The gift will fund the Annenberg Leadership Initiative, which aims to support journalism students and young professionals from communities that are underrepresented in the news industry. The initiative will include Annenberg Leadership Scholarships that cover annual tuition for three master of science graduate students and one-year Annenberg Leadership Fellowships that enable three working journalists to teach at the school's Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center. In addition, the gift will support an expanded Community Reporting Initiative in which students will work with faculty and professional journalists to develop digital fluency as a way to reach diverse audiences and cover stories in more effective, compelling, and accessible ways.
"We are building a new generation of technologically and journalistically skilled communicators who will lead the complex digital newsrooms of the future," said School of Journalism director Willow Bay. "These young professionals will enrich newsrooms with new voices and perspectives, which will be a driving force in informing a broader audience."
"If we want a news industry that truly understands and covers all of America, then our news industry has to embody all of America," said Wallis Annenberg, board chair, president, and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. "We have to attract the best and brightest of every race and ethnicity and economic background — we have to equip them with the most cutting-edge tools and skills so our news coverage can be just as inclusive and forward-looking."