Raji Ramanathan

Raji Ramanathan

UNITY: Journalists for Diversity announced Friday that University of California, Berkeley graduate Raji Ramanathan has been named the group’s 2015 reporting fellow.

Ramanathan, 22, was chosen out of very competitive pool of applicants by a UNITY committee and will attend the Native American Journalists Association National Convention in July for her first assignment.

“I’m very excited. This is a huge opportunity,” said Ramanathan, who recently graduated with a degree in Integrative Biology. “There are not a lot of opportunity for minority student journalists so I am very grateful.”

UNITY President Russell Contreras said the coalition was pleased to have such a strong representative for the summer conferences and they selection committee saw Ramanathan as a perfect match for the fellowship program.

“I also want to thank our coalition partners for participating in UNITY’s reporting fellowship for a second year,” Contreras said. “This is an area where we can all make a difference.

The fellowship was created in 2014 based on feedback from the first annual diversity caucus convened by the UNITY board. It is supported by funding from the Ford Foundation, and it allows college students to develop strong multimedia and cross-cultural reporting skills by attending five diverse journalism conventions this summer.

As the UNITY Reporting fellow, Ramanathan, will cover the conventions of the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Native American Journalists Association, and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, with travel and hotel accommodations provided.

Ramanathan also will participate in convention training that will include interactive online courses in interviewing, multimedia, ethics, and visual and audio techniques. A group of skilled journalists and media professionals will act as mentors and guide her during each convention.

Born in India, Ramanathan was raised in Fremont, California, is a former NBC Bay Area investigative intern as Emma L. Bowen Foundation Scholar and former science writer of Science of Wellness.


UNITY Journalists for Diversity is a strategic alliance that:

  1. Advocates fair and accurate coverage about diversity — especially race, nationality, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation.
  2. Aggressively challenges that industry to staff its organizations at all levels to reflect the country’s diversity.

The UNITY board is made up of representatives from the Asian American Journalists Association, the Native American Journalists Association, and NLGJA: The Association of LGBT Journalists.

Share This