Military Veterans in Journalism educates newsrooms, journalism schools, and non-profit organizations focusing on journalism about the need to increase diversity through higher veteran representation. Learn about our members and the difference we’re making in veterans’ lives and in newsrooms nationwide.

MVJ In Numbers

580
Members
2019
Serving Our Community Since
16
News Fellowships/Internships Secured
80
Mentees
100
Mentors
34
Career Enhancing Events

SUCCESS STORIES

Fellowships

Alonzo's Story

Alonzo is an Army veteran and news associate with CNN. He was placed with CNN as part of Military Veterans in Journalism’s 2021 fellowship program, where he’s been working on script writing, teleprompter operations, assignment desk monitoring, and live assistance. By the end of his original 6-month fellowship, he was offered another 6 months to work as a fellow at CNN.

“The Military Veterans in Journalism fellowship is a great opportunity for members who want to get involved in the industry either in digital or broadcast media. My fellowship experience at CNN allowed me to grasp an understanding of what news is covered nationally. This experience allowed me to see how essential the different roles are toward the delivery and demand of breaking news. This opportunity has given me an eye open experience of what is needed to succeed and the broadcast industry. I recommend all MVJ members to apply! Your experience won't be in vain!”

Brandon's Story

Brandon Wheeldon is an Army veteran, freelance photojournalist, and journalism student at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He was placed with Military Times as part of Military Veterans in Journalism’s 2021 fellowship program, where he worked with the editorial team. During his fellowship, he developed social media marketing skills and learned both the inner and outer operations of newsrooms. His fellowship helped him grow as a journalist, which will help him in his education and future career.

Drew's Story

Drew Lawrence is an Army veteran and news associate with CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper. He was placed with CNN as part of Military Veterans in Journalism’s 2021 fellowship program, where he worked on script writing, teleprompter operations, graphics, and research.

“Simply put: Military Veterans in Journalism upholds its promise to support veterans in the newsroom. I have been lucky to not only volunteer for the team, but benefit from the numerous services the organization offers.

In late Spring 2020, as I was transitioning out of the military, I had applied to almost 150 news jobs across the country. I am not ashamed to admit that prior to applying more of my time to MVJ, I received one offer, a handful of "thanks but no thanks," and countless unreturned applications. It was a situation that I had come to know was common, but not helpless.

Since then, I've had the privilege to produce work for organizations like Task & Purpose and The War Horse. I could not have done so without the connections I made through MVJ. Last year, I was selected by an independent board of journalists for an MVJ fellowship where I joined CNN as a News Associate producing graphics for TV, writing stories, etc. I recently completed an investigation into the treatment of the Army's military working horses at Ft. Myer.

Now, I am working full time for Military.com: writing stories, cutting video, and producing audio for a huge upcoming project.

I often think back to last year and the countless rejections I received. I realize how lucky I am to have MVJ's support and how honored I am to have such an amazing group of MVJ peers that are producing some equally amazing work. I am thankful for the mentors I've gained through this organization, ones that I can call at a moment's notice. And I am truly thankful for people like Zack, Russell, Rich, Sara, Devon, Babee -- so many others who spend what little free time they have to make sure people like me get a shot.”

Melissa's Story

Melissa Martens is a Marine Corps veteran and digital content specialist with Hope For The Warriors. She was placed with Philadelphia Magazine as part of Military Veterans in Journalism's 2021 fellowship program, where she worked with the magazine’s digital content and marketing team. At the end of her fellowship, she was hired by her current organization to assist in their digital newsroom.

Noelle's Story

Noelle Wiehe is an Army veteran and staff writer with Coffee or Die. She was placed with the magazine as part of Military Veterans in Journalism's 2021 fellowship program, where she worked on the publication’s first responder/military beat. At the end of her 6-month fellowship program, she was offered a full-time staff position.

“I wanted to know what place a military veteran has in the journalism world, thinking that surely our service would be valued in a newsroom. MVJ helped launch me into a position where, as a veteran, my experience is valued and my experience is coveted.
Through Military Veterans in Journalism, I have landed my dream job with Coffee or Die Magazine - a job where I get to tell the military story for and among others who have experienced it. I found camaraderie and support through this nonprofit I discovered through a Google search that far surpassed anything I've experienced in or out of the military. Military Veterans in Journalism saw my potential and helped me reach my goals.”

Thomas's Story

Thomas Hengge is an Army veteran and freelance photographer and video journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was placed with the publication as part of Military Veterans in Journalism's 2021 fellowship program, where he worked as a photography fellow and built his network.

