We often hear from our community that lack of diversity in newsrooms is one of the key issues stunting innovation in our industry. In February, ONA launched the Journalism Mentorship Collaborative, an open network of more than 100 newsrooms who are deeply committed to diversifying their organizations through mentorship programs.
The Collaborative is a place for newsrooms to work together to develop a blueprint for effective mentorship programs as a means of recruiting, mentoring, and retaining diverse leaders. Since its launch, we’ve hosted six webinars covering the basics of setting up a mentorship program — from getting leadership buy-in, to handling difficult conversations, to time management — and launched a private Slack community for industry leaders invested in mentorship to interact with their peers. We’ve also distributed nearly $70,000 in micro-grants to 16 organizations to support the newsroom mentorship programs run by a cohort of Journalism Mentorship Collaborative fellows. In March, we hosted the fellows in St. Louis for a two-day meeting on best practices for mentorship programs.
If you’re eager to hear how mentorship can help build a more diverse newsroom at your organization, come meet the members of the Collaborative at ONA18 and hear about the fellows’ progress.
Fellows from the program will join Doug Mitchell, who helms the Collaborative’s six-person leadership team, in the session Making the Case for Making the Time to share what they learned from their newsrooms’ mentorship programs Friday, Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. in Grand Ballroom 8.
This session is for you if you’re interested in starting or reinvigorating a mentorship program in your newsroom and need strategies to advocate for time and resources — or simply if you’re committed to diverse leadership in your newsroom and want concrete steps on how you can move the needle forward. We’ll focus on tips for getting management buy-in and enticing potential mentors to commit the time — one of the largest challenges identified by participating newsrooms.