New Programs Launched to Promote Diversity in Broadcasting

NBC Owned Television Stations have launched two new development programs designed to attract aspiring young journalists from diverse backgrounds to news roles both on and off the air. Last week, the division kicked off its highly competitive News Associates program, welcoming 10 recent college graduates to news rooms at its 10 stations around the country, and introduced a new Reporter Training program, encouraging talented individuals to consider careers as television reporters.

Modeled after the successful NBC News program, the year-long News Associates curriculum is designed to attract recent college graduates from diverse backgrounds to careers as producers, editors and writers. The 10 participants, who were selected from thousands of applicants, began their orientation last week. Throughout the year, the associates will learn first-hand the different news room roles and responsibilities, acquire editorial judgment, develop story-telling skills and gain experience both in the field and studio shooting footage and editing and writing stories. Each associate will be matched with a senior-level mentor at his or her assigned station who will help guide the associate throughout the year. At the end of the program, the real-world experience the associate gains will help position him or her for available entry-level news room jobs at the 10 NBC-owned stations.

In addition to the News Associates program, NBC Owned Television Stations is also introducing a new Reporter Training program aimed at developing talented young journalists from diverse backgrounds to become great television reporters. The station group will be recruiting for four positions – one each at its Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., Miami and San Diego stations – to attract television or digital journalists early in their careers or experienced print journalists interested in transitioning to television as on-air reporters. The program, which will start in January, will include a significant investment in training and coaching to equip the selected participants with the skills necessary to develop into successful television reporters. At the end of the program, the selected participants are expected to be prepared for reporter roles in NBC’s 10-station group, including larger market stations like Los Angeles and New York.

Several organizations representing journalists from ethnically diverse backgrounds applauded the development programs.

“We salute NBC for taking the initiative to train talented students from diverse backgrounds in areas in which there is a significant lack of diversity,” said Gregory Lee, Jr., President of the National Association of Black Journalists. “We hope that this is a long-term plan in preparing these budding students to become executive producers, general managers and lead anchors of the future.”

“NAHJ applauds NBC for its investment in young, diverse talent,” said Michele Salcedo, President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. “While these programs will not change the immediate need for more Latinos on or off camera, programs like the Reporter Training program and News Associate program provide the training and all-important mentoring to ensure journalists of color advance in their careers and give voice to communities that are growing in number, but are rarely heard.”

“The Asian American Journalists Association is encouraged to see NBC setting an example for other news media by emphasizing the importance of promoting diverse hires who reflect our dynamic communities,” said Doris Truong, President of the Asian American Journalists Association. “And our organization has active chapters in all the cities chosen for the Reporter Training program, so I hope the participants will reach out to our members locally for further mentoring and career support.”

Both of these programs will enable NBC’s 10 owned stations, where 40 percent of on-air talent and one-third of all news room staff are ethnically diverse, to continue the momentum on increasing diversity in all aspects of local news. More information on the News Associates program is available at www.nbcunicareers.com under Early Career Programs and the four Reporter Training program positions will be posted at www.nbcunicareers.com under NBC Owned Television Stations.