CBS News to Launch Diversity Program

Aug 4, 2004  •  Post A Comment

CBS News will launch a program in January 2005 to develop a pool of minority producers and correspondents from which the news operations of the network, the network-owned stations and the network’s affiliates can draw.

“This program is a significant step toward a goal we share with CBS stations across the country: even greater diversity in the newsroom,” said CBS News President Andrew Heyward. “By identifying up-and-coming producers and reporters of color and providing them with new opportunities, we hope to offer these rising stars a meaningful experience that helps their careers and also helps us.”

CBS News will work with affiliates and with minority journalist organizations to collect recommendations and will conduct screenings at minority journalist conventions. Candidates should have a minimum of two years’ professional experience. “We’re looking for people who already are making their mark,” said Mr. Heyward.

Applications will consist of a resume, a tape and recommendations. A committee of CBS News executives and executive producers, CBS Newspath executives and CBS News’ director of recruitment will interview and select the finalists.

One producer and one reporter will be selected each year for the program, which still is being structured. CBS News will hire the journalists to work for two years at participating CBS affiliates that have strong newsrooms with a commitment to mentoring and to the project. Each participating affiliate will be involved in approving the candidate for its own newsroom.

“It is absolutely a win-win program,” said Mr. Heyward. At the end of two years, the goal is for the journalists to join CBS News or to move up in other directions. Interested individuals may contact Linda Mason, VP for public affairs, CBS News, or go to cbsnews.com and click on Internships for details.

Mr. Heyward said Wednesday that Bill Whitaker and Vince Gonzalez are among the alumni of a previous, correspondents-only incarnation of this program.