NBC Owned Television Stations has launched a pair of programs designed to attract and train young journalists from diverse backgrounds to work in the owned stations' newsrooms. NBC's News Associates program welcomed 10 recent college graduates to its 10 stations; the group started orientation last week and each trainee is paired with a senior level mentor.
The Reporter Training program will tap four young journalists for NBC Owned Stations newsrooms in Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, Miami and San Diego. The program starts in January and is designed "to attract television or digital journalists early in their careers or experienced print journalists interested in transitioning to television as on-air reporters," said NBC in a statement.
"While our stations are among the best in the industry at reflecting the diversity of the markets we serve, we can always do better. One way to do that is to make sure we have a full pipeline of news talent ready for both on and off the air positions," said Valari Staab, president of the NBC Owned Television Stations. "We're excited about developing and investing in young journalists from diverse backgrounds who we hope will one day be news room managers and great reporters at our stations across the country."
NBC says 40% of its stations' on-air talent, and one-third of all newsroom staff, is "ethnically diverse."
"We salute NBC for taking the initiative to train talented students from diverse backgrounds in areas in which there is a significant lack of diversity," said Gregory Lee, Jr., president of the National Association of Black Journalists. "We hope that this is a long-term plan in preparing these budding students to become executive producers, general managers and lead anchors of the future."