Five students will work for INN member newsrooms on a variety of projects.
Columbia, Mo. (June 1, 2021) — This summer five Missouri School of Journalism students will take part in the Knight Nonprofit News Internship program, a diverse scholarship partnership between MU and the Institute for Nonprofit News. The program strives to develop a more diverse workforce – particularly in the area of leadership and management.
The students will work for INN member newsrooms with the help of the subsidized internships. This year’s students and newsroom partners are Amari Foster, The Texas Tribune (Austin); Rachel Henderson, Wisconsin Watch (Madison); Cela Migan, Inside Climate News (Brooklyn); Prathithi Parasuram, CalMatters (Sacramento); and Moy Zhong, The Beacon (Kansas City).
“This is the third year of the program and we are thrilled that interest from both students and newsroom continues to grow,” said Damon Kiesow, professor and Knight Chair in Digital Editing and Producing at the Journalism School. “These are non-traditional journalism internships to some extent, as they focus on audience and product management roles — but both are areas that are seeing rapid growth in the industry and these are skills that students greatly benefit from, regardless of their eventual career path.”
The internship program partners with newsrooms that need help with a variety of projects whether it’s assisting with membership or paywall models, audience engagement, analytics, live event planning, email newsletters or other projects.
“MU and the School of Journalism is committed to inclusion, diversity and equity and this program is an excellent example of our efforts to move the needle and get more students of color into the industry,” said Ron Kelley, associate professor and executive director of student development, diversity and inclusion at the Journalism School, who has been working with Kiesow to coordinate the internships. “This program is a great way to build the diversity pipeline on the business side of news and expose students of varying diversities to the different opportunities like product management and the audience engagement side of the business.”
The INN strengthens and supports 300 independent news organizations in a new kind of media network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. From local news to in-depth reporting on pressing global issues, INN’s members tell stories that otherwise would go untold – connecting communities, holding the powerful accountable and strengthening democracy. INN programs help these news organizations develop revenue and business models to support strong reporting, collaborate on editorial and business innovation, share services and advance the diverse leaders who are forging a new future for news.
“Nonprofit news is a growing field, and that means more demand for people who can contribute as writers and editors, but also as leaders in audience growth, live events and fundraising,” said Sara Shahriari, MA ’09, director of leadership and talent development at INN. “MU journalism students are ready to start on their paths toward these leadership positions, and INN member organizations provide wonderful opportunities for them to learn and put their skills to work on exciting projects.”
The internships, which may take place remotely, will be co-funded by the partner newsrooms and Kiesow’s Knight Chair budget, which is made up of funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the state of Missouri.
Meet the interns
Amari Foster is a rising junior from Bartlett, Illinois, majoring in Journalism with a desired career path of Strategic Communication and dual minoring in Spanish and Business. Foster will assist The Texas Tribune in its prep for The Texas Tribune Festival this Fall. As an events fellow, her role will include attendee engagement, product website development, and crafting targeted promotions. While at MU, Foster has served as a Marketing Intern with Missouri Business Alert. On-campus she is a Residential Advisor-Peer Learning Assistant and is involved in the local chapter NABJ, Alumni Association Student Board, American Advertising Federation, and Marching Mizzou.
Rachel Henderson is a sophomore from Atlanta majoring in journalism with emphasises in Television and Cross-Platform Editing and Producing with a sociology minor. Rachel is a Brazeal and Walter Williams scholar, making her very involved in the Honors College. Since her time at Mizzou, Rachel has also become involved with the National Association of Black Journalists, the Alumni Association Student Board, True Tiger Network, MUTV 23News and the ASH Scholars research program. Rachel’s passion for interviewing, storytelling and analytics make her upcoming internship with Wisconsin Watch a perfect fit. She is extremely excited to explore the business side of journalism and apply her skills to a new and unfamiliar market.
Cela Migan is a rising junior Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Audience and Strategy. She is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and her pronouns are she/her/hers. Migan is a Resident Advisor, serves as the PR Chair for the Asian American Association and is an Ambassador for the Missouri Student Unions.
Prathithi Parasuram grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and is a rising junior at the University of Missouri where she is in the journalism school. In high school marketing classes, she enjoyed each of the steps that went into developing and presenting a creative pitch, while developing her artistic, copywriting and public speaking skills. These experiences helped her decide that she wanted to major in strategic communications. In the past, she interned with Pack Health where she advanced her social media management abilities and wrote various blog articles, thereby learning the value of creating audience-centered content. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering for various nonprofits, practicing violin, reading and playing sports with her friends.
Moy Zhong is from Columbia, Missouri and a rising junior journalism and digital storytelling student at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Zhong has contributed to community newsrooms such as The Columbia Missourian and is an art assistant for Vox Magazine. She’s driven to amplify marginalized voices in her reporting, especially within Asian American communities. Zhong also seeks to experiment in visual stories, from innovative page design to comics journalism. In her free time, Zhong enjoys making art and taking care of her house plants.
About Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950, the Foundation has granted more than $400 million to advance quality journalism and freedom of expression. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change. For more, visit http://www.knightfoundation.org/.
Updated: June 1, 2021