and internship opportunities in newsrooms across the nation this year, two of which are currently in the selection phase. Participants were selected by an independent committee made up of journalists across the media spectrum. Please see below for an alphabetical-order listing of this year’s MVJ fellows and interns.

  • Allen Frazier, the Sun Herald
  • Caron LeNoir-Kelly, NBC10 & Telemundo62
  • Eve Sampson, the Washington Post
  • Joshua Carter, the Belleville News-Democrat
  • Sonia Clark, the Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette

MVJ has placed an additional veteran into a nine-month long fellowship through our CUNY Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and INN collaborative program. Upon graduation in December 2023, Navy veteran Chris Janaro will begin his fellowship with New York nonprofit newsroom City Limits.

We have also secured another internship spot for a veteran at the Washington Post for Summer 2024 and teamed up with Gannett to offer two six-month fellowships in early 2024.

In March of this year, we launched a new initiative to counter propaganda and other narratives spread within the military and veteran communities by bad actors. The MVJ Counter-Disinformation Program, supported by the Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, is conducted in collaboration with a variety of partners in the disinformation and journalism spaces. We worked with Military Times to create a reporting team on a brand-new extremism and disinformation beat, with accomplished military and veterans reporters Nikki Wentling and Allison Erickson hired to the program. We also built an Advisory Board of 17 experts in this space and created a program marketing team to work alongside our reporters and engage the military and veteran communities online.

As part of the effort, we facilitated a variety of in-person and virtual training sessions on investigative best practices, solutions-based journalism and methods to engage communities away from extremist propaganda. While Nikki and Allison attended all sessions, a total of 34 other members of the MVJ community also participated. Below is a list of our training partners for the Counter-Disinformation Program. We thank each for working with us to provide these valuable learning opportunities.

  • PolitiFact
  • The Poynter Institute
  • Task Force Butler Institute, a counter-extremism nonprofit organization
  • Solutions Journalism Network
  • Project Over Zero

In May, MVJ partnered with NBCUniversal and the NBC News Group to host an in-person networking event in New York City. This event, hosted in the NBC News Group’s headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, brought together 40 military veterans who are members of MVJ with members of the NBCUniversal team. During the event, attendees had a premiere opportunity to connect with top journalists in the NBC network, hear from newsroom and company leadership, and engage with hiring managers.

This year, we hosted 27 career-enhancing events in collaboration with our partners.

  • Webinars:
    • Podcast 101 with PRX
    • Longform Journalism with Ben Kesling
    • Maynard 200 Journalism Fellowship
    • Disability Reporting with Scott Bourque and Shruti Rajkumar
    • Bridging the Military-Civilian Divide in Reporting
    • Telling Stories with Your Photography and Writing
    • Seeking Legal Support as a Journalist
    • Introduction to Allbritton Journalism Institute
    • Learn How to Leverage MVJCareers in Your Job Search
    • Veterans and Journalism at American University
    • Charting Your Journalism Career with McClatchy
    • Discover CityView Media
    • Connecting with & Reporting on the Next Generation of Service Members
  • Workshops:
    • Broadcast Journalism with Carey Harrison
    • Founders Fellowship Workshop
  • Talent Scout Sessions:
    • American University
    • Newmark J-School at CUNY
    • Report for America
    • Military.com
    • Sinclair Broadcast Group
    • POLITICO
    • Washington Post
    • Spectrum News
  • In-Person Events:
    • From Frontlines to Headlines with NBCUniversal
    • Bloomberg Newsroom Tour
    • Gannett Newsroom Tour
    • NBC News Group Newsroom Tour

We continued our Press Pass program all year and issued over 60 new passes. The MVJ Press Passes program is our commitment to recognizing our members as working journalists and facilitating their access to sources in their journalistic endeavors.

We also continued our Ford Disability Inclusion Program. Under the program’s journalism grants initiative, we awarded $3,700 in funding to members of our community to facilitate impactful reporting on disability issues. Below are some samples of the reporting that was produced:

In 2021, MVJ received a generous five-year grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for improvements to our mentorship program. This year, our team has continued to make improvements to the processes we use to pair military veterans with seasoned journalists who will serve as their mentors. We have welcomed a Mentorship Manager to the MVJ team who is responsible for managing our mentorship program in Mentornity, ensuring a positive experience for mentors and mentees, and taking care of participant requests and concerns. At the end of 2023, we have 120 mentors and 180 mentees in the program and 147 active mentorship pairings.

In late 2022, MVJ received a grant from News Corp Giving to support a new initiative: the MVJ Entrepreneurial Journalism Program. We have sent three MVJ members, Siobhan Cunningham, Ethan Rocke and Donna Cole, to the CUNY Newmark J-School’s 100-Day Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program, where they learned business, market analysis and engagement skills needed to make their news initiatives thrive early on. We have also held five webinars on news entrepreneurship and sustainability, attended by around 30 MVJ members each and taught by Jeremy Caplan, Paul Szoldra, and the aforementioned CUNY students. The final leg of this program, our Entrepreneurial Grants initiative, is ongoing. 

In the heart of New York City from October 5 to October 7, the Military Veterans in Journalism 2023 Convention gathered around 150 attendees for a three-day exploration of the future of media. With support from more than 15 sponsors, including major contributors CNN, Spectrum, DAV, and others, the event featured 12 diverse workshops and panels, from API training on mental health in journalism to discussions on disability, documentary and entrepreneurial journalism. A two-day career fair, combining in-person and virtual interactions, provided veterans with valuable opportunities to connect with potential employers. As MVJ reflects on these dynamic days, we remain committed to shaping a media industry where veterans not only find their place but thrive in shaping its narrative.

2024 Goals

MVJ’s strategic vision for 2024 encompasses four key pillars: general sustainability, the expansion of our convention and sponsorships, the growth of our counter-disinformation program, and overall organizational development.

General Sustainability. In 2024, MVJ is committed to enhancing general sustainability through:

  • Developing and implementing programs and projects that reduce dependency on one revenue channel and diversify our nonprofit revenue streams.
  • Strategizing and executing an in-depth public fundraising plan.
  • Strengthening MVJ’s position as a thought leader on military, veteran, and disabled veteran reporting.

Growing Annual Convention and Sponsorships. In 2024, MVJ aims to elevate our annual convention and increase sponsorships through:

  • Attracting a higher number of participants to MVJ2024.
  • Expanding the network of sponsors and partners for the convention, perhaps involving some local partners outside of journalism itself.
  • Facilitating enhanced networking and learning opportunities during the convention.
  • Implementing other strategies to make the convention a significant source of revenue for MVJ.

Growing the MVJ Counter-Disinformation Program. Building on the current successes of the counter-disinformation program, we will expand the program in the coming year by:

  • Extending the program’s impact to local communities of military families and veterans.
  • Collaborating with a broader range of partners to amplify the program’s influence.
  • Actively contributing to efforts combating disinformation and improving media literacy skills in partnership with other organizations, such as We the Veterans and Military Families.
  • Continuously measuring and assessing the program’s effectiveness in achieving its goals.

General Organizational Growth. MVJ’s commitment to organizational growth in 2024 includes:

  • Refining and expanding existing programs to better serve members.
  • Expanding the number of internships and fellowships, aiming to place 4 vets in national newsrooms and 7 in local newsrooms.
  • Hosting a minimum of 15 online events throughout the year in collaboration with partners.
  • Introducing innovative initiatives to provide members with even more opportunities.
  • Fostering a dynamic environment that nurtures the professional development of MVJ members.
  • Actively monitoring and assessing the impact of programs on member growth and satisfaction.
  • Exploring and implementing strategies to broaden the scope and reach of existing initiatives.

Veteran To Join City Limits as Part of MVJ-INN-Newmark J-School Collaboration

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism is pleased to announce Navy veteran Chris Janaro’s selection for a nine-month fellowship with City Limits, a nonprofit newsroom identifying urban problems and exploring solutions through the lens of New York City. Thanks to support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies and help from the Institute for Nonprofit News, this fellowship will allow Janaro to expand his portfolio after graduating from the City University of New York’s Newmark J-School.

This fellowship is part of a collaborative effort between MVJ, CUNY and INN that began in 2021. Veterans who are members of MVJ apply to attend Newmark J-School’s 16-month M.A. in Journalism, M.A. in Engagement Journalism or M.A. in Journalism with a bilingual concentration. Upon graduation, these MVJ members are hired by newsrooms that are members of INN — a national network of nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations. The fellowships allow these individuals to build portfolios of journalistic work and form a network of peers, while the educational component gives them the foundation for career success.

MVJ member and Navy veteran Chris Janaro will join the City Limits team after his recent graduation from Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Photo courtesy of Chris Janaro.

“As a career changer, I am grateful for MVJ’s support and encouragement since day one of this incredible program for aspiring veteran journalists,” said Janaro of this opportunity. “I am excited to work for such an esteemed non-profit newsroom as City Limits, which will allow me to seamlessly transition into a full-time reporting role that serves the common good. Knowing this serves as a great motivator, and I can’t wait to get started!”

As a fellow with City Limits, Janaro will cover zoning, land use and development in the New York City area, with a special focus on how these issues affect the city’s veterans. He is the first MVJ member to receive a fellowship under this program.

“Veterans are vastly under-represented in the news media despite our nation having been at war for more than 20 years,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s executive director. “This partnership creates a unique opportunity for military vets to get a jump-start into the news world, where their lived experience, expertise and public trust are desperately needed.”

Craig Newmark Philanthropies has previously supported MVJ in partnership with the Poynter Institute with a fellowship program and online educational training. Most recently, the philanthropic organization has supported MVJ’s Counter-Disinformation Program, which aims to counter the spread of disinformation and extremist propaganda within military and veteran circles.

One fellowship slot remains in this program for veterans interested in furthering their career and education. Interested applicants should first apply with Newmark J-School and plan to complete their 16-month master’s degree program. For more information, please see our earlier release on this program.

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, founded in 2006, is a public graduate journalism school based in the heart of New York City’s media capital. With affordable tuition and extensive scholarship support, it prepares students from diverse economic, racial and cultural backgrounds to produce high-quality journalism. The school offers 16-month master’s degree programs: M.A. in Journalism, M.A. in Engagement Journalism, and M.A. in Journalism – Bilingual Program (English/Spanish). Through the school’s J+ division, which offers online and hybrid executive training programs, seasoned journalists gain the skills to step into leadership roles and launch modern business models and news products. The Newmark J-School is also home to three unique centers and initiatives: the McGraw Center for Business Journalism; the Center for Community Media; and the Journalism Protection Initiative.

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.

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MVJ Announces First Membership Voice Board Member

By News

Welcoming Kyra Davenport to the MVJ Board of Directors.

December 27, 2023 — Military Veterans in Journalism welcomes Army veteran and freelance journalist Kyra Davenport to its Board of Directors. With a deep and varied range of experiences across military service, journalism, entrepreneurship, and community engagement, Davenport brings a vibrant perspective to the Board as MVJ’s first Membership Voice Board Member.

Davenport is an entrepreneur with three exciting small businesses: a trauma-informed yoga business named Reset Yoga Collective LLC, a communications company, KD Communications LLC, and a vegan food truck launching in 2025 named Happier Vegan LLC.

