Meeting the Need for Diversity in Media

Yahoo’s Multimedia Journalism Fellowship Program, launched last year, returns in 2022 in partnership with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), and Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). The fellowship provides mentorship, development and opportunities for up-and-coming journalists who offer representation of news coverage, and more inclusive content that reflects the world. 

Cynopsis connected with participants in the program, in addition to Yahoo’s Chief Diversity and Culture Officer Alicin Williamson, to learn more about the initiative and why diversity in media is essential. 

2021 fellow David Artavia, now a reporter with Yahoo Life, was previously the editor in chief of Out and The Advocate magazines, and had worked in queer media for several years. “I’m so grateful for that time, but there came a point where I started to think my efforts as a journalist could have a bigger impact on my community at a more mainstream platform like Yahoo, whose pages bring nearly 1 billion views a month from all around the world,” he says. “As a queer Latinx activist, I thought about how my work can reach the most people — by that I mean people who really need to hear these stories and whose hearts and minds could potentially be changed the most.”

One of the 2022 participants, Rebecca Chen, AAJA Yahoo Finance Fellow, is a former Big 4 Investment Fund CPA turned financial journalist. But before that she covered the entertainment industry. “I interned at an entertainment media outlet covering news in Hollywood and show business, especially ones with Asian representation in the industry,” says Chen. “My experience made me see the positive influence of the media and the importance of representation. I believe there are many meaningful stories to tell, especially through diverse lenses.”

The fellowship, Chen notes, “offers a multitude of platforms for its fellows and experience in multimedia – we work on projects in print, video, and live events. The comprehensive learning opportunity allows us to truly see the potentials of the media world. The culture of connectivity and collaboration makes the Yahoo fellowship program unique and significant.”

And journalism has arguably never been more important than it is now. “To be able to rely on fact-based news and storytelling is essential to our democracy. We also know for this reason diversity matters in the media,” says Yahoo’s Williamson. “At a basic level – a diverse newsroom brings more factual reporting and accuracy on how stories are covered. There are also just missing voices that can ensure stories are told, understanding a range of lived experiences. The Yahoo Multimedia Journalism Fellowship is an opportunity to address the immediate need while having a lasting impact. It’s on us as leaders to bring representation to any business, but especially the responsibility of a media brand. Inclusive perspectives are critical to how we convey the news of our world.”

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