“The MVJ Fellowship was a great opportunity to get high-level news room experience and make connections in the industry that are continuing to help my career while I freelance. Beyond the fellowship, MVJ as a whole has been a huge resource for me as a young journalist trying to break into the industry. Their mentorship program has been extremely helpful considering how difficult it can be to get the right contacts to connect with newsrooms you want to work for. They make sure to pair you with people in the places you are most interested and can help you get to where you want to go. It feels reassuring knowing that there is a group dedicated to advocating for veterans and facilitating anything we need to get a leg up in a highly competitive field. Any veteran interested in journalism, or even just curious about journalism, needs to check out MVJ. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Tim's Story

Tim Lenard is an Army veteran and video producer with The Nevada Independent. He was placed with the publication as part of Military Veterans in Journalism’s 2021 fellowship program, where he helped build their video editing department from the ground up.

Tim was initially concerned about the outcome of the task he was undertaking, but still wanted to try. His project was a success, and he was hired by The Nevada Independent at the end of his fellowship program.

“It’s hard to overstate the impact being a member of MVJ has had on my life. When I joined, I was applying to any job I thought would take me. Now, because of the MVJ fellowship, I have a full-time job doing exactly what I want to be doing. Everyone I’ve interacted with from MVJ has been glad to lend a hand. It’s the most supportive professional organization I’ve ever been a part of.”

Internships

Dustin's Story

Dustin Jones is a Marine Corps veteran and a Reporter at NPR’s News Desk. He covers national and international news including national security, politics, veteran's issues and the coronavirus. He was selected as the first intern in the MVJ-NPR collaborative internship in the fall of 2020. Prior to his selection for this internship, MVJ leadership recommended him to Working Nation, where he was hired as a freelancer.

“When I applied to the MVJ internship with NPR, I was working nights at Home Depot, unloading tractor trailers and restocking shelves. I had applied to dozens of journalism positions leading up to and during the beginning of the pandemic, but despite having several years of experience and an Ivy League degree, I was unable to land a job. When I applied to MVJ's partner internship with NPR, my odds of being selected immediately rose from approximately 1 in 1,000 to about 1 in 40; that was almost two years ago. Since then I have been working with NPR's breaking news team on an as-needed basis, working anywhere from 12 to 20 days a month, until recently when I landed a full-time temporary position with hopes of securing a permanent position in the not-too-distant future. MVJ helped me get my foot in the door, which I believe to be the hardest part of landing any job, in an incredibly competitive career field. I couldn't be more grateful for MVJ and its staff who helped me land my dream job. They work tirelessly to help diversify America's newsrooms by placing veterans in the workplace, which not only helps veterans find quality jobs, but provides companies with some of the best employees they didn't know they needed.”

Jeff's Story

Jeff Dean is an Army veteran and a freelance photojournalist. He covers breaking news assignments in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana for Agency France Presse, Reuters and USA Today. He was selected as the second intern in the MVJ-NPR collaborative internship in the fall of 2021.

“The opportunity to get to work for NPR was an amazing experience that has opened my eyes to limitless possibilities within the career field of journalism and I don't know that I would have been able to have this experience if it weren't for MVJ. Although I was not a writer, MVJ leaders encouraged me to apply for the position. Once at NPR, I found an ecosystem that supported and facilitated me being able to work and learn from a variety of reporters and departments. I leave my MVJ internship eternally grateful to NPR for helping me to grow into a more well-rounded journalist and to MVJ for creating an avenue for veterans like myself to get that exposure within the industry.”

Max's Story

Max Hauptman is an Army veteran and a staff reporter at Task & Purpose. He was selected as the first intern in the MVJ-Washington Post collaborative internship program in 2021. Max worked for the Post as a general assignment intern, where he covered national and breaking news. After his internship, he was hired with Task & Purpose, where he now covers breaking news on veterans issues.

“The chance to work with The Washington Post gave me the opportunity to work with a team of extremely talented editors and reporters. The willingness of everyone at the organization to help out, as well as the resources available, allowed me to grow and develop as a young journalist. This program, and partnering with MVJ, also led to the exposure that got me my current role, covering the military for Task & Purpose.”

Mentorships

Davis's Story

Davis Winkie is an Army National Guard officer and a Staff Reporter with Military Times. He covers the Army and, more recently, Operation Lone Star in Texas. Prior to getting his position with Military Times, he participated in MVJ’s mentorship program, where he was paired with Erin Siegal McIntyre. While under Siegal McIntyre’s tutelage, Davis was able to get bylines in The New Republic, Task & Purpose, VICE, and other national news publications to get him off to a strong start in journalism.

