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ViacomCBS And USC Annenberg Establish HBCU Diversity In Journalism Scholarship To Advance Newsroom Diversity

(CBS) - ViacomCBS and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism announced earlier today the creation of a brand new scholarship set to advance a robust pipeline for Black journalists to bother enter and lead in newsrooms across the country in the near future.

Supported by a $1-million endowment, the ViacomCBS HBCU Diversity in Journalism Scholarship, will cover yearly tuition costs for one or more graduates of HBCUs to enroll in one of USC Annenberg's journalism master's programs.

Gayle King, co-host of CBS This Morning, announced the new scholarship at USC Annenberg's virtual celebration for its Class of 2021 on May 13th saying, "This new scholarship demonstrates ViacomCBS and USC Annenberg's commitment to elevating Black excellence in journalism as well as a tremendous investment in supporting the diverse representation we all seek in the industry."

Despite industry-wide calls for a commitment to equality and inclusion in journalism, progress has been slow. According to the News Leaders Association's latest Newsroom Diversity Survey, Black journalists represent 7.12% of the overall salaried workforce among newsrooms that responded, a less than 2% increase since the organization's 1999 survey. The NLA's study also showed that as of 2019, only 7.7% of newsroom managers are Black.

"HBCU graduates are critical to advancing our country's future, including the next generation of journalists," said Willow Bay, dean of USC Annenberg. "We are proud to join ViacomCBS in accelerating Black journalists' paths to success here at USC Annenberg so they can bring their invaluable expertise and perspectives to our nation's media organizations and truly propel representation forward."

Bay also added that the ViacomCBS HBCU Diversity in Journalism Scholarship will help remove the tuition cost barrier that may prevent HBCU alumni from pursuing graduate studies in journalism.

"CBS is deeply committed to having our talented newsroom teams reflect our audience and the world we cover," said George Cheeks, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS. "We proudly join with USC Annenberg to support HBCU graduates as they become tomorrow's journalism leaders."

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