E.W. Scripps Journalism Career Program hires four broadcast and digital journalism seniors

BY LANI DIANE RICH

May 10, 2017

In the second year of a partner program with the Newhouse School designed at getting the best talent into their news stations, E.W. Scripps has selected four graduating seniors to be part of their Journalism Career Program.

Chris DiMaria, Jeff Slawson, Brittany Muller and Fatima Bangura, all broadcast and digital journalism majors graduating this spring, were selected to go to WKBW-TV in Buffalo, where they will work as trainees for one year, with housing and a starting salary provided. At the end of the year, if the trainees accept a position at one of the 33 Scripps-owned stations across the country, they get a signing bonus.

Photo of Jeff Slawson, Brittany Muller, Fatima Bangura and Chris DiMaria.
New Scripps hires Jeff Slawson, Brittany Muller, Fatima Bangura and Chris DiMaria.

Broadcast and digital journalism chair Chris Tuohey sees Scripps’ efforts to seek out strong talent as a good sign for broadcast journalism in general.

“The industry has traditionally been very bad at training,” Tuohey says. “Now they recognize that it’s a seller’s market, and if they want the best, they need to recruit.”

Kelly Barnett, director of the Tina Press and David Rubin Career Development Center, helped bring in the program two years ago when Scripps expressed interest in Newhouse graduates.

“Both parties are glad it worked out so well,” Barnett says. “Last year’s trainees came back to talk about the program to our graduating seniors, and they were very persuasive.”

Scripps had a difficult time selecting only four trainees from the pool of candidates. “They made an offer to the other applicants that they would pass their resumes on to their other stations who are looking for talent,” Barnett says.

The appeal of the program lies not just in the distinguished Scripps name, but in the fact that the company is forward-thinking.

“What’s nice is it’s not narrowly focused. Three students are coming in as multimedia journalists, but one will be a digital producer,” Tuohey says. The digital producer position deals with producing content for the website and social media.

Bangura, who will be filling the digital producer position, says that she’s looking forward to the challenge. “I’m excited to bring my experience with 360 video and computer animation to advance immersive storytelling at the local level.”

“Scripps wants them to do what they want to do,” Barnett says.

The trainees begin their year at WKBW-TV in mid-summer.

Photos by Rachel Kline, a senior in the Newhouse school.