Mayborn School of Journalism receives $500,000 NBC grant

Article Originally Published by Ileana Garnand on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Ileana Garnand on North Texas Daily

The university announced Jan. 14 NBCUniversal has pledged to give a $500,000 diversity grant to the Mayborn School of Journalism, which will fund student aid, new courses and updated equipment. 

Alongside the grant money, NBC will provide additional assistance to the college over a two-year collaboration.  

“I believe that on a whole, the journalism/media industry is lacking diversity,” journalism senior Megan Palu said. “I feel like each member of Mayborn has such a unique background and due to those backgrounds, we are able to produce news that makes our community feel heard. I am glad that we are being recognized for the already great work we do as a program and I can’t wait to see the new heights we reach in the future because of this extra funding.”

$250,000 of the grant will go towards 25 fellowships for journalism seniors that have shown a commitment to diversity. At $10,000 each, the awards can be used for tuition assistance, internship stipends, personal equipment and fieldwork. Senior leadership at NBC will help screen and mentor applicants, who, if chosen, will be designated as an “NBC News Fellow.”

$200,000 will be used to launch a new seminar course for juniors and seniors. NBC will help provide professional journalists and staff to appear as guest lecturers throughout the course, where they will share personal experiences and networking opportunities. The remaining $50,000 will be used to update the Mayborn School’s equipment. 

“As someone who has worked in the Mayborn Equipment Room for two years, we are in need of more equipment that students might be presented with in the field,” journalism senior Anastasia Logan said. “This equipment is vital to providing the hands-on learning that Mayborn is known for. This grant will help propel the Mayborn program into a new age and advance the learning curve for all students.”

The grant opportunity was first discovered by Mayborn Principal Lecturer Cornelius Foote Jr. He secured the university a spot in an informational NBC conference call after explaining to a friend and colleague at NBC about the university’s minority and Hispanic serving institution status. Foote then gave a presentation on why the school should receive the grant and engaged in further conversations with NBC alongside Dean Andrea Miller and Development Associate Karena Sara.

“It was exhilarating,” Foote said. “We were all just thrilled and excited to know that the Mayborn school and UNT was among this group of 17 schools that had been chosen.”

In 2020, NBCU Academy selected these universities to partner with and receive grants, based on the institution’s commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion. The program followed a $100 million commitment to diversity and inclusion from Comcast, NBCUniversal’s parent company.  

“The more we can do to make sure diverse students can complete their education, provide them a quality education and access to professionals like those at NBC […] will be invaluable,” Foote said. “Too many newsrooms around the country woefully lack diversity. The numbers still are appallingly low and if we here at the Mayborn can help improve those numbers, then I’m glad that we can be a part of that.”

Featured Image: Sycamore Hall, home to the Mayborn School of Journalism was closed due to COVID-19 on June 17, 2020. Image by Ricardo Vazquez Garcia

Source: North Texas Daily