Sustain Local 2016 conference at Montclair State University. (Photo credit: Mike Peters.)

New Jersey journalists: Apply now for scholarships to 2018 NABJ, AAJA, NAHJ, NAJA, NLGJA events, conferences, training

New program aimed at improving diversity in NJ’s ecosystem

It is no secret that the news ecosystem in this country is woefully and dangerously awful at employing, mentoring and promoting journalists of color.

In fact, it’s safe to say that diversity initiatives at many major news organizations have largely fallen flat. Our newsrooms do not represent the communities they cover.

I can give you many, many, many, many, many examples.

New Jersey is no different in this regard. Yet New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the nation. We can do better.

To help move the news ecosystem in the Garden State toward a goal of better reflecting the communities it serves, the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is launching a scholarship fund dedicated toward helping New Jersey journalists attend trainings, events and conferences in 2018 put on by organizations that work toward improving diversity, equity and inclusion in media.

Such organizations include the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) and NLGJA — The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

The scholarship fund will provide stipends up to $500 for local journalists to attend eligible events. The funding for this scholarship is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Local News Lab Fund, a partnership between Democracy Fund, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the Community Foundation of New Jersey.

Click here to submit a request.

The stipends can be used to cover registration, travel costs or member dues related to the event. If you need more than $500, let us know that, too, so we can consider the request.

Eligible events could include, among others:

Note that the scholarships can be applied to more than just the events and organizations listed above; you will be asked to indicate which training or conference you’re applying for funding for on your application.

I mentioned some of the larger organizations that focus on increasing diversity in media in this post; if you’re looking for more info on this subject or want to find other institutions and opportunities for training, conferences and mentoring, check out this Journalism Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Tracker spreadsheet (it’s incredibly useful!).

The stipends are open to journalists of all backgrounds.

To qualify, journalists must:

  • Reside or work in New Jersey.
  • Provide proof of employment in media.
  • Detail which event they’re like to use the scholarship to attend.
  • Agree to share information about what they learned after the event, for the benefit of others in the New Jersey ecosystem.

Stipends will be awarded on a rolling, first-come, first-serve basis. However, we will close the application process on May 18 to assess how to distribute leftover funds, if there are any. (UPDATE: This deadline was recently moved from May 4 to May 18, so take advantage!)

We’re hopeful that we can provide funding for more than two dozen local journalists to attend events that will help them further their careers and improve the New Jersey news ecosystem.

For more information, or if you have any questions, let us know. Drop me an email at

Stefanie Murray is the director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. Contact her at

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Democracy Fund. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit



An initiative of the School of Communication at Montclair State University

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