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Lenfest Institute Announces Inaugural Lenfest Next Generation Fund Winners

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

PHILADELPHIA (May. 7, 2019) —The​ Lenfest Institute for Journalism today announced the first-ever recipients of The Lenfest Next Generation Fund Award. The 21 NextGen award winners are Philadelphia-area journalists and students of color who will receive stipends to attend the national professional development conference of their choice and receive related support from the Institute.

In order for local journalism to survive and thrive, newsrooms — and the coverage they produce — must be reflective and representative of the communities they serve. The Institute’s aspirational goal is that 50 percent or more of working journalists in Philadelphia will be people of color by 2025. The Next Generation Fund is one of the steps the Institute is taking to help make this goal a reality. ​ The Institute is also focused on improving communication and partnership within the Philadelphia news ecosystem; creating initiatives in digital training, talent development, and newsroom inclusion; supporting entrepreneurship and accelerating the digital transition of individual businesses and news organizations.

“This fund empowers journalists of color in the early and middle stages of their careers to grow professionally in the ways that make the most sense for them. We’re hoping that this program will help journalists of color achieve their goals and ultimately to take on leadership positions in local and national news,” said Lenfest Institute Business & Programs Analyst Cheryl Thompson-Morton.

Seven winners will attend the National Association of Black Journalists conference, four will attend the Asian American Journalists Association conference, four will attend the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference, three will attend the National Association of Hispanic Journalists conference, and three will attend the Online News Association conference.

The Lenfest Institute has committed an initial $25,000 to The Next Generation Fund, and each winner will receive awards of up to $1,200. The NextGen cohort ​will convene later this month at the Institute where they will meet each other and will share more about future plans, needs, and career goals.

CLICK HERE to see profiles of the winners.

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