Questions regarding the Journalism Mentorship Collaborative

Why is mentorship the focus of this program?

Many newsrooms have a problem recruiting, retaining and promoting diverse talent. One way to help solve this problem is by supporting those professionals that want to empower staff in creating mentoring and sponsorship solutions. We know people may have mixed experiences with mentors or mentoring, but firmly believe that following best practices will create a rewarding experience. Our goal is to help newsrooms small and large determine the best process for their organization.


Who is eligible to join the Journalism Mentorship Collaborative?

The Collaborative is an open network for journalism practitioners and educators who are committed to creating inclusive mentorship opportunities. Any newsrooms operating with editorial independence from government, corporate or political advocacy organizations, are eligible to apply.


If it’s free to join, what is the purpose of the application form?

The application is intended to ensure applicants meet the aforementioned criteria for journalism, and have made some modest efforts to create mentorship opportunities for others. We’re trying to be as inclusive as possible, while sticking to our core mission to support professional digital journalists.


Can more than one person from my organization join the Collaborative?

Yes. We recognize some newsrooms have different departments or sister companies that may have different structures for their mentorship programs.


I have an idea for developing a mentorship program, but don’t have all of the details ironed out. Can I still join the Collaborative?

Yes! Our goal is to equip you with best practices and inspire new ideas.


My organization currently has a diversity mentorship program. Will joining the Collaborative still be useful for me?

Yes. We want to create a network of organizations that can share ideas and best practices. Mentorship initiatives take a variety of forms. By joining the Collaborative, you’ll be at the forefront of learning how programs evolve and improve, and may find some new inspiration. Additionally, other members will certainly benefit from your experience.


Can I join the Collaborative if I work at an educational institution or journalism-related technology company?

Yes. Please note the Collaborative is aimed at structural changes, and our focus will be on newsrooms. But if your organization has a similar program, please feel free to join. If you’re simply looking to serve as a mentor to someone, this program will not be tailored to your needs.


Can I join the Collaborative if I’m from a country other than the United States?

Yes. It’s worth noting a couple of points: 1) The coaches developing the curriculum are from the United States, so materials will be most relevant to U.S. newsrooms. That said, we anticipate materials will be general enough that our colleagues around the world could benefit from them. 2) All webinars and resources developed for the program will be in English only due to limited resources. 3) Unfortunately, members of the Collaborative from outside North America will NOT be eligible for the fellowship opportunity. In short, we think materials and discussions for the collaborative will be general enough that almost anyone can gain something from them, but the more intense training fellows receive will be most beneficial to those working and mentoring in North America.


I see logos from other organizations on your website. Will I need my organization to agree to this before joining?

No. If your organization is amenable to showing their support for your work, we’d be happy to include it. However, this is not part of the application process or a requirement for participation.


Who is eligible to apply for the fellowship program?

There are two criteria to be eligible for the fellowship program, which includes funding from a $125,000 pool to support innovative programs. 1) Your organization must be a member of the broader Collaborative. You’ll have the opportunity to apply for both programs at once to make this a bit easier. 2) You must be from North America.


What if I want a mentor to help me in my work?

This program is aimed at creating structural change at the organizational level, rather than individual matchmaking with a mentor.