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New fellowship builds pathways into nonprofit news for business professionals

February 3, 2022

This partnership with the Google News Initiative (GNI) addresses two needs in the growing nonprofit news field: deepening audience engagement and increasing staff diversity. 

The INN + GNI Fellowship in Digital Marketing will connect INN member news organizations with recent college graduates who have completed a digital apprenticeship at COOP, an initiative that equips diverse, low-income and first-generation graduates of public colleges with the digital skills and peer connections they need to overcome underemployment. These fellows will hold full-time, 6-month paid positions developing community engagement, digital marketing, digital communications and audience growth projects – gaining valuable career experience while helping INN members reach new audiences and forge deeper community connections. 

“INN is always working to build pathways into nonprofit news for professionals from diverse backgrounds,” says Sara Shahriari, director of leadership and talent development at the Institute for Nonprofit News. 

“While many efforts focus on editorial positions, we’re also creating programs that broaden representation in technical and business positions that can lead to leadership roles.” 

Celen Vasquez, COOP’s senior west coast partnership manager, said that, “The COOPers (as we like to call them) are excited to jump right in to learn and contribute to INN members’ campaigns. They’ve completed over 200+ hours of hard skills training in search, SEO, paid social, media planning, excel and much more.”

In this second year of the program, a committee will select four INN member organizations based on their ability to mentor a fellow inside a news organization innovating in the digital field. Fellows will work on their organization’s projects, pursue virtual training through the GNI Digital Growth Program and share their work within the broader nonprofit news network.

Participating newsrooms will be reimbursed up to $30,000 per intern toward salary and payroll expenses when proper documentation is received at the midpoint and end of the fellowship period.  INN members are invited to apply to host a fellow by April 30, 2023. 

About COOP

COOP closes the social capital gap by recruiting and investing deeply in diverse, low-income, and first-generation grads from the City University of New York, California State Universities, and other urban public colleges. COOP’s flagship program is the Digital Apprenticeship. Peer cohorts of 16 motivated, underemployed grads meet nightly for 16 weeks (200 hours) to learn technical skills, build community, and jumpstart careers in digital marketing, data analytics, and tech sales. Since 2014, COOP has run over 100 cohorts with over 2,000 alumni, on our way to 10,000 in our first decade of operation. Four-in-five alumni overcome underemployment within a year, earning an average of $45,000 after 12 months (triple the pre-program average) and $60,000 after three years.

About Google News Initiative

The Google News Initiative works side-by-side with publishers and journalists to build a more sustainable, diverse and innovative news ecosystem. Through programs, products and partnerships, we strive to advance the practice of quality journalism and strengthen publisher business models in the digital age. Since 2018, our $300 million funding commitment has supported more than 7,000 news partners in over 120 countries and territories around the world. We’ve provided training for over 450,000 journalists on skills including digital verification, data visualization, and machine learning through in-person training. And we have worked to bring together industry leaders around the world, cultivating a diverse news community to spur innovation and tackle pressing issues like media literacy and misinformation.

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