Berkeley Journalism announces Advisory Board for California Local News Fellowship program

January 31, 2023

Collage of headshots of the 15 new advisory board members.

Top Row (L-R): Don Blount, Paulette Brown-Hinds, Arturo Carmona, Julian Do, Eleni Economides Gastis, Simon Grieve, Richard Koci Hernandez, Angel Jennings (photo by Los Angeles Times). Bottom Row (L-R): Malcolm Marshall, Julie Patel Liss, Mike Rispoli, Christine Schiavo (photo by Janice Hui), Mark Schoofs (photo by BuzzFeed News), Phylis West Johnson, Adia White.

Berkeley Journalism announces the Advisory Board for its new California Local News Fellowship program, a multi-year, state-funded program to support and strengthen local news reporting in California, with a focus on underserved communities.

The initiative is believed to be the largest state allocation ever made in California and in the U.S. to support local journalism. It will support three cohorts of up to 40 fellows each while they work for two to three years in California newsrooms, covering communities in need of strong local journalism.

The advisory board, which represents journalism education programs and newsrooms across the state, will help shape the future of the program and serve as the selection committee for participating news outlets and fellows.

“Berkeley Journalism is proud to lead this effort to recruit and support the most talented early career journalists throughout California and to partner with news organizations across the state to increase their local reporting efforts,” Geeta Anand, dean of Berkeley Journalism, said. “We are deeply thankful to every member of the new Advisory Board for lending their time, passion and expertise to this ambitious initiative.”

The Advisory Board includes:

Don Blount, former executive editor of The Stockton Record
Paulette Brown-Hinds, publisher/founder of Black Voice News/Voice Media Ventures
Arturo Carmona, founder of Latino Media Collaborative and CALÓ News
Julian Do, co-director of Ethnic Media Services
Eleni Economides Gastis, chair of the Department of Journalism at Laney College
Simon Grieve, publisher of Southern California News Group’s weekly publications
Angel Jennings, assistant managing editor of culture and talent at the Los Angeles Times
Richard Koci Hernandez, associate professor and Bloomberg Chair at Berkeley Journalism
Malcolm Marshall, founder and executive editor at Richmond Pulse
Julie Patel Liss, associate professor and head of journalism at the Department of Television, Film & Media Studies at Cal State Los Angeles
Mike Rispoli, senior director, journalism and civic information at Free Press
Christine Schiavo, local news editor at the Investigative Reporting Program at Berkeley Journalism
Mark Schoofs, visiting professor of journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Phylis West, professor and director at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San José State University
Adia White, senior news editor at North State Public Radio

“We are confident that this strong group of advisers will help ensure that the fellowship program strengthens the news ecosystem and serves as a powerful career launching pad for early-career journalists throughout California,” Christa Scharfenberg, the fellowship project director, said.

The application for the first cohort of newsrooms will open on February 15th. The application for fellows will open March 1.

Visit to learn more and to sign up for project and application updates.

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