Chevrolet Partners with America’s Black Publishers to Help HBCU Students Discover the Unexpected

Style Magazine Newswire | 5/17/2019, 4:46 p.m.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia

Since 2016, General Motors Chevrolet brand and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) have partnered to provide deserving HBCU students with the exciting opportunity to “Discover the Unexpected” about themselves and their communities via a journalism fellowship program.

The Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship (DTU), now entering its fourth consecutive year, provides six HBCU students with scholarships ($10,000 each), stipends ($5,000 each), an eight-week fellowship with two of the nation’s leading Black news publications, and the “road trip of a lifetime” in the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer.

Each year, a selection of four NNPA Publishers provide the fellows with the opportunity to gain real-world journalism experience during the eight-week Fellowship Program.

Recently, host NNPA publishers, along with NNPA president and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., reflected on the success of the program from 2016 to 2018.

“The issues of diversity and inclusion are of paramount concern for corporate America. The NNPA has a productive relationship with General Motors specifically focused on providing scholarships and opportunities to the emerging generation of African American journalists and publishers,” said Chavis. “Discover the Unexpected has been an excellent model for highlighting the importance of freedom of the press and academic excellence.”.

NNPA Chairman and Chicago and Gary Crusader Publisher Dorothy R. Leavell, whose Crusader Newspaper Group will be one of the 2019 host publishers, stressed the importance of the partnership and the resulting opportunities provided to the aspiring Black journalists attending the nation’s HBCU’s.

“This experience, I believe, has given those students a leg up on pursuing a career in journalism and it’s my personal hope that they will lend their journalistic talents to the Black Press by returning to one of our member newspapers,” Leavell said.

The Washington Informer, The New Journal and Guide in Norfolk, Va., The Carolinian in Raleigh, N.C., The New York Amsterdam News, the Chicago Defender, The Michigan Chronicle and The Atlanta Voice are among the NNPA member newspapers that have worked with DTU Fellows. They will be joined this year by The Chicago Crusader and Houston Forward Times.

“The staff of The Washington Informer and I are pleased to work with students from participating HBCU’s who come readily prepared to share 21st century knowledge and tech skills that enhance the reporting and story-telling experiences we offer with the Black Press, including vehicles that make it even more possible to Discover the Unexpected,” said Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes.

“General Motors believes as we do — as Black newspaper publishers — that the Black Press is important, relevant and significant to telling the story and speaking truth to power on behalf of African Americans. As a member of NNPA, I also believe it is our duty to pass the baton, as it was passed to us, to the next generation of media professionals and owners whose responsibility it will become to shape the future of the Black Press,” said Barnes.

Brenda H. Andrews, Publisher of the New Journal and Guide (NJG) in Norfolk, Virginia, hosted three HBCU students for four weeks as part of 2018’s DTU program. In addition to assignments from NJG’s publisher and editor, Fellows were given the opportunity to develop their own story ideas with accompanying photos and videos on a range of topics.