Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service housing reporter PrincessSafiya Byers is among the 25 journalists from across the country selected by the National Press Foundation for a yearlong fellowship, “Widening the Pipeline.”
The fellowship is designed to support early-career journalists of color and help them rise to positions of influence in U.S. newsrooms. The journalists are based in 18 states and hail from print, radio, TV and digital newsrooms.
Fellows will meet in Washington, D.C., for a three-day workshop March 20-23, then meet once a month for virtual training sessions and return to Washington for concluding training in 2023. Topics will include leadership, investigative reporting, accountability reporting, data journalism, multimedia skills and in-studio media training.
Byers, a 2020 graduate of the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, covers housing for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, the editorially independent nonprofit newsroom that serves communities of color in Milwaukee.
She comes to NNS via the acclaimed Report For America program, which places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.
She is part of an award-winning newsroom housed in the Diederich College of Communication. NNS receives tremendous in-kind support from the college as well as other departments and units throughout the university.
But to pay its reporters and editors, NNS relies on donations and has garnered consistent financial support from the city’s leading philanthropic foundations during its 11 years of operation.
“Our work is free, but our labors are not,” said Editorial Director Ron Smith. “It’s heartening to be sitting on the national stage as an example of what community-fueled journalism can do for residents who have been largely ignored by other media outlets.
“Princess is an invaluable member of our staff,” he said. “I have no doubt she will learn from members of her cohort, and she will teach them things as well, and then she will come back to teach us in Milwaukee.”
Click here to catch up on some of Byers’ stories for NNS.
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