Univision and DePaul Receive Joint Digital Journalism Project McCormick Grant

Univision Chicago and DePaul University have received a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to jointly establish a digital journalism fellowship for high school and college students. Five teams of bilingual high school and DePaul University journalism students were selected to participate. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens.

Using iPads, microphones and lights funded by the McCormick Foundation, the participants have been tasked with hunting and producing stories with special appeal to Chicago millennials. The first phase of the program will take the students to several neighborhoods with a high population of Hispanics to report on a wide variety of topics that could range from urban improvement projects to local personalities, music, culture, food, and sports. Their iPad-exclusive reporting will be published in mid August in the digital portion of "En Tu Barrio" (In Your Neighborhood), a weekly special edition of Univision Chicago’s local newscast, airing live from different Hispanic communities. The second phase of the program will focus on the 2014 midterm elections, with the students providing online coverage of every aspect of the political process, including voter polls, candidates’ debates, election results and more.

“Univision Chicago is proud to partner with DePaul University to connect promising future journalists with the Hispanic communities we serve and allow them to get first-hand practice at digital reporting through our website,” commented Larry Sands, general manager Univision Chicago and president of Univision Puerto Rico. “We thank The McCormick Foundation for making this project possible for these talented youngsters.”

“The McCormick Foundation is thrilled to be able to support DePaul University’s En Tu Barrio project, a creative partnership with Univision,” said Mark Hallett, senior program officer in the Foundation’s Journalism Program. “This program will allow a talented group of high school and college students to report on their communities, deepen their knowledge of news literacy, and cover the November 2014 elections. It promises to work on multiple levels!”

“We are very grateful to see how the program we launched with the generous support of the McCormick Foundation is expanding with a local Univision partnership for our talented Latino high school and DePaul students. The program fosters young journalists who already know this will be their career choice, because they want to be the voice of the Latino community,” said Cristina Benitez, director, Latino Media & Communication, DePaul University College of Communication.

High school students were selected for the Univision Chicago/DePaul University digital journalism project based upon their enthusiasm and the caliber of the work they produced while participating in DePaul University's Pasos al Futuro (Steps Toward the Future) high school journalism program this past June. Journalism students from DePaul University were selected based upon the quality of their course work, interest in this project, and desire to be a voice for their communities.