The Georgia Press Education Foundation has joined forces with the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, thanks to a generous gift from Richard T. and Deborah H. Griffiths, for a new and innovative program that connects college students and Georgia news organizations. Grady Digital Natives brings UGA journalism students with digital news expertise into Georgia newsrooms for one week to help local journalists accomplish specific digital goals.
The digital transition continues to be challenging for community journalism for reasons ranging from funding to time to expertise. Grady Digital Natives will help bridge this gap by allowing digitally savvy journalism majors to assist with a variety of digital tasks like optimizing social media, creating digital content on various platforms, and experimenting with new technologies, as well as audience engagement, help with disinformation, and Trusting News concepts. Students will also benefit from learning from these organizations by spending a week in a working newsroom environment.
The program for 2021-2022 will run on site from Jan. 3-7, 2022, during the last week of UGA’s winter break. Georgia news organizations will be chosen through an application process. Grady College and GPEF will provide a $1,000 stipend for up to 15 Grady College students to spend a week at local news sites; food, travel and lodging will also be covered. All other expenses, if any, connected to these assignments will be paid by the local news partner.
“Through the Digital Natives program, these college students will bring their skills into our community newspapers to help advance the paper’s presence in the ever changing digital world,” GPA Executive Director Robin Rhodes said. “GPA is grateful for Dean Davis bringing forth this amazing program to our members.”
The director of Grady Digital Natives, Dr. Amanda Bright, is also a faculty member at Grady College and will train the students before they start their week within Georgia newsrooms.
“This program is mutually beneficial for students and local newsrooms,” Bright said. “Whether it’s starting an email newsletter, diving into Facebook groups, telling stories through web-based interactives or creating a codified social media strategy, Georgia news organizations will tangibly benefit, while our students will gain hands-on newsroom knowledge and experience from those doing the important work of journalism each day.”
Digital Natives is part of the Cox Institute of Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership portfolio of programs.
Georgia news organizations interested in participating and students who want to be Digital Natives should apply by Oct. 29, 2021.
For more information, contact Digital Natives Director Amanda Bright or GPA Executive Director Robin Rhodes.