By — SFSU News & New Media Director Jonathan Morales
An SF State student will spend the fall semester at KQED working to further the cause of diversity in journalism, an issue of critical importance to the late, longtime journalist and SF State professor for which her internship is named.
Ericka Guevarra, a junior studying journalism and international relations, was selected as the first recipient of the Raul Ramirez Diversity in Journalism Fund internship. She will work in the public broadcasting stations’ digital news team and receive a stipend at the completion of the internship.
Shortly before his death in 2013, Ramirez donated $25,000 to create the fund in order to continue his efforts to promote work that reflects the experience and points of view of diverse populations. Since then, more than 130 people have donated to the fund, which now stands at more than $72,000. The internship is available to SF State students.
Internship applicants were evaluated based on their prior work as well as a short pitch of a project to highlight an issue or issues affecting underrepresented groups. Guevarra proposed a project that would explore the effect of assimilation and the “melting pot” narrative on first generation Americans who speak two languages.
“Journalism has to be a reflection of our diverse realities, our diverse truths. That means finding and seeking out the stories and the people who, too often, don’t get heard,” said Guevarra, who added that signs reading #IAmRaul are a common sight at KQED. “(Ramirez’s) impact on that newsroom is so tangible. So I feel like I have this tremendously important duty and obligation to carry on his commitment to diversity in journalism.”
Following more than 20 years at publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Oakland Tribune and SanFrancisco Examiner, Ramirez spent two decades as the executive director of news and public affairs at KQED. He taught classes on news writing and investigative journalism at SF State and the University of California, Berkeley.
For more information about the Department of Journalism and the Raul Ramirez Diversity in Journalism Fund, visit http://journalism.sfsu.edu