CBS News unveils new journalism diversity initiatives


Sean McManus, President CBS News and Sports, announced an array of new initiatives by CBS News designed to further promote diversity and excellence in journalism. Included are a paid internship program and funding of a university professorship.
Along with those initiatives, the workplace programs CBS is putting into effect in 2011 are a professional development program and a discretionary award to be used by the president of CBS News to recognize truly outstanding contributions by News Division employees who promote excellence and diversity at CBS News. 

CBS News is establishing the Harold Dow Professorship at the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University, which was the first historically black university to have an accredited journalism program. The professorship is designed to enhance presentation skills for students interested in on-air positions in broadcast television and will begin in the 2011-12 academic year.

“We are profoundly appreciative to have the CBS Harold Dow Professorship, which will immediately enhance the education of students committed to a career in broadcast journalism,” said Dr. James Hawkins, Dean of the Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication.  “This professorship speaks volumes about CBS’s regard for journalism education and appreciation for Harold Dow, a gifted journalist whose work was nothing short of outstanding.  It is our goal to produce journalists who will commit to the trusted standards of CBS and Harold Dow.”

“Harold was a celebrated journalist, a CBS colleague and a friend and mentor to me and to so many throughout his career. I am proud of CBS’s ongoing focus on excellence and diversity in our newsroom and in the industry as a whole, and so very gratified that the students at FAMU will benefit from this wonderful professorship established in celebration of Harold’s extraordinary contributions and career,” said CBS News senior producer Kim Godwin, a Florida A&M School of Journalism & Graphic Communication alumna and former faculty member.

Dow, who died in August at age 62, had been a correspondent for “48 Hours” since 1990, after serving as a contributor to the broadcast since its premiere in 1988.  He was a contributor to the critically acclaimed 1986 documentary “48 Hours on Crack Street,” which led to the creation of the single-topic weekly news magazine. Dow had joined CBS News in 1972. 

“Through these initiatives in our workplace and with the aspiring young journalists at the distinguished Florida A&M journalism program, CBS News is expanding its longstanding commitment to diversity, to industry excellence and to nurturing future generations of journalists,” said McManus.  “We also are extremely pleased that we are able to memorialize our colleague and dear friend, broadcasting legend Harold Dow, in this significant way.”

How will the new internship program work? Each year, CBS News will bring seven summer interns of diverse backgrounds to New York, all expenses paid.

On the employment front, CBS News will create a professional development program that identifies two news producers of diverse backgrounds in the early stages of their careers at CBS stations and pay half of their salary each year.