Davenport is an Army veteran with 12 years of service in the Army. She has more than a decade of experience as a freelance reporter and working as communications professional for the government and private sector, during which time she has written for DC-based local news outlets, LA-based magazines, and has worked on a broadcast news for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. She has also covered the Obama Administration as an independent blogger. As a graduate of Tuskegee University and Howard University, Davenport enjoys community service and assisting veterans in the DC and New Orleans communities in her free time. She also loves teaching yoga and eating local vegan cuisine.

As a member of the Military Veterans in Journalism community, Davenport steps into this new role ready to advocate for MVJ members and guide the organization in service of its membership. She will carry out a two-year term as the Membership Voice Board Member and hopes to be of service to the MVJ community.

“To be a leader is to be a servant. As long as I am serving my community and doing something that makes someone’s life and overall quality of life better then I am operating in what I feel is my chosen purpose,” said Davenport of her new role.

Military Veterans in Journalism extends a warm welcome to Kyra Davenport as she joins the MVJ Board of Directors in this new role. We look forward to the collaboration, innovation and community insight that her presence will bring.

MVJ Welcomes New Member to Advisory Board

By News

Alberto B. Mendoza joins MVJ in an advisory role

December 19, 2023 — Military Veterans in Journalism is pleased to announce the addition of journalist, nonprofit leader and diversity advocate Alberto B. Mendoza to its Advisory Board. Currently the managing director of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford, Mendoza brings a wealth of expertise in empowering diverse voices and transforming media landscapes to advise the MVJ team.

Alberto B. Mendoza, current managing director for the John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford, joins the Military Veterans in Journalism Advisory Board.

In his current role, Mendoza works to recruit candidates that reflect the variety of voices within the news industry. He previously served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and helped the organization develop lasting membership and revenue streams. Mendoza also led the creation of the Hispanic Cultural Competency Handbook and founded palabra, an NAHJ platform amplifying stories within the Hispanic community.

Mendoza’s dedication to creating and bringing about change extends into community advocacy. He has served as president and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air, an organization dedicated to policy advocacy in California, and created Honor41.org, a nonprofit platform providing a space for Latinx LGBTQ+ individuals to share their stories. He is also on the advisory boards of the Pivot Fund and the TransLatina Coalition.

“We are thrilled to officially welcome Alberto to the MVJ Advisory Board,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s Executive Director. “For the past three years, his advice on strategy and fundraising has helped me grow as a nonprofit leader, and I’m grateful for his guidance. His unparalleled dedication to amplifying underrepresented voices and driving tangible change aligns perfectly with our mission at MVJ, and we believe Alberto’s wealth of experience and advice will be incredibly helpful in steering our organization’s future.”

Military Veterans in Journalism extends a warm welcome to Alberto B. Mendoza as he joins the MVJ Advisory Board. We look forward to learning from him in the near future and to seeing the collaboration his addition will bring.

Military Veterans in Journalism Partners with the Wyncote Foundation and NBCUniversal on Paid Fellowship in Philadelphia Newsroom

By Career Opportunities, News

October 19, 2023 – Military Veterans in Journalism announced today a new partnership with NBCUniversal and the Wyncote Foundation to launch a new fellowship designed to employ a veteran as a journalist in NBCUniversal’s Philadelphia affiliate newsroom.

Thanks to support from the Wyncote Foundation, veterans who are members of Military Veterans in Journalism are now eligible to apply for this paid, in-person, six-month reporting fellowship at NBC10 that will start in early November. The chosen fellow will assist in filling critical coverage gaps on the military and veteran affairs beats in the Philadelphia area.

“Supporting a veteran with a passion for journalism is not only a great opportunity for NBC10 but also a powerful way to amplify diverse voices in our newsroom,” said Elizabeth Flores, VP of News for NBC10 and Telemundo62. “We embrace the value that a veteran brings to our team, and we are excited to create an inclusive space that nurtures their talent and experiences. Together, we can make a significant impact and ensure that all perspectives are represented in our stories.”

This fellowship program provides an opportunity for a military veteran journalist to further develop their broadcast news skills and build both a network of world-class journalists and a portfolio of work. During the program, the selected fellow can expect to work with newsroom management and news team members to support news coverage and production, work with producers and reporters on live shots and coverage, and learn and assist with fast-channel content publication.

“Military Veterans in Journalism is proud to continue our collaborative work with NBCUniversal to diversify America’s newsrooms through the hiring of more military veterans,” said Devon Lancia, MVJ Partnerships Director. “This fellowship presents a great opportunity for vets to help produce news that makes a difference in the Philadelphia community. We’re pleased to provide this fellowship and thankful for the Wyncote Foundation and NBC10 team’s support.”

The chosen fellow will report to NBC10’s news director. Veterans who are recent college graduates, transitioning or early in their civilian journalism careers are encouraged to apply for this opportunity. Ideal fellowship candidates will have some experience reporting and writing on deadline for a general audience. The fellow will work 40 hours per week and earn $20 per hour for the duration of their fellowship.

Applicants for this internship may apply online with Military Veterans in Journalism. The deadline to apply is October 31 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Military Veterans in Journalism To Offer Exclusive Newsroom Tours in New York

By #MVJ2023, News

Military Veterans in Journalism members are invited to attend one of two in-person newsroom tours during the MVJ 2023 convention this fall. 

On October 5, a select group of veterans will be treated to an exclusive newsroom tour of either the Gannett/USA Today NYC office or the Bloomberg NYC newsroom in the bustling heart of New York City, providing them with firsthand insight into the operations of these major news services and an opportunity to network with world-class journalists and newsroom leaders.

Those interested in attending the Gannett/USA Today tour may RSVP at the following link: https://www.mvj.network/events/mvj2023-newsroom-tour-gannett-usa-today-nyc-office/

Members interested in attending the Bloomberg tour may RSVP at the following link:

https://www.mvj.network/events/mvj2023-newsroom-tour-bloomberg-news/

The tour is provided through a partnership between MVJ and each of these media companies, and aims to improve veterans’ access to careers in news media. 

Gannett is one of the largest media companies in the United States, with a rich history spanning several decades. Renowned for its commitment to delivering trusted, fact-based news, Gannett operates a diverse portfolio of media outlets across the country. Its flagship publication, USA Today, is a widely recognized newspaper that covers a broad range of topics, including politics, business, sports, and entertainment. Throughout its various platforms, Gannett continuously emphasizes the significance of unbiased reporting and journalistic integrity.

“Gannett’s Military Forward Employee Resource Group is proud to sponsor this exclusive tour of the Gannett/USA TODAY NETWORK NYC newsroom,” said Military Forward co-lead and Talent Acquisition Manager Nick Capaz. “We’re committed to bringing together the community of veterans, active-duty members, families and allies to foster a better understanding of the service community and culture, as well as support the transition to civilian life and a new career. Gannett/USA TODAY NETWORK and Military Forward understand the value of hiring military veterans throughout our company and recognize that veterans bring a unique perspective, professional experience and diversity of thought that enhances our business and serves our community.”

Bloomberg is a global financial and media company that has become synonymous with business and economic news. With its headquarters situated in New York City, Bloomberg operates a 24-hour television network, Bloomberg TV, which provides in-depth coverage of financial markets and breaking news events worldwide. Moreover, the company’s news agency, Bloomberg News, is renowned for its commitment to delivering high-quality business journalism, catering to readers and viewers across the globe.

Participants will have the opportunity to witness the entire news production process, from researching and fact-checking stories to reporting and broadcasting them to the public. The tour will also include interactive sessions where veterans can engage with seasoned journalists, editors, and producers, gaining valuable insights to help them develop their careers.

The event not only serves as an eye-opening experience for the participating veterans but also underscores the commitment of both Gannett and Bloomberg to diversifying and strengthening the media landscape. As part of their continued efforts to support military veterans, these media giants have expressed their dedication to creating more opportunities and initiatives that empower veterans at any stage of their journalism careers. 

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Military Veterans in Journalism Opens Membership Voice Board Member Seat

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism is making a big change to give our members the opportunity to have a direct impact on the future of our organization. The MVJ team is opening a seat on our Board exclusively for a member of our community. Our team values the unique perspectives, experiences and commitments to journalism our members display, and we believe they are the best candidates to help us guide and shape the future of the organization that serves them.

Apply Today
Application deadline: July 28, 2023

Note: Only MVJ members are eligible to apply for this position.

MVJ Membership Voice Board Member Seat Expectations

MVJ’s Board members play a vital role in providing first-hand insights to improve the organization while serving as representatives of our community. By setting aside a Board seat for one of our members, we aim to enhance our team’s understanding of areas for improvement and determine the best path forward for MVJ with regard to supporting our membership. Each member in this Board role will have a term of two years, providing an opportunity for long-term commitment and impact within our community.

Each individual Board member is expected to:

  • Possess a comprehensive knowledge of MVJ’s mission, policies, programs, and organizational areas of need.
  • Diligently read and comprehend the organization’s financial statements.
  • Act as an active advocate and ambassador for MVJ, fully engaging in identifying and securing the necessary financial resources and partnerships to advance its mission.
  • Utilize personal connections, networks, and resources to foster collective action that enables the organization to fully achieve its mission.
  • Assist in identifying personal connections that can contribute to MVJ’s fundraising efforts and enhance its reputation.
  • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in Board meetings.
  • Fully participate in one or more Board committees.
  • Adhere to the organization’s bylaws, policies, and Board resolutions.
  • Maintain strict confidentiality regarding all of MVJ’s internal matters.

Board members will be expected to contribute in at least one of the following ways: a) providing financial support, b) securing donations, or c) offering their time and expertise in various operational aspects of the organization.

As MVJ’s highest leadership body, the Board has the following responsibilities to fulfill its fiduciary duties:

  • Help shape the mission and purposes of the organization.
  • Select and evaluate the performance of the chief executive.
  • Engage in strategic and organizational planning.
  • Ensure strong fiduciary oversight and financial management.
  • Facilitate fundraising and resource development.
  • Enhance the organization’s public image.
  • Assess its own performance as the governing body of the organization.

Any communication with outside organizations regarding MVJ will be coordinated with MVJ leadership to ensure consistency and alignment with our goals and objectives.

We invite you to seize this incredible opportunity to be part of our passionate team driving positive change in the media industry for military veterans. Thank you for your ongoing support and dedication to MVJ.

2023 Top Ten Veterans in Journalism Winners Announced

By Features, News

Military Veterans in Journalism announces the selectees from the 2023 edition of the contest.

Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Top Ten Veterans in Journalism contest. Established in 2021, this annual competition acknowledges and celebrates the outstanding contributions of veterans who are excelling in the news media. Contest winners are selected from a pool of nominees by a panel of experienced journalists and editors, and their works represent a variety of mediums and topics across the news industry.

A committee of experienced industry professionals – including Barbara Starr, former CNN Pentagon correspondent and current Senior Fellow at USC Annenberg’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy; David Kishiyama, retired LA Times editor and co-founder of AAJA; Zachary Fryer-Biggs, the managing editor of Military.com; and Kelly Kennedy, the managing editor of The War Horse – evaluated the nominated journalists and their pieces. Each nomination was carefully assessed based on the piece’s originality, newsworthiness and impact, journalistic quality, and the diversity of subject matters, sources and authors.

Winners of the contest are recognized for their achievements in shaping the media landscape with their insightful reporting and profound storytelling. This year’s winners have displayed exceptional skill, compassion, and a relentless commitment to shedding light on important issues. The work they have produced shows their unwavering dedication to their profession and the pursuit of truth. 

