The Atlanta Voice welcomes three students through Chevrolet journalism fellowship

by Jun 17, 2019Chevy DTU, DEREK ‘FONZWORTH BENTLEY’ WATKINS, DJ Envy, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, DTU 2019, Emani Nichols, Miana Massey, NNPA, Team Ingenious, Tyla Barnes0 comments

By Marshall A. Latimore | The Atlanta Voice

Three HBCU students from across the country will join The Atlanta Voice newsroom this summer as a part of the 2019 Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship, a program hosted by Chevrolet and the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

The three students—Tyla Barnes from Hampton University, Miana Massey from Howard University and Emani Nichols from Morehouse College—will take part in an immersive program under Publisher Janis L. Ware and Editor-In-Chief Marshall A. Latimore that will provide the students with opportunities to file real stories as well as work alongside professional journalists and editors from The Atlanta Voice.

Participating in Discover the Unexpected (DTU) program for the fourth year is an honor and a pleasure,” Ware said. “This year the DTU program has expanded its reach to all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).”

(Photo: Trarell Torrence)

(Photo: Trarell Torrence)

“The application and selection process are extremely competitive and extensive. Team Ingenious is proving to be creative, motivated and self-directed. During these times where editors and state representatives are fighting for a bill to save local journalism (H.R.2054, Journalism Competition and Preservation Act), having the opportunity to train and motivate young journalists is a great way to give back to our youth.”

The fellows’ journey began last week in Atlanta, where they participated in two days of journalism training with Chevrolet and NNPA leadership before they hit the road to begin their reporting assignments. The DTU Fellowship lasts through Aug. 1. In addition to The Atlanta Voice, the DTU fellows will also work at the Chicago Crusader, Houston Forward Times and The Washington Informer.

Chevrolet will award each DTU Fellow a $10,000 scholarship and a $5,000 stipend. The students will form two teams of three people, and each team will have access to an all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer during their reporting assignments.

“The NNPA is excited to partner with Chevrolet for another year in support of young journalists to amplify community voices across our country,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. “Having these young journalists in our newsrooms working side by side with our editors and writers is inspiring and we are committed to including young storytellers’ voices in our reporting.”

The annual DTU program has awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships and stipends since 2016. The program started with a select number of schools and, based on the overwhelming response, the online submission process was opened to all HBCU students in their sophomore through senior years with an interest in journalism, communications, mass media or visual arts.

(Photo: Trarell Torrence)

(Photo: Trarell Torrence)

Each year, Chevrolet and the NPPA selects six students from America’s HBCUs to travel the country to discover and share positive, inspirational and relevant stories from African American communities during their eight-week summer internship. The other 2019 DTU Journalism Fellows include Tedarius Abrams (Bethune-Cookman University), Elae Hill (North Carolina A&T University), and Sharon Joy Washington (Florida A&M University). The six students were selected from more than 150 other applicants.

“Our partnership with the NNPA continues to provide a unique platform to connect with young and remarkable storytellers,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “From the inaugural launch at Howard University to the inclusion of all the HBCUs, it’s Chevrolet’s pleasure to partner with members of the African American community, ensuring a legacy is established for generations to come. We’re thrilled to meet this year’s group of fellows and immerse them in all things Chevrolet.”

Disc jockey and music producer DJ Envy, a co-host of the syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club,” will be the program’s national spokesperson. Musician and author Fonzworth Bentley will serve as the fellows’ Road Trip Advisor. Both are HBCU alums — DJ Envy graduated from Virginia’s Hampton University and Bentley is a Morehouse College graduate.

Houston Airwaves: A Summer Breeze

I had an experience of a lifetime this weekend when my team was invited to one of the biggest radio stations in Houston, Majic 102.1. The conversation on air was a breeze and even comical at times. After the interview, I got the chance to see how much work is actually put in producing a radio show.

Keeping Busy In The Chi

With my first two years completed at North Carolina A&T I have had on-campus experiences pertaining to writing news, interviewing and developing journalism skills. But I’ve never had the opportunity like the one Chevy Discover The Unexpected has given me this summer, to not only travel the country and develop genuine connections, but to also learn about our Black communities and the triumphs and downfalls that occur within them, that are rarely shared on a broader scale in the mainstream media.

Coast To Coast: L.A. To Chicago

After getting back to Chicago, my team and I prepared to attend ComplexCon, a convention hosted by a leading urban magazine. It is a leading convention in showcasing what’s trending in mainstream culture. It was a nice experience, but I realized that I’m not in touch with popular culture. From the fashion down to the hottest new artist(s), I feel like I’ve been living under a rock for the past few years. And you know what, I don’t care.

I Could Make Chicago a Thing

The Chicago Crusader has shown us a great time, and they have also been challenging me to do things that I am not naturally comfortable with. I’m actually a published journalist now, which is crazy because I am not a great writer, but it is still cool to say that some of my work has been published.

A Message to The Chevy DTU Fellows: Boot Camp Opening Remarks

Introducing Michelle Matthews-Alexander, Multicultural Marketing Manager at General Motors. Michelle has dedicated her career to enhancing major corporations’ relationship with diverse communities. Since joining GM in 2015, Michelle has not only advocated for, but helped spearhead Chevrolet’s Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship program. In partnership with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, she and Chevrolet have invested in the future of Black Journalism while simultaneously supporting students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Now in its fourth year, the 2019 Chevrolet Discover The Unexpected program continues to provide opportunity to young journalists as they work to tell the stories that matter.

Life After Discover The Unexpected

My Discover the Unexpected experience at the Louisiana Weekly newspaper was very influential to my life. I was fresh out of Clark Atlanta University and I was looking for an opportunity to produce current and cultural news stories. The Louisiana Weekly gave me the opportunity to write and report my own stories.

Getting Started With The Houston Forward Times

First week in Houston is in the books, and I wrote my first cover story! On the first day in the office, we got breaking news about a press conference that would be happening the next morning on some recent killings of innocent children in the Houston area.

Week Five: Landing In Houston

My 5th week as a DTU fellow has been very challenging. I’ve been faced with the task of writing stories at a speed that I’m not accustomed to, but I appreciate the discomfort and growth.

Hello Chicago!

With my first two years completed at North Carolina A&T I have had on-campus experiences pertaining to writing news, interviewing and developing journalism skills. But I’ve never had the opportunity like the one Chevy Discover The Unexpected has given me this summer, to not only travel the country and develop genuine connections, but to also learn about our Black communities and the triumphs and downfalls that occur within them, that are rarely shared on a broader scale in the mainstream media.

Hello Chicago!

Since the beginning of the journey I wanted the experience itself to be my “thank you” to the program coordinators. I treat each assignment, opportunity and encounter as a “thank you.” From delving into the depths of “The Green Book” and its comparison to our travel experience, to attending city press briefings I’ve learned that the way that we say “thank you” is through what we produce.

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