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COVID-19 / DEI / Delaware / Guest posts / Media is a part of Delaware’s first statewide news collaborative

Five aspiring journalists will increase coverage of the pandemic’s impact on BIPOC communities in Southern Delaware.

The five interns of the 2021 DCF Journalism Internship Program. (Courtesy photos; image via Canva)
This is a guest post by Allison Taylor Levine, VP for marketing and communications at the Delaware Community Foundation.

Five aspiring journalists will be working in local newsrooms this summer through the new DCF Journalism Internship Program, Delaware’s first statewide collaborative journalism initiative.

The program, funded by a grant from the COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund and managed by the Delaware Community Foundation, will increase news and information about the impact of the pandemic on BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) communities in Southern Delaware and strengthen the pipeline of BIPOC journalists.

This year’s interns and their hosting newsrooms are:

  • Docquan Louallen, The News Journal/DelawareOnline — Louallen is 2019 graduate of Delaware State University’s mass communications program and a resident of Wilmington.
  • Xiomara Moore, Cape Gazette — Moore is a rising junior at the University of Delaware’s media communications program and a resident of Magnolia.
  • Johnny Perez-Gonzalez, WHYY — Perez-Gonzalez is a rising senior at the University of Delaware’s media communications program and a resident of Georgetown.
  • Esha Shah, Delaware State News — Shah is a rising junior at the University of Delaware’s media communications program and a resident of Newark.
  • Kayla Williams, Delaware Public Media — Williams will graduate from the University of Delaware’s media communications program at the end of this month. She is a resident of Bear.

Stories produced by the interns will be shared by all of the participating outlets, ensuring the news reaches as many people as possible across different media platforms and in different parts of the state.

In addition to the five outlets hosting interns, Hoy en Delaware and El Tiempo Hispano will be translating the students’ work, publishing those stories and sharing the translations for the other outlets to publish. also will participate, publishing the interns’ work and providing additional mentoring.

The interns also will participate in educational programming and work collaboratively on a news project about the impact of the pandemic on BIPOC communities in Sussex County.

This summer’s cohort will work under the mentorship of Larry Nagengast, a journalist with nearly 50 years of experience in local news in Delaware. The Maryland Delaware DC Press Association also is partnering with the DCF on recruiting and providing educational programming for the students.

“Strong local news provides accountability in our government, increases civic engagement and strengthens our communities by helping us understand our neighbors’ lived experiences,” said Allison Taylor Levine, DCF VP for marketing and communications. “This group of talented interns will help elevate the stories of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Delaware’s BIPOC communities.”

Interns will begin work in June. Their work will be available through the media outlets’ own platforms and on the DCF website.

Series: Coronavirus

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