The winners of this year’s Top Ten Veterans in Journalism contest are listed below in alphabetical order.

Alex Horton

Alex Horton is a Georgetown University graduate with a BA in English, currently serving as a national security reporter for The Washington Post, where he focuses on U.S. military affairs. With prior experience as an Army infantryman in Iraq and a background in journalism with Stars and Stripes, Alex’s dedication and expertise have earned him numerous accolades, including the shared honor of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, highlighting his outstanding contributions to the field of journalism and his commitment to informing the public on critical national security issues.

Winning Piece: The children of troops lost to Iraq War are all grown up 

Allison Erickson

Allison P. Erickson is a former U.S. Army Medical Service Corps officer and accomplished journalist. She has covered military and veterans issues in Texas as a reporting fellow at The Texas Tribune. With extensive military experience and commendations such as the Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal, Allison brings a deep understanding of the challenges faced by service members to her work. She holds a master’s degree in creative publishing and critical journalism from The New School, and her reporting has been featured in respected publications like the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas Monthly, and The Point.

Winning Piece: An Afghan soldier fleeing the Taliban spent months reaching the U.S. to request asylum. He was arrested at the Texas border. 

Brett Sholtis

Brett Sholtis is an investigative reporter at LNP | LancasterOnline specializing in extremism, threats to democracy, and the influence of dark money on local politics. Previously, he worked as a health reporter at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based NPR affiliate WITF, where his notable contributions shed light on the failures of behavioral health and criminal justice policies for people with mental illness. Brett was recognized as the 2021-2022 Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal fellow, a partnership between the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships and the Center for Investigative Reporting. He served as an infantry soldier in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and deployed to Kosovo in 2003. Brett’s dedication to journalism is inspired by his late brother, Bryan Reid Sholtis, who lived with serious mental health condition and passed away in 2011.

Winning Piece: In Pa. county jails, people with mental illness are routinely met with pepper spray and stun guns 

Cyrus Norcross

Cyrus Norcross is an award-winning freelance journalist from the Navajo Nation who has had articles and photos published with The Navajo Times, Source NM and Public Lands. His investigative work focuses primarily on the missing and murdered indigenous people of the Navajo Nation, but he also covers sports, tribal government, and art festivals, among other topics. His passion for journalism was ignited during his five-month stint at the Standing Rock protests in 2016, where he recognized the crucial need for Native American voices in the media.

Norcross served in the Army from 2007 to 2013. During this time, he deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times as an Army Ranger with the 75th Ranger Regiment. Norcross is currently balancing his freelance endeavors while pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University.

Winning Piece: Justice for Descheenie: Family of man found dead seeks policy changes 

Devin Speak

Devin Speak is a journalist and photographer with a special focus on climate and human rights. After his time in the U.S. Coast Guard, he attended New York University where he graduated as the valedictorian of his class in Global Studies. He recently completed his internship with NPR and has since freelanced a story on plastic pollution plaguing the Long Island Sound. He hopes to continue an impactful career in human rights and climate focused communications.

Winning Piece: The melting Arctic gets a U.S. ambassador and an influx of military cash 

Jennifer Brookland

Jennifer Brookland is a journalist covering child welfare for The Detroit Free Press and a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. Her reporting is opening windows into overlooked aspects of raising children – or being one – in Michigan.  Jennifer previously worked as a military and veterans reporting fellow with the American Homefront Project and as a producer for North Carolina Public Radio. She also spent time freelance writing and editing for clients including the World Bank and the United Nations. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a master’s degree in international law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School. Prior to her career as a journalist, Jennifer served as a Special Agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, with posts in North Carolina, Maryland and the Horn of Africa.

Winning Piece: Inside Detroit’s 24-hour child care: A fragile lifeline for working parents 

Julia Kane

Julia Kane is a journalist who writes about climate change and environmental justice. She earned her master’s from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where she studied investigative reporting and narrative writing. Prior to becoming a journalist, she served as an officer in the Coast Guard, spending four years aboard ships based in Honolulu, Hawaii and Key West, Florida, and two years as aide-de-camp to a flag officer in Alameda, California.

Winning Piece: Twice Burned: How the U.S. military’s toxic burn pits are poisoning Americans — overseas and at home 

Konstantin Toropin

Konstantin Toropin is a reporter for Military.com specializing in coverage of the Navy and Marine Corps. He is also a Navy veteran, having served five years in the surface fleet as a signals intelligence analyst. Toropin has previously covered breaking national news for CNN, reporting on everything from protests to hurricanes from the field and the newsroom. His portfolio also includes investigative work on 2020 campaign and election claims and the effects of the pandemic on food processing plants. Toropin holds a bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University in journalism and a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.

Winning Piece: How 2 American Veterans Ended Up in Ukraine, Prisoners of Russian-Armed Militants 

Steve Beynon

Steve Beynon is an experienced reporter with Military.com known for his detailed investigations on critical issues impacting soldiers. As an Afghanistan war veteran with 15 years of service as a cavalry scout, he brings extensive firsthand experience to his reporting. Steve has also covered Capitol Hill, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and contributed to publications such as Politico, Military Times, Stars and Stripes, and the Cincinnati Enquirer. With a bachelor’s in journalism and environmental policy from the University of Cincinnati, Steve’s expertise and dedication make him a respected voice in the field.

Winning Piece: How a Church Allegedly Scammed Millions in VA Money from Vets 

Thomas Gibbons-Neff

Thomas Gibbons-Neff is a New York Times Ukraine correspondent focusing on enterprise, on-the-ground investigations and reporting from the war. Prior to his current position, he covered the Pentagon and other assignments, such as the 2017 Niger ambush, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the Syrian civil war, for the Washington Post. Gibbons-Neff is a Marine Infantry veteran and was deployed twice to Afghanistan – first in 2008 during George W. Bush’s presidency, then again in 2009 as part of Barack Obama’s troop surge.

Winning Piece: Leaked Documents Reveal Depth of U.S. Spy Efforts and Russia’s Military Struggles 

These journalists have not only elevated the standards of the field but have also fostered public understanding and awareness of critical issues. Their collective efforts will inspire future generations of journalists, both military veterans and civilians.

“We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Top Ten Veterans in Journalism contest,” said MVJ Executive Director Zack Baddorf. “Their remarkable achievements and dedication to journalism are a testament to their unwavering commitment to informing the American public through quality journalism. We are honored to have them as part of the MVJ community.”

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.)

Ford Foundation event graphic - event in New York City on 5/10 or accessible virtually

Ford Foundation, Disabled Journalists Association, and Military Veterans in Journalism to host discussion about reporting on veteran disability

By News

The Ford Foundation, the Disabled Journalists Association (DJA) and Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) will host a panel discussion on media coverage of disability and disabled veterans. 

The event, titled “Reporting with Honor: A Guide for Covering Veterans with Disabilities,” will take place on May 10, 2023, at 1 PM EDT at the Ford Foundation headquarters in New York City.

The discussion will center around shifting the narrative on military veterans with disabilities and creating spaces in newsrooms where disabled journalists can thrive, succeed and contribute. Three members of the MVJ Speakers Bureau – Caron LeNoir, Donna Cole and Jimmy White IV – will share their unique perspectives on reporting on disabilities as veterans and journalists. 

“Knowing that everyone, military veteran or otherwise, will become disabled in their lifetime, we must have journalists trained in reporting about disabilities and disability benefits, as well as including people with disabilities in news coverage about all topics,” shared one of the speakers, Donna Cole. “As a journalist and disabled veteran of the U.S. Navy, I couldn’t be prouder to be a member of MVJ’s inaugural Speakers Bureau program, which taught me how to make my reporting more reflective of my community by including a large segment of our population that is, unfortunately, often ignored – and the ability to train other newsrooms how to do the same.”

DJA Director Cara Reedy will also participate in the discussion.

“My team and I understand the importance of creating supportive and inclusive environments for disabled journalists to thrive while countering stereotypes often seen in coverage of our community,” said Reedy. “Disabled veterans share the struggles of the broader disability community, so I’m proud to support the MVJ Speakers Bureau initiative to make newsrooms more inclusive of these narratives.”

MVJ’s Speakers Bureau program, launched in early 2022, has brought together military veteran journalists with a deep commitment to covering issues related to disabilities. The program’s 11 Speakers, several of whom are disabled veterans themselves, have trained journalists nationwide on the impact of persistent stereotypes in coverage of disabled veterans and the broader disability community. The program and this panel discussion were made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation, which is dedicated to ensuring that newsrooms are more inclusive of all the communities they cover.

“At MVJ, we are proud to support veteran journalists who are dedicated to shedding light on important issues related to disability,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ Executive Director. “It’s important for newsrooms to improve their coverage of the disability community to avoid perpetuating harmful stereotypes and regain that community’s trust.”

Journalists and other media-related professionals are welcome to attend the event. Space is limited. Those interested in attending can RSVP online:

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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. Led and run by a dedicated corps of military veterans and military family members, we are working with newsrooms and other non-profit organizations to create opportunities for vets to get a jump start in the media industry. Whether through internships, fellowships or mentorships, our work has created a pipeline to get vets into newsrooms.

About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is a philanthropic organization that was established in 1936 by Edsel Ford, the son of Henry Ford. The foundation’s mission is to advance human achievement by reducing poverty and injustice, promoting democratic values, and encouraging international cooperation. The organization recognizes the inherent dignity of all individuals, while also acknowledging that many people worldwide are marginalized and excluded from important political, economic, and social institutions. For over eight decades, the Ford Foundation has worked tirelessly to address these issues and create positive change around the globe.

About the Disabled Journalists Association

The Disabled Journalist Association is a community of Disabled Journalists who are committed to advancing the coverage of disabled people while protecting their advancement in the industry. Our work is rooted in Disability Justice and the motto – Nothing About Us Without Us.

Military Veterans in Journalism and NBCUniversal To Host Networking Event for Military Veteran Journalists

By Career Opportunities, News

NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information, announced a new collaboration with Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) to get more veterans into NBC’s newsrooms. As part of their ongoing partnership, the two organizations will host an in-person networking event for military veteran journalists at NBC’s New York City headquarters on May 9th, 2023.

“The NBCUniversal News Group’s goal is to diversify our newsrooms so that our staff accurately reflects our audiences across our brands and platforms,” said Yvette Miley, Executive Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, NBCUniversal News Group. “The Veteran community provides a unique perspective that we recognize we need more of in our storytelling and we welcome MVJ in helping us in this area.”

This event presents an exclusive opportunity for veterans in journalism to connect with hiring managers and learn about employment opportunities across the NBC News Group portfolio. Veterans who attend will network with top media professionals to strengthen their professional connections. Attendees will also have the chance to hear from a panel of fellow veterans and newsroom leadership on the role of veterans in journalism and meet with hiring managers in the room.

This networking event will further NBCUniversal’s efforts to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive media space by engaging talent from a wide array of backgrounds, including those with a history of military service.

“NBC News is a crucial partner in our mission to diversify newsrooms,” said MVJ President Russell Midori. “Their commitment to equitable representation has made them one of the most trusted names in news, and their effort to welcome more veterans into their organization shows how deeply they care about the public they serve.”

