Wal-Mart Provides School with $50,000 for Minority Scholarships

Missouri One of 10 Journalism Programs Selected Nationwide

Columbia, Mo. (Aug. 9, 2004) — The Missouri School of Journalism is one of 10 select journalism programs nationwide to receive $50,000 for minority scholarships from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The universities were selected based on the quality of their journalism programs and student demographics.

The three-year scholarship program is an effort to increase the level of diversity in newsrooms around the country. This initiative was designed to fill the gap identified in recent surveys by two news industry groups, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Radio and Television News Directors Association. The announcement was made at last week’s UNITY 2004 Convention in Washington, D.C.

“Like all of us, journalists are shaped by their own culture and past experiences, and this helps determine how they see the world. Currently there simply are not enough news reporters, editors and producers whose thinking reflects their experiences growing up as minorities in this country,” said Mona Williams, vice president of communication for Wal-Mart. “We have the opportunity to help make a difference by ensuring that talented college students who aspire to be journalists are not disappointed simply because they are short on money.”

Each university with an undergraduate journalism program will select four minority journalism students to receive $2,500 scholarships in their junior year. Preference will be given to students with a financial need and a grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale. The scholarships are renewable in their senior year if students maintain a 3.0 grade point average. The first round of scholarships will be awarded for the Fall 2005 school year.

“The scholarships will help us do an even better job of recruiting minorities who want to study journalism,” said Dean Mills, dean.

The School’s diversity efforts extend beyond recruitment and are integrated into the curriculum. A required course called “Cross-cultural Journalism” was introduced several years ago to help students better understand how to relate to different cultures and races. More than 15 percent of all undergraduate students study abroad. More than 150 international journalists visited the school last year.

The other schools selected were Arizona State University, Columbia University, Hampton University, Howard University, Northwestern University, Syracuse University, University of Florida, University of Southern California and University of Texas at Austin.

Updated: March 17, 2020

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