Edward Henderson | California Black Media

Paulette Brown-Hinds, publisher of the Black Voice News, has been named one of 10 recipients of Stanford University’s John S. Knight (JSK) Fellowship.

The JSK Fellowship Program made the announcement Aug. 4.

“As a lifelong learner, I’m excited to join the innovative cohort of journalism professionals and especially excited to have access to some of Stanford’s finest minds and the JSK community of support as I work on my proposed project,” Brown Hinds said.

The JSK fellowship began in 1984 with a $4 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to provide a permanent endowment for the program. Their goal is to empower seasoned and emerging journalism leaders to close the information gap growing within minority communities. Fellows will receive stipends up to $75,000, advising on strategy and execution, cohort membership, and access to Stanford University resources.

“We’re thrilled by the wide range of experience levels, talents and types of local organizations around the U.S. that our new JSK Community Impact Fellows represent,” said JSK Director Dawn Garcia. “Their news and information projects will provide essential information to communities of people who are too often overlooked.”  

With nearly 50 years of service to the Black community in Riverside County and surrounding areas, Black Voice News has been a family venture since Brown-Hinds’ parents, Hardy Brown and retired California Assemblymember Cheryl Brown, became publishers in 1980. Brown-Hinds took over as publisher of the company in 2012 and has since focused on transitioning the print publication to a digital leader driven by what she describes as “solutions-based data journalism.”

During her 10-month fellowship, the information challenge Brown-Hinds proposed builds on the work of two Black Voice News data journalism focused initiatives: Mapping Black California and ‘DaHUB’, a data hub and content sharing platform currently in development.

The fellowship affords her the time, Brown-Hinds says, to explore how to make the visualization tools and datasets needed for solutions-focused data reporting on racial justice accessible to the Black Press in California. 

Beyond the fellowship, Brown-Hinds is interested in providing assets for interested publishers.“This includes a toolkit for news publishers on how to identify the right datasets, evaluate sources and translate statistics and numbers into meaningful narratives identifying solutions to systemic racism,” Brown Hinds says. “And, drafting a playbook for Black media and Black community-based organizations interested in pursuing story collaborations utilizing data to solve community and systemic issues.

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