Those interested in participating in this opportunity can RSVP online with Military Veterans in Journalism. For more information and to sign up, visit: https://www.mvj.network/events/networking-at-nbcuniversal/

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About NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a premium ad-supported streaming service. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

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. Led and run by a dedicated corps of military veterans and military family members, we are working with newsrooms and other non-profit organizations to create opportunities for vets to get a jump start in the media industry. Whether through internships, fellowships or mentorships, our work has created a pipeline to get vets into newsrooms.

Military Veterans in Journalism Partners with Walter Cronkite School for Disability Reporting Training Session

By News

On March 28th, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University will host an event to train students on disability reporting. This event is presented in partnership with Military Veterans in Journalism’s Speakers Bureau, a group of veterans and journalists who have trained on disability inclusion since early 2022. Scott Bourque, a Cronkite faculty member, Speakers Bureau participant and Afghanistan war veteran who advocates for veterans and individuals with disabilities, will be the lead presenter at this event.

“As a veteran with service-connected disabilities that aren’t immediately visible, it can be hard to find your identity: are you really a disabled veteran even if you have all of your limbs?” Bourque said. “My goal with this lecture is to inform the public about the experiences that most of America’s disabled veterans have and how to create news coverage that accurately reflects the reality of the community.”

This training event will focus on reporting on disabilities in a culturally sensitive and inclusive manner. It is essential for journalists to understand the unique experiences and perspectives of individuals with disabilities in order to tell their stories accurately and respectfully. Through this training session, attendees will gain the knowledge and skills needed to do just that.

“I was tired of people making assumptions about me based on a job I had in my early twenties, so I got into researching how news media covers veterans and how that coverage influences public opinion,” Bourque continued of his passion for improving reporting on veterans issues. “There’s a lot for the industry to learn about covering veterans, and I’m privileged to be able to share this information with the community.”

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 ASU Walter Cronkite School for their collaboration on this session.

‘’At Military Veterans in Journalism, our mission is to promote diversity and inclusion in the news media,” said MVJ president Russell Midori. “Our Speakers Bureau program is one way that we’re working towards that goal. We’re thrilled to work with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on this important event.’’

We hope that this training session will be a valuable resource for journalism and media students who are looking to expand their knowledge of disability reporting and promote greater cultural awareness in the field.

Nominations Open for Top 10 Veterans in Journalism 2023

By #MVJ2023, News

Military Veterans in Journalism is proud to announce the launch of the Top 10 Veterans in Journalism Contest, a competition honoring the best work of military veteran journalists over the past year. The awardees will be honored at the MVJ2023 Convention, which brings together journalists, industry leaders, and media professionals from around the world.

Eligibility and Requirements

All veterans who have served in the armed forces are encouraged to submit their finished and published work, including self-nominations. 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 twelve (12) months.

The contest is open to all forms of media, including traditional print and broadcast, as well as emerging forms such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Interactive Data Visualization, and others.

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!

The deadline for submissions is April 13, 2023 at 9:00 PM Eastern. 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. Please note: you must be signed in on Google to submit.

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

Scoring

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.

Military Veterans in Journalism and McClatchy Partner on Paid Fellowships for Military Veteran Journalists

By Career Opportunities, Features, News

Opportunity for veterans who are up-and-coming journalists to work in their own communities.

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – March 1, 2023 – Today McClatchy—one of the largest media companies in the United States with over 85 million unique visitors—announced its partnership with Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) in launching a new paid fellowship program designed to employ more veterans as journalists serving their local communities. 

“There are many ways to support veterans and McClatchy has chosen to do so through our commitment to diversity and talent development,” said Monica Richardson, vice president of local news for McClatchy’s large markets. “This partnership with Military Veterans in Journalism is an expression of our dedication toward the inclusion of veteran voices in our newsrooms, our coverage and our excellence in local journalism.”

As part of this effort, MVJ and McClatchy will select five military veteran journalists for paid fellowships within McClatchy’s local newsrooms. This is an opportunity for veterans who are up-and-coming journalists to receive six months of paid journalistic employment in their own communities. Additionally, these added positions will help solve reporting coverage problems at a local level.

Ideal fellowship candidates will have some experience reporting and writing on deadline prior to entering the program. Candidates should not only be interested in a professional career covering local stories, but they should also be curious and observant risk-takers with an unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism. Fellows will also participate in MVJ’s mentorship program during their fellowship. 

This new program supports McClatchy’s mission to provide the kind of local news coverage that keeps communities healthy and strong.

“We are passionate about high-quality, impactful coverage, and we believe veterans can provide meaningful contributions to the communities our newsrooms serve,” said Natalie Piner, Sr. Director of News Talent, Culture & Training at the McClatchy Company. “McClatchy is proud to partner with MVJ to bring more veteran voices into local journalism through these fellowships.”

This opportunity is available to military veterans who are interested in pursuing a career in one of McClatchy’s local newsrooms in any number of positions, including as a written journalist, multimedia reporter, photojournalist, or digital designer.

“We at Military Veterans in Journalism are proud to work with McClatchy on our efforts to get more vets into local newsrooms nationwide,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s Executive Director.

“This collaboration will provide a great opportunity for veterans to jumpstart their journalism careers while connecting with their communities. By participating in these McClatchy fellowships, these military veteran journalists will develop skills essential to their success in the news industry.”

For more information visit: https://www.mvj.network/mcclatchy-mvj-fellowships/

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About McClatchy 

At McClatchy we live our mission of delivering high-quality journalism every day. The McClatchy name is synonymous with staying power, next-level resilience, and tenacious pursuit of stories that matter to our readers. In the process we’ve created connections solidifying our deeply-rooted commitment to the crucial role local journalism plays in our communities. We’ve extended our unique local and regional reach, relevance, and resources by forging strong partnerships fostering the creation of innovative, digital-forward solutions. It’s our privilege to serve–and engage with–over 85 million unique visitors who come to us first for their news and information. We’re the McClatchy media company. Covering local stories with national significance. Connect with us on social media @mcclatchy or at mcclatchy.com

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. Led and run by a dedicated corps of military veterans and military family members, we are working with newsrooms and other non-profit organizations to create opportunities for vets to get a jump start in the media industry. Whether through internships, fellowships or mentorships, our work has created a pipeline to get vets into newsrooms.

McClatchy-MVJ Fellowships Now Open for Applications

By Career Opportunities, News

McClatchy is a digitally driven company focused on innovation, with newsrooms in 30 communities in the United States. Their journalism focuses on our local communities, and in that role we have the ability to spotlight problems, highlight solutions and truly make a difference — all the reasons you got into journalism. McClatchy and MVJ are seeking five fellows for the new McClatchy Veterans in Journalism Fellowship Program. Please note: you must be logged in on Google to apply.

Here are some key features of the program:

  • This opportunity is available to military veterans who are interested in pursuing a career in one of McClatchy’s local newsrooms – as a written journalist, multimedia reporter, photojournalist, digital designer, or human resources personnel.
  • Fellowship recipients will participate in a six-month full-time fellowship.
  • Fellows are eligible to join McClatchy’s benefits plan after two months of time in-fellowship. Fellows will remain eligible for the remainder of their fellowship.
  • Recipients must agree to be available for the fellowship’s six months as well as commit to working for McClatchy for one full year upon completion if selected to continue employment. Every effort will be made to provide the fellowship and job in the applicant’s area of interest.

McClatchy Veterans in Journalism Fellows can expect to:

  • Be assigned to a mentor from MVJ during the fellowship period.
  • Receive coaching and mentoring both from newsroom teams and from MVJ.
  • Work with seasoned staffers and work directly with local leaders.
  • Work on projects that help solve recurring problems and improve McClatchy’s business.
  • Develop and refine professional skills for success in the journalism field.

Successful candidates should meet many, though not necessarily all, of the following requirements:

  • College degree or equivalent work experience
  • 1-3 years of reporting experience or equivalent
  • Must have reliable transportation. Must have valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance required.
  • Strong writing skills, excellent news judgment and a demonstrated ability to “see the story” that is going to matter to readers.
  • Unwavering commitment to accurate, ethical journalism.
  • Ability to build source networks and bring a constant flow of story ideas.
  • Ability to work collaboratively to aggressively tackle stories.
  • Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced and constantly evolving.

What we’ll bring: As a journalist at McClatchy, you will join a supportive, flexible, collaborative team. McClatchy strives to be an employer of choice, and our benefits package is made with this goal in mind. With a focus on health, well-being, wealth and daily life, McClatchy’s package options include healthcare coverage for employees and their families, financial protection from expected and unexpected expenses, multiple no-cost wellness resources and even coverage for four-legged friends.

McClatchy’s overall benefit package also includes a 401(k) with employer match, competitive paid time off and corporate holidays, and a variety of mental health benefits. With an excellent support team and with focus on your well-being as a top corporate strategy, McClatchy provides benefits to support you and your family in achieving your health and wellness goals. For more information on McClatchy’s benefit plan, please visit McClatchyLivewell.com.

MVJ Seeks Applicants for Counter-Disinformation Program Support Roles

By Career Opportunities, News

Earlier this year, Military Veterans in Journalism launched our new, non-partisan effort to combat the spread of disinformation and extremism in veteran and military communities. Now, we are seeking applicants for two new positions to help us manage the digital components of this effort.

As part of our new “Fighting Disinformation in Military & Veteran Communities” program, MVJ will hire two new team members for digital marketing and strategy efforts related to the project. These positions will be responsible for online sharing and engagement around the articles produced by our reporting team.

Check out the listings and apply below. Please note: you will need to be logged in on Google to submit an application.

Marketing Manager

MVJ Counter-Disinformation Program

The Marketing Manager for the MVJ Counter-Disinformation Program is responsible for uploading content from the Counter-Disinformation reporting team outside of the MVJ community. Responsibilities include promoting the reporting team’s reporting and relevant information online in online forums to engage with military and veteran community members in various online forums. This person applies critical judgment when distributing information online.

Working on a contract basis, this person will be supervised by the Executive Director and work with the Counter-Disinformation team. This person will also work alongside a strategy consultant to find groups to post reporting in and engage with group members.

Main Duties:

  • Posts promotional content across social media platforms for new stories and information from the reporting team as appropriate
  • Ensures relevant content prepared by the Community Engagement Manager is shared in a timely manner
  • Engages veterans and service members outside of the MVJ community via social media; engages with MVJ members to assist as appropriate
  • Monitors social media engagement and discusses strategy with the Partnerships Director, Community Engagement Manager and Executive Director

Requirements:

  • Knowledge of basic social media posting etiquette on all platforms, including (but not limited to) Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Dedication to non-partisanship in online posting
  • Demonstration of a calm and cool demeanor in social media engagement; good decision-making skills
  • Efficient and effective communication skills
  • Broad and deep understanding of social media/SEO strategies related to fact-checking content on social networking sites
  • Highly organized, with excellent copywriting and verbal communication skills
  • Team player with good attitude and commitment
  • Knowledge of military and veteran community online content consumption habits.

Time Required: 10-20 hours a week

Social Media Strategy Consultant

MVJ Counter-Disinformation Program

The Social Media Strategy Consultant is responsible for crafting the initial strategy for MVJ’s Community Engagement Manager and this project’s Marketing Manager to follow when spreading project-related reporting. This person will search for and identify online communities of veterans and service members that should be targeted by the Marketing Manager. Responsibilities include conducting thorough research and analysis of online communities and groups and providing general linguistic and design guidance to the Community Engagement Manager and Marketing Manager. This person applies critical judgment when finding these communities and advising on interaction best practices.

Working on a contract basis, this person will be supervised by the Executive Director and work with the Counter-Disinformation team.

Main Duties:

  • Advise the design of social media strategies to achieve project marketing targets
  • Conduct research and analysis of online communities for the Marketing Manager to engage and post in
  • Advise on visual content design practices to employ for the Community Engagement Manager to ensure content is informative and appealing to the target audiences
  • Facilitate communications by conducting initial posts in various groups to gauge response
  • Communicate with fellow professionals via social media to create a strong network to build relationships within these communities
  • Inform MVJ teammates of ongoing adjustments to strategy to integrate and maintain a cohesive social media presence

Requirements:

  • 2-3+ years of experience as a social media strategist or social media manager
  • Hands-on knowledge of using social media for advocacy and spreading awareness
  • An ability to identify target audience preferences and build content to meet them
  • Excellent multitasking skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Time required: 10-20 hours per week

Rethinking Heroes broadcast to spotlight controversial 1967 attack on U.S. Navy spy ship

By Features, News

This week, a new radio broadcast and podcast from Los Angeles’ KPFK will examine one of the U.S. Navy’s darkest days since the end of World War II – the 1967 attack by Israeli forces on the intelligence-gathering ship USS Liberty that killed 34 sailors and wounded 171.

Cary Harrison, host of the Rethinking Heroes: Life After Duty series, will take on the controversy surrounding the attack and its aftermath, interviewing survivor and Navy veteran Phil Tourney.

Tourney, three-time president of the U.S.S. Liberty Veterans Association, charges that the attack was deliberate, the result of an organized, covert effort by the United States and Israel to ensure Israel’s victory in seizing land, including the Golan Heights in Syria.

Phil Tourney, U.S. Navy veteran and survivor of the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, joins Cary Harrison for this week’s Rethinking Heroes episode.

“The word I use is ‘massacre,’” Tourney said in an interview with MVJ. “They shot us, they shot our life rafts out of the water. The plan absolutely was to kill us all. But we stayed afloat.”

Israel contends that the attack was a “tragic accident,” an explanation accepted by the U.S. Navy and federal government following several investigations.

But Tourney – and many others – contend that the operation, which involved reconnaissance scouts and communications disruptions and planned attacks by aircraft and torpedo boats, was hatched at the highest levels of the U.S. and Israeli governments, and that the coverup continues to this day.

On June 8, 1967, the technical research ship Liberty was operating in international waters off Gaza, Egypt, when it was attacked by Israeli Defense Forces – first with napalm and rockets, then by Israeli torpedo boats. The ship was able to radio the U.S.S. Saratoga, which dispatched 16 aircraft, including 12 fighter jets, but the aircraft were recalled personally, by several accounts, by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara for reasons that remain unclear.

Under fire in a burning ship, the crew struggled to defend their ship, taking a direct torpedo hit and dodging four others, staying afloat as the sailors aboard watched their attackers destroy their lifeboats. The attack lasted for two hours. Liberty limped into Malta six days later, largely as a result of the efforts of Tourney and the other damage controlmen.

Israeli historian Michael Oren has written extensively about the incident and its aftermath, including the allegations of conspiracy, intention and coverup. Shortly after numerous documents were declassified in the 1990s, he wrote that it is “possible to determine whether any of these hypotheses had a basis in fact,” he wrote in an essay, The USS Liberty: Case Closed.”

Five decades have passed since the attack and the issue remains a painful chapter in U.S.-Israeli relations. For the 100 or so sailors still alive from that day, the case will never be closed until all related documents are declassified, and Congress conducts a thorough investigation, Tourney says.

Some of the damage done to the U.S.S. Liberty during the incident.

“The USS Liberty veterans are proud of Americans that served our country honorably. And all we want to do is tell the truth, not be labeled, but have the government do their job and tell the truth,” Tourney said.

Based on the success of providing military veteran broadcasters to deliver a top-of-the-show “news flash” dedicated to military and veteran concerns, KPFK and the Rethinking Heroes series has paired with Military Veterans in Journalism to provide externship opportunities for its members. Beginning early March, Rethinking Heroes will showcase MVJ journalists in that time slot to lead off the show. The series is funded by Let’s Rethink This, a group dedicated to finding innovative solutions to prevent veteran suicide and forgive their VA-related unpayable medical debt.

The broadcast will air on KPFK during their  9am-10am PST drivetime show and is available on Apple podcasts. It is also available on streaming radio at this link: https://www.kpfk.org/player/

MVJ2023 in NYC: Join Us to Get More Vets in News

By News

The 2023 Military Veterans in Journalism Convention and Career Fair will take place in New York City from October 5th to 7th, 2023, and attendees and sponsors may register starting today. Our third annual convention, to be held at the New York Athletic Club, will be the premiere opportunity for organizations in the journalism world to engage with veterans directly and for veterans to create new professional connections and strengthen their reporting skills. 

MVJ2023 will feature two days of career-fair events, panels on topics such as entrepreneurship in journalism, the uses and future of AI in journalism, and reporting on disabled veterans. Other programming will include a photojournalism competition, a live concert, an eight-ball tournament, an open-bar reception, and an in-person tour of an NYC newsroom.

Two tiers of ticket registration are available; one for general admission and one for VIP MVJ members. MVJ members who are veterans are eligible to purchase a ticket under the VIP tier, which will include a laminated MVJ Press Pass. Attendees can also take advantage of the great prices in our MVJ2023 hotel room block, located within the convention venue, by booking with MVJ through the links below.

Military Veterans in Journalism launches program to lead fight against disinformation and extremism in military, veteran communities

By Features, News

Three major philanthropic organizations commit support for MVJ’s project to curb the rise of extremism in military and veteran communities.

Jan. 17, 2023 – Military Veterans in Journalism is launching a new program today designed to combat the spread of disinformation and extremism in veteran and military communities, thanks to support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Military Times, a trusted, independent source for news for the military and veteran communities, will serve as a key partner in managing the project.

This new project launches two years after the January 6 Capitol riot, in which about 13% of insurrectionists charged for their role in the siege had a military background, and after research has found that veterans and active-duty military members may make up at least 25% of militia rosters.

With its new “Fighting Disinformation in Military & Veteran Communities” program, MVJ will build and support a reporting team at Military Times to independently conduct investigative reporting on anti-democratic extremist groups that are targeting veterans and active-duty service members with disinformation.

“Extremist groups are denigrating our military and those who have served by seeking to co-opt the military and veteran community,” said Zack Baddorf, a U.S. Navy veteran turned journalist who now serves as MVJ’s executive director. “They are using veteran voices to normalize their groups and bolster their perceived credibility, patriotism and professionalism, ultimately undermining our nation. They must be exposed, and ultimately countered, through high-quality, investigative reporting that exposes and counters their disinformation efforts.”

In addition to Military Times, MVJ is partnering with two other prominent military- and veteran-serving publications — Military.com and Task & Purpose — on this project. The Associated Press is also partnering with MVJ on this effort to help bring national coverage on these issues.

“Our team at Military Times is always looking for ways to improve our coverage and to better serve our community,” said Mike Gruss, editor in chief of Sightline Media, which owns Military Times and related publications. “We know the issue of extremism within the military and veteran community deserves in-depth coverage. We’re excited to get to work conducting reporting on these critical issues.”

The program is supported by grants of $360,000 from the Knight Foundation, $100,000 from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and $50,000 from the MacArthur Foundation. The funding will cover salaries for a team of three reporters, training, travel expenses, marketing, and project management.

“Disinformation is a threat to our nation and our democracy,” said Karen Rundlet, director of journalism at the Knight Foundation. “We must take a whole-of-society approach to countering extremist propaganda, including in military and veteran communities. We are investing in this project because we believe in the power of journalism to shine a light on nefarious actors who are seeking to exploit those who have served.”

MVJ will also partner with the Poynter Institute and their fact-checking arm, PolitiFact, to train the new reporting team on fact-checking and investigative best practices. The non-profit Task Force Butler Institute will train the reporters on best practices for investigating extremist groups.

MVJ will also work with the University of Alabama’s Veterans and Media Lab to research the military and veteran community’s consumption of information and trust levels in media throughout the program.

Further, MVJ will support community engagement efforts by the We the Veterans coalition and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland by providing material that can challenge disinformation propagated by extremist groups.

While this program currently has funding for 18 months, MVJ is seeking support from other funders to extend this effort through the next inauguration in January 2025. 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].

MVJ teams up with WJXT to strengthen reporting on disabled veterans

By News

Reporters, anchors and producers from the News4JAX team pose for a snapshot with MVJ President Russell Midori (left) and Speakers Bureau trainer Raychel Young (right). This and another group of WJXT team members engaged in discussions on best practices for reporting on disabled veterans during MVJ’s Nov. 14 visit to Jacksonville, Fla.

Reporters, producers and photographers at Jacksonville’s top television news station, WJXT, participated in a discussion with members of Military Veterans in Journalism last week to consider best practices for reporting on disabled veterans.

The News4JAX team engaged in two hour-long training sessions with members of the MVJ Speakers Bureau. The conversation focused on impactful storytelling, accurate representation, connections between veterans and other marginalized groups, and local and national resources for journalists. 

“Although they had tough questions, I felt entirely prepared to speak as an authority on disability reporting because of my training through MVJ and my own first-hand experience as a disabled veteran in journalism,” said Raychel Young, one of the trainers from the Speakers Bureau. 

She and her fellow speakers have developed this training by working with top disability reporters and veterans groups, distilling the strongest insights from those sessions to share with news teams. 

WJXT is the first news outlet to invite the Speakers Bureau for an in-person discussion. 

“Taking every step we can to better serve our military veterans is important to all of us at News4JAX, which is why we jumped on the opportunity to meet with MVJ,” said Jodi Mohrmann, managing editor at WJXT.  “We had candid discussions about the needs of disabled veterans and have already implemented some of what we learned in our daily reporting to make sure the stories we tell will have a greater impact on the veteran community.”

The training is funded through a grant from the Ford Foundation, and aims to help reporters access communities of disabled veterans – many of whom have told the MVJ team they often feel ignored by news media coverage. 

WJXT is the only news station in its market to engage in this training, even though MVJ offered to provide speakers to most major news outlets in the Jacksonville area. 

“Almost every American mass media outlet claims to care about the veterans in their audience, but channel 4 in Jacksonville really walks the walk,” said MVJ President Russell Midori.

“Reporting on disabled veterans is not as easy as it sounds,” Midori said. “This is a very diverse group of people affected by a wide range of social inequities. So many disabled veterans are less trustful of the media than the average American, and I am hopeful the commitment news outlets like WJXT have shown will begin to counter that mistrust by strengthening coverage of veterans issues.”

Military Veterans in Journalism Announce Release of New Military & Veteran Affairs Reporting Guide

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism has launched the Military & Veteran Affairs Reporting Guide, an online portal that provides a range of resources for reporters covering military and veteran issues.

MVJ will officially announce the release of this resource at an MVJ-led panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 11, which is Veterans Day. 

This portal, created thanks to support from News Corp Giving, provides several helpful items for journalists seeking guidance, including:

  • A guide on reporting on military and veteran issues like post-traumatic stress and military sexual trauma
  • A showcase of veterans working in the news media
  • A directory of experts focused on military and veteran affairs
  • A series of reporting tips from seasoned journalists in this space

The guide can be accessed at www.milvetreporting.org.