“I did everything I could to take advantage of every resource that was available to me through MVJ. I also leaned on the MVJ mentorship program, and was paired with Erin Siegal McIntyre. She was really valuable because she was the first actual journalist I had as a sounding board for stuff that seemed like decent enough ideas in my head. Any time you see an internal MVJ application for the NPR internship, the fellowships, that kind of stuff - if you’re in a position financially and career-wise that you can make that work, jump on it. I ended up being a finalist getting interviewed by organizations that I had no business working for based on my resume, just because of the fact that we have an affinity org like MVJ advocating for us and providing opportunities for us to be in a short stack of applications.”

Genaro's Story

Genaro Prieto is an Army veteran, journalism student, and board member of Combat Wounded of Texas. He was selected to participate in MVJ’s 2022 Speakers Bureau and has previously participated in MVJ’s mentorship program.

“MVJ has been instrumental in kick-starting my career transition into journalism. They connected me with a mentor and an unbelievable number of resources. The podcasts, webinars, and availability to communicate with professionals are unmatched by any other organization. MVJ has enabled me to establish a solid journalistic foundation rapidly and provided me the opportunity to serve on the Speakers Bureau.”

Justin's Story

Justin Meacock is a Navy veteran and an intern journalist at IMPAKTER. He was recently admitted to CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism as part of the MVJ-CUNY collaborative fellowship program, which entails both a Master’s in Journalism and a 9-month paid fellowship. Prior to his acceptance into the program, he participated in MVJ’s mentorship program, where he was paired with our co-founder and president, Russell Midori.

Career Development Programs

Lucretia's Story

Lucretia Cunningham is an Air Force veteran and Air National Guard Public Affairs Specialist. In August 2021, she attended Military Veterans in Journalism’s Journey Through America’s Newsrooms webinar with KUNR in Las Vegas. Through connections made at that event, Lucretia now works part-time as a news reporter for the station while freelancing for AmeriForce Media.

“That’s one of the things I’m grateful to MVJ for. MVJ gave me options. They said, ‘Look at this. These people want military journalists in their newsrooms. Send your resume here.’ And so I’m working part-time for KUNR and I’m freelancing at Ameriforce, which means that I’m home with my kids. The only reason that I have employment with those two organizations is because MVJ reached out to them and told them that they need military veterans in their newsrooms.”

Altasia's Story

Altasia Johnson is an Air Force veteran, freelance writer, and journalism student. In December 2021, MVJ connected her with the executive director of the North Carolina National Guard Association's Tarheel Guardsman Magazine. Through that connection, she was hired as a full-time freelance writer. She now works as a freelancer for two additional organizations: AmeriForce Media and the Florence Morning News in Florence, South Carolina.

Josh's Story

Josh Sanchez is a Coast Guard veteran and a multimedia journalist at WLNS in Michigan. Through MVJ’s partnership with The Poynter Institute for free journalism courses, he was connected with their news leaders in May 2021. He was hired at WLNS in late June 2021 after the network he’d made through the courses put him in touch with their newsroom.

Testimonials

I think [networking is] important in every field and every job hunt, but I think particularly when you’re changing or sort of switching careers. It’s really good to do networking so you can find other people who can help inform your career choices. And I think that’s why Military Veterans in Journalism is so important for building a career, because they provide that networking to help you find those critical mentors.

Meaghan ParkerExecutive Director, Society for Environmental Journalists

As an educator myself, one of the biggest benefits of MVJ is the education element. I’m pretty committed to that aspect of journalism. I also signed up as a mentor - MVJ has so much going on.

Lori KingArmy veteran, adjunct instructor & Sword & Pen Podcast co-host

I got a lot out of MVJ. Through MVJ I had Deon help me with the structure of my writing, which is what I needed a lot of help with. MVJ is an extremely valuable program to go through - and you don’t have to have your degree yet, you can commit to this while you’re still a student. You can do whatever you want to do, but they will put you with somebody who’s gonna guide you along the way. Excellent organization.

Dave BruceMVJ Member

More than a safety net, [MVJ is] like we are with a safe group of people to move us and raise the floor constantly. I think what we can do… it’s better than a safety net. We’re moving each other forward."

Jasper LoFact Checker, The New Yorker

MVJ is very encouraging! When I’m out of the military, I’m not as scared because of you guys! I know I can get a job.

Briana Cespedes