Major Defeat for Affirmative Action

In a major blow to efforts to bring more racial diversity to the nation’s newsrooms, the Dow Jones News Foundation has agreed to end its summer internship program for minority students. The agreement was in response to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Individual Rights on behalf of a 15-year-old white student from Virginia who was accepted into the program and then told she could not attend when the university found out she was white. The lawsuit claimed the exclusion of white students violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The High School Journalism Workshops for Minorities were established in the 1960s. Black and other minority students would spend two weeks during the summer at university journalism schools or at news organizations around the country. The workshops often led to college scholarships for high-achieving students and job offers from news organizations.

Now the programs will be open to students of all races.

The universities that held journalism workshops for minority students included the University of Alabama, Virginia Commonwealth University, New York University, Penn State University, the University of Miami, and Marquette University. Workshops were also held at Florida A&M University, the University of Kentucky, Seattle University, and the University of Missouri.