The Military & Veteran Affairs Reporting Guide serves as part cultural competency guide and part style guide. It was compiled over the past year with assistance from MVJ’s community of veterans in journalism.

The reporting tips section of the portal provides reporters with helpful articles and videos that expand on topics covered within the guide. Current articles explore military sexual trauma (MST), post traumatic stress (PTS), the hero-victim-messiah complex, embedding with and photographing service members, and women veterans’ news coverage.  

The guide is a living portal that will frequently be updated with feedback from the veteran community. 

The Veterans Day panel in D.C. will focus on the role of veterans in the news media. Co-hosted with the National Press Club, this event will be moderated by NPC President Jen Judson and will include the following panelists:

  • Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, Navy veteran
  • Zack Baddorf of Military Veterans in Journalism, Navy veteran
  • Ron Nixon of the Associated Press, Marine Corps veteran
  • Allison Erickson of The Texas Tribune, Army veteran

NPR Selects Coast Guard Veteran as Part of Its 2022 Internship Cohort

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism is pleased to announce that NPR has selected Coast Guard Veteran Devin Speak to join its 2022 class of interns.

Devin Speak, a Coast Guard veteran and photojournalist, was selected for this year’s internship opportunity with NPR. Follow Devin’s work on his photography website or on Instagram!

Devin Speak is a photojournalist with a steadfast concern for climate change and social inequities. He is a protegé of the Associated Press’s Alex Sanz as part of MVJ’s mentorship program as well as a member of the Freelance Journalists Union. After his time in the United States Coast Guard, he took a deep-dive into academia at NYU where he graduated as valedictorian of his class in sustainability and peace & conflict studies. Speak is honored to have his photography in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and publications like The Intercept, as well as featured across his friend’s bands, fashion projects, businesses, and nonprofits.

“I’m very excited to learn from such an incredible organization and grateful for MVJ making the connection,” Speak said. He will join the Here & Now team for the first half of the program, where he will learn the ins and outs of NPR’s daily news operation. During the second half of his internship, Speak will switch to the NPR Politics team, where he will assist in covering the House, Senate and Biden administration across platforms.

“Devin joins us with a bounty of experience,” says Here & Now’s James Mastromarino. “He’s quickly learning the ins and outs of radio, and is a dogged reporter and fastidious researcher.”

Although Speak’s primary experience is in photojournalism, he said he is looking forward to improving his research and daily news production skills and having the chance to produce content across a variety of platforms with NPR.

“Our team at MVJ is incredibly grateful for NPR’s continued support of newsroom diversity via the inclusion of military veterans in its highly competitive internship program,” said Russell Midori, MVJ’s president. “We are excited to see Devin’s growth as part of their excellent team, and we encourage other newsrooms to step up in diversifying their staff.”

Speak is the third veteran to receive this intern position since the start of MVJ and NPR’s partnership in 2020.

Military Veterans in Journalism Podcast Now on Wreaths Across America Radio

By News, Podcast

Thanks to a new partnership with Wreaths Across America Radio, Military Veterans in Journalism’s podcast “Sword & Pen” will now be featured alongside the online station’s other veteran-centric broadcast content.

“‘Sword & Pen’ is a great addition to our line up,” said Jeff Pierce, Director of Broadcast and Media Partnerships for Wreaths Across America. “As a ‘Voice for America’s Veterans’, the addition of shows like ‘Sword & Pen’ provides another layer of depth to our selection of content designed to inform and provide resources for our Veterans. As Wreaths Across America Radio continues to support and further the mission of Wreaths Across America, we are always looking for more content like ‘Sword & Pen’ that will continue to help veterans-related organizations with their mission.”

Sword & Pen, launched in late 2019 with MVJ Webmaster Rich Dolan as host, is a once-monthly podcast that provides educational and career tips for military veterans interested in journalism. Now helmed by co-hosts Drew Lawrence and Lori King, Sword & Pen episodes feature interviews with military veterans already in the field, journalism educators, and other supporters of increasing newsroom diversity through hiring and promoting veterans. Podcast guests share their stories, what they think veterans can bring to newsrooms, and their advice for those looking to get started as journalists and military veterans during each episode.

“When MVJ started in 2019, Sword & Pen was one of the first programs where we could spotlight vets in the news industry while providing advice to those who weren’t sure where to start,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ Executive Director. “We are thrilled to partner with Wreaths Across America Radio to share Sword & Pen alongside their variety of programming that helps America’s veterans. We hope each month’s episode can be useful to military veterans in journalism nationwide.”

The new content sharing partnership begins this week, with Sword & Pen playing on Mondays at 10 AM, Saturdays at 8 PM, and again Sundays at 7 PM Eastern. Wreaths Across America Radio’s 24/7 stream can be accessed anytime and anywhere on the iHeart Radio app, Audacy app, TuneIn app, or at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/radio.

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 Wreaths Across America Radio

Wreaths Across America Radio is a 24/7 Internet stream. Its unique format provides informational and inspiring content about members of the U.S. armed forces, their families, military veterans, and volunteers throughout the country and overseas who support the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. Along with the inspiring content, Wreaths Across America Radio plays a variety of music with roots firmly planted in patriotism and a country music thread running through the core of the stream. Wreaths Across America Radio has a live morning show every weekday morning from 6 am to 10 am ET, along with a variety of special programs that support the mission.

Military Veterans in Journalism to host Veterans Day discussion at National Press Club on military, veterans News Coverage

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism and the National Press Club are co-hosting a panel discussion about the role of veterans in the news media on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

This 90-minute event will explore topics related to the lack of diversity in the news industry as well as how veterans can use their lived experiences to bring nuanced understanding of military and veteran issues into newsrooms. 

While about 7% percent of Americans have served in the U.S. military, only 2% of American journalists are vets.

The panel discussion will be moderated by NPC President Jen Judson, who is the land warfare reporter at Defense News. Also participating in the discussion will be:

  • Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, Navy veteran
  • Zack Baddorf of Military Veterans in Journalism, Navy veteran
  • Ron Nixon of the Associated Press, Marine Corps veteran
  • Allison Erickson of The Texas Tribune, Army veteran

“The National Press Club is honored to host and moderate this event on such a timely topic in the news industry,” said Judson, an experienced national defense journalist. “Veterans bring much-needed skills to journalistic work, including a diversity of perspective that’s often overlooked. We look forward to hearing the thoughts and advice of this panel of incredibly talented veterans in journalism.”

MVJ will also use the occasion to launch its Military & Veteran Affairs Reporting Guide, a new online resource portal made possible thanks to support from News Corp Giving. 

The Military & Veteran Affairs Reporting Guide includes a series of reporting tips, a showcase of veterans in media, a database of military and veterans affairs experts, and a comprehensive cultural competency guide to reporting on military and veteran issues. This portal will serve as a resource for reporters covering military and veteran reporting beats.

“The Military & Veteran Affairs Reporting Guide was built with support and input from a wide range of folks in the military veteran community,” said Baddorf, who has reported from Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and elsewhere for outlets like the New York Times and the Associated Press. “We also hope this guide will serve as a useful tool for reporters to increase the quality of their reporting on the military and veterans for years to come.”

Journalists and others interested in attending this Veterans Day event may register today to secure their attendance.

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 National Press Club
The National Press Club is the World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists™. It serves its members through professional development activities that bolster their skills, through services that meet the changing needs of the global communications profession and through social activities that build a vital media community in Washington and around the world. The Club is where news happens in the nation’s capital and is a vigorous advocate of press freedom worldwide. Learn more at www.press.org.

Military Veterans in Journalism Sends Six Veterans to NAB Show NY 2022

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism has selected six veterans to attend the NAB Show NY 2022. Made possible by a new partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters, this sponsorship will provide the selectees with the means to improve their broadcast skills.

The NAB Show NY 2022 is a two-day event, and selectees’ attendance fees, flight and lodging costs will be covered by the partner organizations. 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.

Find out more about the six veterans selected for this opportunity below.

Aaron Haitsma, Production Assistant

Aaron Haitsma is an Air Force veteran and a broadcast production assistant with WSBT-TV in Indiana. He is a recent graduate of The Media School at Indiana University Bloomington, and seeks to find connections that will help him make the most of his journalism experience at the NAB Show NY.

“NAB offers many opportunities to meet and network with experienced industry professionals and attending this event will open many of those doors,” Haitsma said. “An event like this is a great way to find new ways to explore and further one’s career in broadcast.”

Addison Jureidini, Aspiring Photojournalist

Addison Jureidini is an Army veteran and aspiring photojournalist who recently published a piece about how postal service work translates to journalism. He hopes to build a network, expand his skills in visual journalism, and jumpstart his career at the NAB Show NY.

Allie Delury, Travel Writer & Filmmaker

Allie Delury is an Air Force veteran and a journalist with 10 years of experience. She has been to over 90 countries, where she has reported on sustainable tourism and adventure travel. Her work has been published in Thrillist, Fox News, Tastemade Travel, Semester at Sea, Booking.com and more.

“Most of the time it’s not about what you do, but who you know,” said Delury. “I’m excited to meet like-minded colleagues and professionals in the business to grow my network and elevate the quality of my content.”

Eleanor Nesim, Writer & Photographer

Eleanor Nesim is a Marine Corps veteran and a contributing writer for Writer’s Hive Media. She reports on pop culture, and hopes the NAB Show NY will give her the right knowledge and network to break through in her career.

“As a creative, I know this opportunity will expand my knowledge of the impact of new technologies and post-production solutions for my journalistic work,” Nesim said. “I remain curious about roles that may entice me in unfamiliar areas like radio. I also look forward to growing my network of fellow professionals and attaining valuable knowledge from keynote speakers in the field of entertainment and media.”

Renita Wright, Multimedia Journalist

Renita Wright is an Army veteran who recently graduated from Ashford University’s journalism program. She has previously studied broadcast journalism at the New York Film Academy. Renita seeks a new opportunity to learn and connect by attending the NAB Show.

Veronica Mammina, Production Freelancer

Veronica Mammina is a Navy veteran and visual journalist. She specializes in photography, video production, and graphic design, and served as a production apprentice on major TV series “The Blacklist”. Most recently, she produced a docu-series covering the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on New Yorkers.

“As an early career studio camera operator, it’s important to have my ear to the ground on the latest studio production technology,” Mammina said. “Thank you MVJ for keeping our community of veteran storytellers in-the-know and sharing these kinds of rare opportunities!”

The Texas Tribune and Military Veterans in Journalism Announce Joint Reporting Fellow

By News

The Texas Tribune has hired an Army veteran to work as a reporting fellow covering military and veterans issues in Texas. 

Allison Erickson, from San Antonio, joins the Tribune for a six-month fellowship through a new partnership with Military Veterans in Journalism. 

Erickson served as a Medical Service Corps officer in the U.S. Army from 2011 to 2018, rising to the rank of captain and completing a combat deployment to Afghanistan. She is a recipient of the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and an Army Commendation Medal. 

Allison Erickson, a veteran of the U.S. Army and a member of MVJ, has been selected for a six-month fellowship at The Texas Tribune. As part of her fellowship, she will cover military and veteran affairs in her home state.

Erickson’s journalism career began before she became a soldier when she studied editorial journalism at Texas Christian University. She wrote for the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Texas Monthly and The Point. During her transition back to civilian life, she earned a master’s degree in creative publishing and critical journalism from The New School in New York. She has since worked freelance assignments in print and digital news and produced podcast reporting on migration, politics and health. 

