Journalist, An Endangered Species

In my career as a journalist I’ve acquired most of my skills with my feet on the ground, working. Recently, I was lucky enough to be accepted into a professional journalism workshop at City University of New York (CUNY), in July 2018. CUNY is a cutting edge graduate school in journalism that also offers workshops and intensive programs. CUNY sits nextdoor to The New York Times, where we will visit as part of the program.

While this is a wonderful opportunity, I lack the resources to take advantage of it. My goal is to raise money to pay for the program and lodging, $2.900, plus roundtrip air fare and expenses for a two week stay in New York. My target is $4,500. The first $500 is due March 1 and the remainder, June 1.

This program is important to my career because increasingly journalists need a wider range of multimedia skills to stay relevant and employable in the current market. CUNY’s Innovation program will broaden my abilities in a number of areas: social media, crowd- source reporting, smart-phone reporting, audio and video storytelling, and photography for the web.

I have been successful in undertaking higher education in the past. After working in journalism for several years, inspired, I went back to school. I even earned a Front of Class Award in my magazine editing class.

I knew it would be a sacrifice of time and money, including time with my young son.  I continue to work in journalism, I freelance and have taken other jobs to make ends meet. Single parenting and work provides new challenges daily. But I have a drive to do this reporting and to provide for myself and my son on a greater level.


My journey was not customary. I first worked in journalism, then later returned to school to deepen my knowledge, rather than studying the craft first and then on to seek employment. It began when I worked for Amass Magazine selling add space.

Soon after I worked at the magazine, because of passion I have for healthy foods and the politics of food concerning GMOs, my publisher encouraged me to write restaurant reviews. I wanted to share information and help people discover new and healthy places to eat in their neighborhoods.

Most importantly, I discovered I could commit myself to writing. I soon expanded my content toward community and cultural events. I moved on to a new job, strictly journalism, at Random Lengths News. I cover music, art and culture and some regular news stories.

My work and education experiences have provided a solid foundation in journalism. I have a strong work ethic, only enhanced through journalism. Now is the time to elevate my skills to launch my career. 

So, I humbly ask for your assistance to help me pay for this program. I would be so grateful and appreciative for your help! Any amount you can offer will do to help in my effort to get to CUNY.

Attending Innovation will further enhance my skills to perform my work and passion, to blend my writing with connecting local community to arts, music and cultural events and highlighting where arts, activism and social justice intersect.

We need to hear artists’ and outsiders’ perspective. Arts funding has been slashed and there is little to no arts curriculum in our schools. As I seek out, report on and contrast these different perspectives, I strive to create a valid, informed contribution to our cultural discussions.

With my sincerest thanks,

Melina Paris, Freelance Journalist.

Here are links to my blog and my most recent piece to give you a glimpse of my work.

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Melina Paris 
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA