MCLEAN, VA -- The president of UNITY: Journalists of Color calls on The Associated Press to reconsider abandoning its internship program.
AP officials have confirmed that the news service's internship program will be eliminated as a part of an overall restructuring. While UNITY understands the financial challenges facing AP and all news organizations, we believe the news service can only gain, economically and in the quality of its product, by retaining creative young journalists who can drive AP's content toward a demographic it may otherwise fail to reach.
"The Associated Press should see this as an investment in its future, not as an expendable burden," UNITY President Barbara Ciara said.
One may look no further than to the program's alumni to see that they have already benefitted the news service and the industry as a whole. One former intern, Anthony Marquez, runs AP's Los Angeles bureau, one of its largest. Another, Donna Brisow, is AP's bureau chief in South Africa. And former intern Michael Feeney was recently named the National Association of Black Journalists' Emerging Journalist of the year.
.AP chief executive officer Tom Curley told UNITY, "There is no benefit in discussing our budget process."
We disagree. Rather, it is Curley who owes the journalism industry an explanation how eliminating this program enhances the bottom line of The Associated Press in a way that does not adversely affect the news product it provides to its member organizations.
Twenty-four young journalists are trained each year through the AP program. They are a small number who make a major difference in a multi-media world.
UNITY: Journalists of Color urges The Associated Press not to mortgage its future but to invest in it and retain this necessary program.
UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. is a strategic alliance advocating fair and accurate news coverage about people of color, and aggressively challenging the industry to staff its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation's diversity.
About UNITY: Journalists of Color
UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. is a strategic alliance advocating news coverage about people of color, and aggressively challenging its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation's diversity. UNITY is comprised of four national associations: Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Native American Journalists Association representing more than 8,000 journalists of color. In addition to planning the largest regular gathering of journalists in the nation, UNITY develops programs and advocacy initiatives that promote its mission.