Representation in Media Starts With Internships Like This – Next City

Representation in Media Starts With Internships Like This


Natalia Rommen (bottom right), Next City's 2019 Urban Affairs Journalism Fellow, helps set up during the Vanguard Newark conference. (Chrystofer Davis)

Dear Next City reader,

Media plays an important role in shaping cities that are truly inclusive and equitable. Who the media covers is pivotal, so it matters that our newsrooms, journalists, and reporters represent the diversity that can be found across our cities. That’s why I’m proud that Next City helps train the next generation of reporters with a passion for solutions journalism and equitable cities.

Alex T. Williams, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, highlights the prevalence of unpaid internships in journalism as one of the factors behind the appalling racial disparity in the media. You’ve read countless times on Next City about the tremendous racial wealth disparity in the U.S. — giving some, but not others, the ability to draw on family savings while taking an unpaid internship for three to six months, even a year. This is just one reason why minorities only represent 16.6 percent of full-time journalists around the country despite representing more than half the population in the 10 largest U.S. cities.

Natalia Rommen was Next City's 2019 Urban Affairs Journalism Fellow.

Next City wants to play a part in reversing this disparity. Together with the Emma Bowen Foundation, Next City offers a paid summer internship for an aspiring minority journalist. Due to the pandemic, internship opportunities are disappearing. And now more than ever, it is important to have coverage of our diverse cities and the solutions local communities implement.

I’m writing to ask you to help support our 2020 Urban Affairs Journalism Fellowship Program. We only need to raise $8,000 to ensure this program’s success. Your donation today will go directly toward paying an intern’s stipend and managing the program.

In terms of my own experience, Next City offered a hands-on and exciting internship opportunity that was specific to my goals and dreams for a summer internship. My time at Next City enabled me to develop my professional career because I was able to see the behind-the-scenes of a news organization, and to research, interview, and write as a journalist while meeting inspiring Vanguards at the Vanguard Newark conference!

I am most thankful for the personal mentorship I received from the entire staff — each was dedicated to helping me learn the ins and outs of journalism and life at a long-running nonprofit. The experiences I had at Next City taught me many lessons, ones I will use for the rest of my life.

This will be the fourth urban affairs internship Next City has been able to offer thanks to individual donors like you and the Emma Bowen Foundation. Check out my work and that of Next City’s first two urban affairs interns, Cassandra Maddox and Brianna Williams.

And, when you support the urban affairs internship, you may also choose from a number of great new thank-you gifts, including “Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City” by Brandi Thompson Summers. Watch for Next City to publish an excerpt from that book in the coming days and for a live webinar with the author.

Online donations can be made with a credit card or using Apple and Google Pay. Your tax-deductible donation will make a lasting impact on a young journalist, and help us meet our goal of diversifying the media industry.

Thank you for your support,
Natalia Rommen
2019 Next City Urban Affairs Journalism Fellow

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Next City is a nonprofit news organization that believes journalists can amplify solutions, helping spread them from one city to the next. Your contribution helps share knowledge between doers and changemakers, including urban planners, architects, bankers, artists, neighborhood activists, and more. All are in search of solutions that infuse cities with greater economic, environmental, and social justice.

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