Change Who Gets to Be a Journalist

Black woman journalist focusing a camera

The goal: $14.95 million over 5 years

We’re serious about bringing new voices from underrepresented communities into the world’s newsrooms. We know that diverse voices and life experiences strengthen our newsrooms. The main barrier? Making journalism education and training affordable. The Campaign for Berkeley Journalism addresses this challenge by investing in students who otherwise simply would not have access to a future in journalism.

The Dean’s Fellows and Exceptional Leaders Program support students who are the first in their families to attend college and those who show outstanding promise in the profession. On average, one-third of every Berkeley Journalism student cohort — 20 students each year — are first-generation students. Since we launched the Dean’s Fellowship in 2021, Berkeley Journalism has provided full scholarship support for between three and five students per cohort. It’s time to dramatically increase that support.

graphic illustrating the costs of attending berkely journalism

The Jubilee Scholars Program aims to help students graduate from Berkeley Journalism with no net increase in their student debt. Each year, about two out of three Berkeley Journalism students graduate with an average of more than $63,000 in debt. This makes it exceptionally hard for promising journalists to find their place in the profession and stay with it for the long run.

What’s more, the debt burden falls dispropor-tionately on graduate students of color. We need to end this reliance on debt as the way too many students pay for their two years at Berkeley Journalism if we are to achieve the school’s mission of changing who gets to be a journalist. The Jubilee Scholars Program eliminates the need for students to rely on federal student loans to pay for their graduate journalism education.

The Summer Internship Program is a big reason why you’ll see the work of Berkeley Journalism students and alums front and center on many high-profile publications and outlets, doing great work as investigative reporters, documentary filmmakers, podcasters, editors and more. It’s a transformative experience. But there’s a problem: Only about half of the participating newsrooms can pay their summer interns the $5,000 it costs to do the internship.

That’s why Berkeley Journalism is committed to raising funds for the Summer Internship Program — so that no one will be prevented from doing their summer internship due to financial difficulties.

journalism student holding their article that was published in the New York Times
  • Support at least 10 Dean’s Fellows and Exceptional Leaders during each of the next 5 years
  • Provide debt relief for up to 35 Jubilee Scholars each year for the next 5 years
  • Deliver stipend support for up to 30 summer internships each year for the next 5 years so that no one is prevented from doing their summer internship due to financial difficulties