The Chips Quinn Scholars Program for Diversity in Journalism, an initiative of the Freedom Forum, has trained college journalism students and placed them in internships at media sites nationwide since 1991.
The Chips Quinn Scholars program is currently on hiatus, a move linked to a pre-pandemic decision by the Freedom Forum to sell its Newseum building in Washington, D.C., and close the Newseum to the public on Dec. 31, 2019.
The Freedom Forum also launched a strategic review of its programs at the time, and the review continues in 2021.
Yet the COVID-19 pandemic, and its negative impact on the news media industry, has been a call to action for alumni of the Chips Quinn Scholars program.
In partnership with Gannett, including USA TODAY and its Network media sites, veteran alumni of the Chips Quinn Scholars program volunteered last summer to mentor some of the company’s summer interns, most of whom worked remotely from their homes.
Following a successful pilot program, Gannett asked to partner with the Freedom Forum again in 2021 in an expanded program to provide mentoring to 40 summer interns. The Freedom Forum is also leading five training sessions for Gannett interns in 2021.
As Freedom Forum leaders envision life after the Newseum, they are committed to the foundation’s role as a defender of First Amendment freedoms for all. The strategic review is designed to ensure that all Freedom Forum programs are effective in supporting that mission.
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