WASHINGTON D.C. – Howard University communications students are getting the chance to change the narrative of media reporting in the African American community with the help of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and Chevrolet. “Discover the Unexpected” (DTU) is a fellowship program that will provide eight students studying at Howard’s School of Communications opportunities with NNPA member papers in Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit.

“The ‘Discover the Unexpected’ fellowship program will highlight and celebrate positive stories of men and women making a tremendous impact in their communities,” said Paul Edwards, US Vice President, Chevrolet Marketing. “Chevrolet is fully committed to this important initiative. We believe our DTU fellows are leaders in the next generation of African American journalists and storytellers, and we are proud to support them in their mission to create meaningful narratives that foster a collective sense of pride.”

“We want to share our knowledge about news gathering and pass the torch to the next generation of journalism professionals,” said Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., President and CEO, NNPA. “These students get a lot of their news from social media twenty-four hours a day. Videos are posted as events are happening and they go viral, with most of them focusing on the violent aspects of what’s happening in their neighborhoods and to their generation. Our fellows are going to discover and report those unexpected stories, the ones that say their generation is making a difference, the ones that say we’re greater than what you see on the nightly news or read in the papers.”

Michelle Mathews-Alexander (center) talks about the Discover The Unexpected/NNPA journalism fellows program at Howard University as Denise Rolark Barnes, chair of the NNPA (left) and Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., president and CEO of the NNPA look on. (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA)

The DTU/ NNPA Fellows will be selected by a panel of NNPA Publishers, Editors and Howard University faculty and will be paired in teams of two with an NNPA professional advisor. Fellows will receive hands-on experience, networking opportunities and recognition for delivering stories that most embodies discovering the unexpected. The students will also be paid a stipend and earn tuition scholarships. In addition to sponsoring the program, Chevrolet will provide each fellowship team an all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu for use during their reporting assignments to help them discover great news stories and digital/social media content.

Legendary lyricist and hip hop pioneer MC Lyte, a familiar voice for audiences of all ages, has signed on as the program’s national spokesperson. She will share her experiences as a social commentator and storyteller to encourage the up and coming journalists to fearlessly blaze new trails. “Young people have always been on the forefront of reporting what’s happening in the African American community,” said MC Lyte. “I’m excited to be involved with emerging young writers who have the power to shape our voices the same way hip hop emcees broke ground telling our stories.”

Howard University communications majors can visit www.nnpa.org/dtu for more information. The deadline to apply for the DTU/NNPA Fellowship is April 10, 2016.

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

About NNPA
NNPA is a trade association of the more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the United States. Since its founding 75 years ago, NNPA has consistently been the voice of the black community and an incubator for news that makes history and impacts our country. As the largest and most influential Black-owned media resource in America, NNPA delivers news, information and commentary to over 20 million people each week. Americans from all backgrounds seek news from the Black perspective from the NNPA member newspapers around the country. In America, now among the most diverse countries in the world, the Black Press of America is more relevant than ever. To learn more visit http://nnpa.org/.

Leslie Gordon
Senior Manager, Diversity Communications
General Motors
313-319-2542 (mobile)

Sonya Lewis
Public Relations Manager
Carol H. Williams Advertising
708-439-0326 (mobile)


Freddie Allen is the National News Editor for the NNPA News Wire and BlackPressUSA.com. 200-plus Black newspapers. 20 million readers. You should follow Freddie on Twitter and Instagram @freddieallenjr.

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