“Texas Tribune packs a reputable punch in the nonprofit news sector,” Erickson said. “I couldn’t be happier to develop my journalism skills and contribute to the excellent reporting from the team. I see the work of journalism as yet another call to service, and there is no better team or publication I would like to learn from and lend my voice to at this time. I look forward to reporting military and veteran stories in my home state.” 

Erickson is an alumna of the MVJ mentorship program, where she worked with investigative journalist and UNC Hussman School of Journalism Assistant Professor Erin Siegal McIntyre.

Through the Tribune-MVJ partnership, she will provide much-needed context and perspective in covering military and veteran affairs in a state with massive military installations and a large veteran population.

“The Texas Tribune is a trailblazer in the news business,” said MVJ President Russell Midori. “As much as they’re masters of the old craft, they also have the courage to innovate.

“Our team at MVJ is honored to partner with the Tribune as they expand their beat coverage to better serve veterans, service members and their families, and boy did they pick a great member of the MVJ community to help them do it,” Midori said. “Allison is a gifted writer bursting with curiosity and persistence.”

Erickson won the position over a highly competitive field of journalists from the MVJ community through a selection process that took nearly six months. 

“I’m thrilled to be a supporter and now a partner of Military Veterans in Journalism, which has helped hundreds of former service members to pursue another form of public service — journalism in support of democracy,” said Sewell Chan, editor in chief at the Tribune. “The discipline, teamwork and sense of mission that are instilled in service members are also incredibly valuable traits for newsrooms.” 

Erickson, who will work primarily out of the Tribune’s Austin-based headquarters, will begin her fellowship Aug. 15.

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.

The MVJ-Washington Post Internship is Back!

By Career Opportunities, News

Military Veterans in Journalism is pleased to announce the return of the MVJ-Washington Post internship collaboration. As part of the Washington Post’s 2023 Summer Internship program, MVJ and The Post will select one military veteran to participate as an intern.

Washington Post interns have gone on to win Pulitzer Prizes and become top leaders in the newsroom. Working alongside top professionals in the field, interns do meaningful work across a variety of departments at The Washington Post. The Washington Post selects interns to fill various roles for reporters, visual journalists, multiplatform editors, multiplatform producers, news and digital designers, graphics reporters and developers, audience producers, and audio producers. This will be an important early career step for veterans working to advance within the media field.

While participating in this program, interns will work 37.5 hours per week for 10 weeks, starting June 5, 2023, and ending August 11, 2023. The Washington Post is committed to a safe work environment and currently maintains a mask-friendly environment and requires proof of vaccination (booster included) and weekly COVID-19 testing.

As with the last round of this program in 2020/2021, it is preferred that applicants have had at least one professional news media job or internship. Applicants will also be asked to submit three samples of their work and a personal essay with their supplemental materials.

Applicants for this program may apply online with Military Veterans in Journalism. The deadline to apply is September 1, 2022 at 11:59 PM Eastern.

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. 

Submissions

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. 

Scoring

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 www.mvj.network.

It’s Time to Put More Vets In Newsrooms Across the Nation

By #MVJ2022, News

The Mission Behind MVJ

The mission behind Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) is simply to get more military veterans working in America’s newsrooms. According to a Census data analysis from MVJ, only about 2 percent of media workers are military veterans. At MVJ, we believe this needs to change.

Veterans are underrepresented in our nation’s newsrooms. Yet, if given the opportunity, they can bring perspective, nuanced understanding, and on-the-ground experience about the military and veteran affairs to the journalism world and news consumers that no one else can match. It’s time to give veterans a voice and begin bringing their perspectives to America’s newsrooms.

Join Us for the Second Annual Military Veterans in Journalism Convention

The second annual Military Veterans in Journalism Convention will occur in Washington, D.C., at the Reserve Organization of America from October 6-8, 2022. While this is the second annual convention, this will be the first time the convention is taking place in person. This in-person event will allow organizations in the journalism world to engage with veterans directly, and recruiters can meet with veterans for one-on-one interviews. This is a great opportunity for veterans to connect with potential employers in the journalism space. 

Don’t delay! If you’re interested in attending the second annual Military Veterans in Journalism Convention, it’s time to register early and save. Early Bird Tickets will be available until August 31, 2022. Early Bird Tickets for MVJ members are $50 and $75 for non-members. After August 31, 2022, the ticket price for MVJ members will rise to $75, and the ticket price for non-members will rise to $100.

Attendees are able to take advantage of the convention hotel room block at Generator DC for $209/night from Wednesday October 5 to Monday October 10. To book a room, please follow the link below or call the hotel directly at (202) 332-9300 and mention the Military Veterans in Journalism Room Block to the reservations agent.

Become an MVJ Member Today

If you’re a military veteran or active duty military member that has an interest in pursuing work or studies in journalism, then it’s time to become an MVJ member today. All MVJ members gain access to the MY MVJ social platform and Mentorship program. In addition, any new member who signs up during Military Appreciation month is eligible for a free year of membership! After the first year of membership, you will be placed into the appropriate membership category. More information about MVJ membership categories can be found on MyMVJ, the MVJ membership website.

It’s time to bring more diversity to newsrooms across this nation through the perspective of America’s veterans. So, what are you waiting for? Become part of the conversation today by registering to attend the second annual Military Veterans in Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C.

MVJ To Provide Free Membership For Independence Day

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism will provide a free year of membership to veterans and military spouses in honor of Independence Day. Any new members who sign up from July 1 through July 5 are eligible to take advantage of this opportunity.

“We’ve seen the impact our programs have had on our members’ careers and growth,” said MVJ President Russell Midori. “We want to ensure that all veterans and spouses who need these resources are enabled to take full advantage of them.”

It typically costs $30 for a professional journalist to join the organization. Once veterans or spouses become members, they receive access to a robust package of resources to support their career growth. These include exclusive opportunities for jobs and paid fellowships in successful newsrooms, career fairs and networking events, fully funded basic and advanced journalism training and certification programs, and a widely praised mentorship program that pairs world-class journalists with members.

To get a free year through this promotion, simply go to the MVJ Membership Page linked below and choose the “Membership Promotion” option. We look forward to welcoming more military veterans and family members into our community.

MVJ to provide free membership for Military Appreciation Month

By News, Resources

A Military Veterans in Journalism hat is sometimes better for getting you access than an NYPD Press Pass, says MVJ President Russell Midori, who wears his hat at his job as an NYC photojournalist. Now you can get a hat like this, or any other free piece of swag, by signing up for MVJ during Military Appreciation Month. The gear and membership are both free this month.

Military Veterans in Journalism will provide a free year of membership to veterans and military spouses during May 2022 – Military Appreciation Month.

To get a free year through this promotion, go to the MVJ Membership Page and choose the “Free for 1 Year” option.

In addition to a free year, any member who joins in May is eligible for any single piece of branded swag from the organization’s online store.

“We see first-hand how our programs are changing our members’ lives and strengthening their careers,” said MVJ President Russell Midori. “But there are so many veterans and spouses trying to find their way in this very challenging career field with no support. We don’t want anything to stand in the way of their access to MVJ’s resources.”

It typically costs $30 for a professional journalist to join the organization. Once veterans or spouses become members, they receive access to a robust package of resources to support their career growth. These include exclusive opportunities for jobs and paid fellowships in successful newsrooms, career fairs and networking events, fully funded basic and advanced journalism training and certification programs, and a widely praised mentorship program that pairs world-class journalists with members.

To claim your free piece of gear, email Russell Midori at [email protected] with a receipt for your membership and tell him what you want from the store. He might even let you get two pieces of branded gear to show off your distinguished place in the MVJ community.

Three years? Wow, time flies.

By Features, News

Dear MVJ Members,

May 1st marks the third anniversary of Military Veterans in Journalism. Since Russell Midori and I founded the org back in 2019, we have been working to help our fellow vets chase their dreams in the journalism field.

We believe journalism is a service to the nation and we see a career in media as a way for our nation’s veterans to continue their service. We also know that veterans are vastly under-represented in the media and we’re working to change that, step by step.

In these three years, we have brought together an amazing community of more than 500 veterans, created many dozens of mentorships, partnered with prominent national organizations like Poynter and the Knight Foundation, hosted career fairs and a national convention, and run more than two dozen webinars to inform our members and connect them with resources. Importantly, we’ve also put more than 10 vets to work in paid internship and fellowship opportunities that we created and funded specifically for our veteran community.

We couldn’t have done it without all of you and your support. Thank you for being members of our community and thank you for your work in journalism. You are what makes MVJ great and it’s an honor for all of us on the MVJ team to advocate for you.

As Russell says, “Journalism needs veterans more than veterans need journalism.” That is to say, you are bringing diversity and trust to the media at a time when American trust in journalism reaches all time lows. We believe now more than ever, your work is critical for democracy.

We urge you to continue taking advantage of the resources MVJ offers. Apply to our internship and fellowship opportunities, get a journalism mentor, and participate in skill development events. We’ve also recently revamped our MyMVJ member portal – join us on the new MyMVJ!

As always, please feel free to email me or Russ to share ideas and thoughts on how we can better serve the community. We are always looking for ways to improve.

All the best,

Zack

MVJ-Harrisonburg Citizen Internship

By Career Opportunities, News

We’re proud to announce that Military Veterans in Journalism has partnered with The Harrisonburg Citizen and the Scripps Howard Foundation to help get more vets into America’s newsrooms.

As part of the 2022 Scripps Howard Summer Internship Program, The Harrisonburg Citizen will select one MVJ member to participate in a 10-week paid internship.

The chosen intern will be expected to work at least 35 hours per week and will receive a $3,000 stipend from the Scripps Howard Foundation in addition to $75-100 per piece contributed to The Citizen. Interns will be working in a journalism role at The Citizen and will receive advice, guidance, and editorial support from The Citizen’s publishers and editors. Upon successful completion of the internship, interns will be eligible for a follow-up grant or scholarship of $500 from the Foundation.

Applicants who are willing to relocate or travel to the Harrisonburg area are preferred, and housing help is available from the publisher if needed. Remote work is possible if necessary.

Applicants for this internship may apply online with Military Veterans in Journalism. The deadline to apply is April 20, 2022 at 6PM Eastern.

APPLY NOW and then email the required supplementary documents to [email protected].

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.” 

Get your master’s – plus a nine-month paid journalism fellowship

By Career Opportunities, News

Military veterans interested in earning a master’s degree at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY may be eligible for a nine-month paid fellowship upon completion of the degree. The fellowship will provide two students with the opportunity to go into a reporting job immediately after graduation. Sign up using the form below to speak with advisors from Newmark J-School and take the first step.

The selected candidates will work at a nine-month fellowship in one of these innovative non-profit newsrooms, receiving a monthly salary of $4,000 and healthcare benefits.

Students must meet the following eligibility criteria to qualify for the fellowship:

  • Apply, be admitted, and enroll in the Newmark J-School
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 during all three semesters

The fellowship participants will be selected during the third semester at the J-School. Veterans who complete their degree requirements but are not selected for the fellowship will still receive their master’s degree in journalism with the experience of reporting as a CUNY student in New York City, the largest media market in the country.

As CUNY is a state school, the Post-9/11 GI Bill may cover tuition and provide generous assistance for housing in New York City. Check your VA eligibility to ensure you have three semesters of coverage remaining. 

