Radio Television Digital News Foundation
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Established in 1946, The Radio Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) is known as the largest specialized organization serving the electronic news industry. With over 3,000 members, RTNDA is committed to providing standards for gathering news and reporting information, and expertise in the electronic journalistic field.
To further educate professionals and provide them with valuable professional development and training, scholarship support and funding for research, RTNDA established the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF). RTDNF is committed to assisting working professionals who are employed as journalists or journalist educators, as well as helping students pay for a college degree programs in the electronic news field. It provides a number of programs including a journalist exchange program, a high school electronic journalism project, a financial reporting project, news leadership development, a news and terrorism awareness program, journalism ethics, diversity in the newsroom, and a scholarship program that includes internships, and fellowships for students and working professionals. This article further discusses the scholarship programs offered by the RTDNF.
Radio Television Digital News Foundation Scholarship Programs
The Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s scholarship program is made possible by the generous donations from friends of the organization, foundations, and a variety of corporations.
Undergraduate scholarships are designed for sophomore level college students or higher, while graduate scholarships are open to students planning to enroll in graduate studies or who are already enrolled in a graduate program. All students must possess a career interest in radio and television news.
To be considered for a scholarship, students must be enrolled full-time, and have one full year of college to complete, whether it is undergraduate studies, or graduate studies. Applicants must have a good academic record and be working towards a career in electronic journalism. Recipients of the following scholarships receive a complimentary trip to the RTDNA International Conference: Carole Simpson, Ed Bradley, the Lou & Carole Prato Sports Reporting; The Abe Schechter Graduate Scholarship; and, the Pete Wilson Scholarship. Scholarships are disbursed in two installments during one academic year. SPECIAL NOTES: Applicants can only apply for ONE scholarship per year. Applicants can be enrolled in any major discipline as long as their career intent is in electronic journalism.
In addition to filling out and submitting an application form for an undergraduate award, applicants must also include a resume; examples of your journalistic skills (up to three examples) on DVD/CD with scripts; a brief description of your role for each story (whether you were the editor, writer, reporter, producer); a one-page personal statement; and, a letter of reference from the dean or faculty member.
Students applying for a graduate scholarship must include an application signed by the student’s faculty sponsor, a resume, a one-page statement, and a letter of reference from the faculty sponsor or the dean. In addition, for those applying for the Pete Wilson Scholarship, applicants must include up to three examples of their journalistic skills on DVD/CD, with scripts, along with a brief summary of their role in each story.
Application deadline for both undergraduate and graduate scholarships is in May. Applications must be completed and mailed to: RTDNF, 4121 Plank Rd., #512, Fredericksburg, VA 22407.
Here is a list of the scholarships offered along with the amounts each scholarship awards:
- Ed Bradley Scholarship: Awards $10,000 to a qualified minority student pursuing a degree in the communications field.
- George Forman Tribute to Lyndon B. Johnson Scholarship: A $6,000 scholarship awarded annually to a qualifying University of Texas-Austin student.
- Ken Kashiwahara Scholarship: This scholarship awards $2,500 to an eligible minority student studying journalism.
- Lou and Carol Prato Sports Reporting Scholarship: This scholarship awards a $1,000 tuition grant to a qualifying student with strong writing skills, pursuing a career as a sports reporter in radio or television.
- Presidents Scholarships: Each year two President Scholarships are awarded to eligible students with an outstanding academic record.
- Carole Simpson Scholarship: A $2,000 scholarship is awarded to encourage minority students to enter the field of journalism.
- Pete Wilson Journalism Scholarship: This is an endowed scholarship which awards $2,000 to eligible students from the San Francisco Bay area pursuing a degree program in journalism.
- The Pete Wilson Scholarship: This endowed scholarship awards $2,000 to a student with seeking a graduate degree in journalism. Applicant must be from the San Francisco Bay area to apply.
- The Abe Schechter Graduate Scholarship: Awards $2,000 to a qualifying student pursuing a graduate’s degree in journalism.
Radio Television Digital News Foundation Scholarship Programs: Things to Keep in Mind
Some undergraduate and graduate scholarships require additional materials, such as writing samples. Be sure to read all scholarship requirements and adhere to them to be considered.
In addition, RTDNF offers funding support and special programs to high school journalists, educators, and fellowships for industry professionals. For more information about these programs, go to the RTNDF website.
Contact Information for the Radio Television Digital News Foundation
Radio Television Digital News Foundation
4121 Plank Rd., #512
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
PH: (202) 549-0158