Hoping to increase representation for Latinos in Idaho journalism, a new fund will help place interns in local newsrooms.
Spearheaded by former Idaho Statesman reporters Nicole Foy and Ximena Bustillo, the effort hopes to raise $20,000 to help pay Latino/Hispanic interns. Foy is now an investigative reporter at the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, TX, and Bustillo is a reporter covering agriculture for Politico in Washington, DC. The pair partnered with the Idaho Press Club and Boise non-profit Surel’s Place on the Voces Internship of Idaho program.
“This internship will train the next generation of Idaho Latino journalists and connect them to local newsrooms who desperately need their help,” Foy said. “Paid internships are a necessary part of making journalism more accessible to Latinos, who are statistically less likely to afford unpaid opportunities.”
According to 2019 data from the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, 13% of Idahoans are Latino, which is roughly 229,000 residents. Though granular data for Idaho newsrooms isn’t available, the Associated Press reports the percentage of Latino journalists is 8% nationally.
The Scripps Howard Foundation, the charitable arm of the owner of Idaho News 6, provided initial funding, while Voice Internship of Idaho hopes to fundraise for the remaining amount. The program is accepting applications for juniors, seniors, and recent college graduates of Latino/Hispanic descent for this summer.
Interns will also be provided with mentorship from professionals to navigate what might be a first experience in a newsroom.
“It’s important for the next generations to have this opportunity,” Radio Boise host and Voice Internship of Idaho advisory council member Yanira Corvera said. “The door is so tightly closed – there are so many talented students out there who haven’t gotten the experience of what it’s like to work in radio, or other forms of communication. This program is going to show that there are opportunities in Idaho to have careers in journalism and beyond, especially for Latino students.”
Disclosure: Don Day is a member of the Idaho Press Club board, but was not involved in the scholarship program effort.