How to Apply to the Newmark J-School: Students must submit a complete application by March 1, 2022 for scholarship consideration. Applications completed after March 1, 2022 will be reviewed on a space-available, rolling basis. The application fee is waived for veterans. Refer to the How to Apply page to learn more about the application checklist. If you are interested in participating in this program, please fill out the below form to schedule a one-on-one application session with advisors from Newmark J-School.

Military Veterans in Journalism To Help Improve Military, Veteran News Coverage

By News

Thanks to a grant from News Corp Giving, the non-profit organization Military Veterans in Journalism will provide a range of resources for reporters covering military and veteran issues through an online resource portal.

MVJ will provide standards, tips, and guidance to reporters navigating sensitive topics using this portal. The organization will put together a directory of experts on such subjects as post-traumatic stress and veteran suicide. MVJ will also create a style guide with explanations on technical terms to help journalists avoid common stereotypes and tropes.

Additionally, MVJ will provide a showcase of work and a database of veteran journalists who can be resources for other newsrooms.

“We’re excited to be bringing together the expertise and knowledge base of our community through this project,” said MVJ’s executive director Zack Baddorf, a Navy veteran. “We will highlight the voices in the military veteran community who know these subjects because they’ve served in the military and, as veterans, know these issues firsthand.”

After creating the online portal, Military Veterans in Journalism will promote the portal for news outlets nationwide.

“At News Corp, we are steadfast in our commitment to a free press as a vital function of democracy, a mission that is ably supported by organizations like Military Veterans in Journalism,” says Toni Bush, Global Head of Government Affairs and head of the News Corp Philanthropy Committee. “The work being done by Military Veterans in Journalism to bolster meaningful coverage of veteran communities and bring authentic voices and expertise to newsrooms across the country is critically important, and we are pleased to play a role in this invaluable effort.”

About MVJ:

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 News Corp Giving:

News Corp Giving is News Corp’s charitable giving program. Since its launch in 2013, the program has contributed financial support and other resources to over 100 charities, many of which benefit young people and veterans in need, including people of color, families in economically disadvantaged environments, and women, along with organizations that defend freedom of the press and promote news literacy. News Corp Giving believes that men and women who have served our nation deserve help as they pursue an education, seek new jobs and work towards a better future for their families. Learn more at newscorp.com/news-corp-philanthropy/.

2021 Impact Report & 2022 Goal Setting

By News
MVJ Family,

It has been another great year for us here at Military Veterans in Journalism, and we are honored to have shared it with all of you. This year, we have established programs and partnerships that will benefit our community for years to come.

Most notably, we held our first annual conference, put to work seven veteran journalists, held a series of webinars, and supported veterans in getting hired full-time in journalism. We could not have done it without our community.

This year saw the inauguration of an annual convention for Military Veterans in Journalism with #MVJ2021. Media organizations, visionaries, and journalists alike came together to showcase the work of vets in journalism, present live instructional webinars, and celebrate diversity in news media. This year’s convention featured two days of panels, speakers, and a career fair, and we raised $105,000 to support our mission. #MVJ2021 had 350 attendees, and we have big aims to grow our attendance for #MVJ2022. We want our future conventions to continue to be a way for our community to unite and we’ll keep you posted as these plans develop.

We also spent the year improving our mentorship program and we’ve seen participation grow steadily. In 2021, 62 mentorships are ongoing – with established journalists supporting vets as they navigate their careers in journalism. That’s a growth of 150% from when the program first started. Please consider becoming a mentor!

Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this year, we continued to grow and serve our members. We held all of our webinars and workshops as virtual events. We also convened online for #MVJ2021 and made sure attendees could celebrate safely at home – even with cocktail bombs! While we will continue hosting virtual events in 2022, we plan to host more in-person and hybrid events for our members.

In late 2020, Military Veterans in Journalism was honored to receive a $250,000 investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Thanks to this investment, we were able to provide four fellowships for veterans in local and national newsrooms, hold 18 career guidance webinars, host five Journeys Through America’s Newsrooms, and start a workshop series on radio broadcasting. We have more such events planned for 2022 and we will send out information on these events as the dates get closer.

This year, the Ford Foundation awarded Military Veterans in Journalism a $200,000 grant. With this support and assistance from Disabled American Veterans and the Disability Media Alliance Project, MVJ will build new programs to improve disability coverage in newsrooms nationwide. Together, we will create a speakers bureau of veterans and train veteran journalists on disability reporting best practices. MVJ also has a series of virtual events planned to guide disability coverage in newsrooms across the country. We will start these projects early next year, and we welcome the involvement of our community.

In 2022, Military Veterans in Journalism will lead the way to shape nationwide news coverage on veterans and military affairs. With support from News Corp Philanthropy, MVJ will build an online portal of resources to improve reporting on these issues. Our goal is to connect newsrooms with all the tools they need to improve, including experts on military subjects, a style guide, and a showcase of veterans in journalism. We are excited to drive more knowledgeable reporting on these issues.

Thank you for your continued support throughout 2021. We are excited to build out our support for veterans in journalism in 2022 and beyond.


Zack Baddorf
Executive Director, MVJ
Navy Vet / Former Journalist

 

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 https://www.mvj.network/.

Continue Reading 2021 Impact Report & 2022 Goal Setting

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 www.mvj.network

 

MVJ President Selected for Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program

By News

We are pleased to announce that MVJ President Russell Midori has been selected to join the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia Journalism School as a fellow for 2022.

The Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program, which had its first class in 2005, is designed to train leaders of the world’s most respected news organizations and promising media start-ups to lead innovation and solve strategic business challenges in times of rapid transformation, uncertainty and opportunity. Each fellow is asked to outline a project they will undertake during the program’s four months that will benefit their organization in the near future.

As part of his participation in the class, Midori will be designing “a systematic method to identify and recruit large numbers of eligible members,” who will then gain access to MVJ’s resources and advocacy efforts. His project will help MVJ grow and support an ever-larger community of veterans in years to come.

Midori’s time as a Sulzberger Fellow will begin on January 3, 2022 with two intensive weeks at Columbia Journalism School and will end the week of May 23. For more information on the program, see Columbia Journalism School’s announcement below.

Fellow Photos from Military Veterans in Journalism 2021 Fellowships

Fellowship Program – Meet Our Fellows 2021

By News

Military Veterans in Journalism is hosting seven paid fellowships lasting about six months each. These fellowships allow our members to build portfolios of journalistic work and form a network of peers. All of this year’s fellows have already been placed in the newsrooms of their choice.

 

Before we introduce this year’s fellows, we would like to thank our funders who help make this possible. Four of our fellowships are thanks to generous support from the Knight Foundation, two are thanks to generous support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and the last is thanks to generous support from the Wyncote Foundation.

Without further ado, here are our seven fellows for 2021.

The Knight Foundation – Military Veterans in Journalism Fellowship program

Noelle Wiehe, Coffee or Die Magazine

Noelle is an Army veteran and the first responder/military beat for Coffee or Die Magazine.

“I’m so excited to join the team and contribute content to this organization. To be a part of Coffee or Die is an excellent step in my career and one that I know will take me to new heights. To anyone considering a fellowship, you don’t have to work those tiny bottom-of-the-totem-pole jobs, MVJ can help you get your foot in the door of where you want to be. I’m so thankful I am a part of this community.” – Noelle Wiehe

 

Drew Lawrence, CNN

Drew is an Army veteran who is passionate about soldier and veteran mental health care. He is MVJ’s operations manager and podcast co-host of Sword & Pen. Drew has been placed with CNN, as part of their News Associate Program and Jake Tapper’s The Lead. He will be doing script writing, teleprompter operations, graphics, and research.

“Over the last month, I have had the honor of working with some of the best in media at CNN because of the MVJ Fellowship. The anchors, reporters, operations team and tech managers have all been incredibly welcoming and I’m grateful to learn from their collective expertise.” – Drew Lawrence

 

Melissa Martens, Philadelphia Magazine

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Melissa Martens has been placed with Philadelphia Magazine and will be producing digital content.

“I am feeling great about this fellowship opportunity and ready to hit the ground with Philly Magazine working with the digital marketing team on creating content for their blog and managing social media. For those considering the fellowship, it is a sure way to gain valuable experience, develop new skills, and push you outside your comfort zone to explore new opportunities.” – Melissa Martens

 

Brandon Wheeldon, Military Times

Brandon served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Student Leadership Cohort and is pursuing his Bachelors of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Anthropology. He has been placed with Military Times as a Military Editor Fellow.

“So far in my fellowship, I have been learning the ropes with social media layouts, site management regarding the data and stats for stories, social media management, story layout and writing, and reviewing stories posted to see how they’re performing. The fellowship has allowed me to learn how newsroom and social media works behind the scenes by using programs like socialflow, parse.ly, AP Newsroom, DVIDS, Sailthru, canva, and many other programs. The fellowship will help build a solid foundation for understanding the inner workings of the newsroom and the outside operations of the newsroom. MVJ has helped me tremendously grow as a journalism student and journalist.” – Brandon Wheeldon

 

The Newmark-Veterans in Journalism Fellowship Program

Tim Lenard, The Nevada Independent

Meet military veteran Tim Lenard, who is building the video department from scratch at The Nevada Independent.

“The flexibility of the MVJ fellowship is allowing me to take a chance on creating something that I desperately want to see in the world: local video news aimed at an internet audience. The project is ambitious and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about how it will all turn out, but I’m humbled I was given the opportunity to try. If you have a desire to see something and the work ethic to make it happen, the MVJ fellowship is a fantastic opportunity.” – Tim Lenard 

 

Alonzo Clark, CNN

Alonzo is an Army veteran who completed his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. He’s since worked as a reporter, news anchor, illustrator, and photojournalist. Alonzo has been placed with CNN as part of their News Associate Program.

“My gratitude towards the Military Veterans in Journalism network is unmeasurable. It’s an exciting feeling to know my hard work is recognized as a good cause to work as a news associate at CNN.

So far, I’ve completed my third day as a fellow, and I’ve gained knowledge on how news production works on a national level. From learning several news softwares, setting up accounts, and meeting new faces, I can say my experience is bound to be a fun rollercoaster full of spontaneity. I am 100% confident the experience will lead me to a level of growth professionally and personally.” – Alonzo Clark 

 

The Wyncote Foundation-Military Veterans in Journalism Fellowship program

Thomas Hengge, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Thomas is an Army veteran who has recently completed a Master of Arts in Journalism from NYU. He has done documentary photography and video journalism work, covering breaking news and producing long-form photography and video projects like his ongoing series “Left Behind,” documenting families in the aftermath of losing a loved one to COVID-19. Thomas was awarded a 2020 Editor and Publisher “EPPY” Award for best photojournalism for a college website. He has been placed with The Philadelphia Inquirer as a photographer.

“I am beyond grateful I was selected for the MVJ fellowship. It has given me a vehicle to do exactly what I want to do, and that is priceless. There aren’t a lot, if any, veteran specific resources in this industry, so to have MVJ in our corner is incredible. I think any veteran thinking of pursuing an MVJ fellowship for next year absolutely should. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.” – Thomas Hengge 

In addition to our funders, we would like to thank CNN, Philadelphia Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nevada Independent, Military Times, and Coffee and Die Magazine for taking these vets in, and giving them a chance to jumpstart their careers in media.