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The Communications & Journalism building at The University of New Mexico, taken on Friday, June 23.

Local News Fund creates opportunities for young journalists

The New Mexico Local News Fellowship and Internship Program has expanded its opportunities for aspiring journalists. The program was created to support journalism students and graduates from New Mexico public universities since 2019, according to the department of workforce solutions who partnered with the News Fund press release.

With 125,000 in-state funding approved this past pay, the program will be able to double the amount of participants they have.

The program is operated by the University of New Mexico’s Communication & Journalism Department where the program recruits, selects and matches journalism students to local newsrooms, according to the The Local News Fellowship and Internship website

Gwyneth Doland, the program's administrator and professor of Communication and Journalism department at UNM, spoke about the recent collaboration with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

"The funding – which comes from the state legislature – allows us to launch the program in the first week of June," Doland said. "All interns and fellows begin a virtual “bootcamp,” or training program, providing them with a strong foundation to embark on their journey as journalists."

The program’s goals, as described on their website, are to give students more school-to-work opportunities. They recognize the value of journalism education but also emphasize the importance of nurturing young talent and fostering career development in the local news industry. Their funding helps provide newsrooms enough money to pay participants at a competitive salary.

“This financial support not only provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, but also ensures that newsrooms can compensate their interns adequately,” Doland said.

The Local News Fund allocates the money from sponsors, including Workforce Solutions, Thornburg Foundation, Inasmuch Foundation, Democracy Fund, ‌etc.

Undergraduate interns taking part in the program are expected to work 20-25 hours per week for a duration of eight weeks. Each host newsroom receives funds to employ the interns along with a stipend to cover the “bootcamp” orientation week, according to the program’s website.

“One of the most satisfying parts of administering and guiding these young journalists is seeing them succeed and surpass expectations,” Doland said.

Weston Quintana is a freelance photographer for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @wesss_jpg

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Weston Quintana

 Weston Quintana is a freelance reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted on Twitter @wesss_jpg 

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