ORANGEBURG, S.C. (courtesy claflin.edu) — NBCUniversal News Group has launched NBCU Academy, a new, innovative, multiplatform journalism training and development program for four-year university and community college students through education, on-campus training and online programming. The initiative includes a curated onsite curriculum for hands-on learning experience with world-class NBCU News Group journalists, funding for accredited journalism programs and scholarships.
In keeping with Comcast and NBCU News Group’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, the multi-year partnership involves 17 academic partners including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and colleges with significant Latino, Asian, Black, Indigenous and Tribal populations – reaching students from underrepresented groups, including those with diverse racial, ethnic, economic, and geographic backgrounds, as well as persons with disabilities.
“We are excited to participate in this important NBCUniversal initiative that expands our mass communications department’s ability to provide the essential training and resources necessary to prepare our students for careers in journalism,” said Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, president of Claflin University. “This partnership begins at a time when there is a tremendous need for talented journalists who are expert communicators and are highly capable of articulating news and information that impacts our culture and society. This program is a great opportunity for our students and Claflin University.”
“Creating an inclusive culture for journalism that represents the communities we serve is at the very core of what we do,” said NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde. “Through NBCU Academy, we have the opportunity to widen our extraordinary legacy by building on-ramps for a talented generation of journalists and storytellers who—for so long—may have been overlooked.”
NBCU Academy will invest a total of $6.5 million to the initiative, including scholarships worth $250,000, this 2021 school year. In addition to providing equipment and collaborating with professors to develop seminar courses, NBCU News Group journalists, executives and management from editorial and production teams across NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo will participate as guest lecturers to provide real-world insight and mentorship.
NBCU Academy builds on the foundation of NBC University, which NBC News launched nearly a decade ago as a training program for young journalism professionals at diversity journalism conferences and conventions, including at the Asian American Journalists Association, The National Association of Black Journalists, The National Association of Hispanic Journalists, The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, National Association of Native American Journalists, the Online News Association and many more. NBCU Academy is an expansion of that initiative, offering new institutional partnerships.
In June 2020, Comcast NBCUniversal announced a multi-year $100 million commitment to help address systemic racism and inequality. NBCU Academy is part of that pledge and focuses on providing tools, resources, and platforms for young, underrepresented voices. In July 2020, NBCU News Group announced the Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative, an aggressive action plan to turn the NBCU News Group employee base to be 50 percent women and 50 percent people of color.