In a significant stride toward redefining disinformation narratives, The Kansas City Defender, a radical Black news outlet, has been selected as a 2023 Host Newsroom for the Google News Initiative and Poynter’s fellowship program.
This esteemed recognition is a testament to our consistent dedication to championing truth and justice while critically addressing the roots and impacts of disinformation.
Traditionally, the study and understanding of disinformation have lacked the necessary inclusion of Black representation and perspective. The Kansas City Defender is committed to disrupting this narrative and bringing a fresh, essential perspective to the global conversation.
We believe that disinformation doesn’t solely emanate from internet trolls and anonymous bad actors, but more frequently from state institutions. Local government agencies, such as the Kansas City Police Department, have shown that they are often the most culpable dissemination of disinformation. It’s this critical understanding that we will be bringing to this fellowship program.
The Google News Initiative and Poynter partnership, initiated to combat the persistent spread of misinformation, especially on social media platforms, underscores the role of local news outlets like The Kansas City Defender in promoting digital literacy and discernment within our communities.
In 2023, the partnership is launching a student fellowship program aimed at countering the spread of mis- and disinformation. Selected fellows will be stationed in local newsrooms, working on projects geared towards reducing the spread of false information and fostering an informed citizenry.
The Kansas City Defender is now accepting applications from college students interested in joining us in this transformative initiative. Eligible candidates must be at least 18 years old, currently enrolled in an accredited college or university, eligible to work in the United States, and prepared to work in person if required.
Selected fellows will receive a $10,000 stipend for the duration of the program, and gain invaluable training from the Google News Lab and Poynter’s MediaWise initiative. They will also be part of the fall cohort of the Campus Correspondents program.
The deadline for applications is midnight Pacific Time on July 21, 2023. The program runs from September to December, aligning with the fall semester.
The Kansas City Defender’s selection as a Host Newsroom in this initiative underscores our radical commitment to truth, credibility, and the power of local, Black-centric journalism. As we prepare to usher in and nurture the next generation of journalists through this fellowship, we remain resolute in our mission to inform, educate, and empower our community, always through a lens that disrupts the status quo.