Facebook Selects ASU Graduate!

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Facebook Selects Recent ASU Graduate for Exclusive Summer HBCU News Fellowship Program

By: Kenneth Mullinax/ASU

Facebook has selected a recent graduate of Alabama State University as one of only 25 undergraduates and recent grads nationwide to participate in a paid fellowship in the "Facebook (FB) Journalism Project Summer HBCU News Fellowship,” which pairs these Fellows with nationally renowned newsrooms in the United States to serve as reporters and online contributors during an eight-week fulltime work period throughout the summer.

Indira Gooding (Class of Spring 2020) has accepted an assignment to serve as a content contributor with "The Root" online magazine. Gooding, a native of the greater Boston/Cambridge, Mass., area, said she started fulltime work on June 7 and will continue through Aug. 2. The Root is an African-American oriented online magazine launched in 2008 by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Donald Graham. Owned by The Slate Group, the magazine is considered among the “gold standard” of online news outlets in the nation.

"Being awarded this fellowship has caused me to be super-excited to be one of only a little over two dozen people selected by Facebook executives," Gooding said by phone from Atlanta. "My Facebook contacts told me they were impressed with the professionalism of the content of the material that I submitted to them as part of my application process and this excites me because it opens the door and allows me and my work to be seen and appreciated by an elite group of online media experts and professionals who can help me move beyond the Fellowship to fulltime employment on a national scale."


This program elevates emerging African-American future media professionals by pairing them with established national and local news organizations across the U.S. Fellows will work to enhance the organization's presence on Facebook and Instagram by developing youth-relevant and culturally inclusive story angles.

Gooding, who holds a degree in communications from ASU, said she is already heavily involved for The Root with social media and video-track editing work on news media subjects relating to culture, entertainment, politics and other topics. She said that she is working with several of its editors and project managers with an ultimate goal not only to create content and copy for The Root, but also to increase engagement and move people to access the magazine’s content on both Facebook and Instagram. 

Those selected for these 25 coveted Fellowships will work at some of the nation's finest news organizations, allowing them to gain real-world experience and putting their media careers on the fast-track. Participating newsrooms and organizations beyond The Root online magazine include The Boston Globe, PBS NewsHour, Chicago Tribune, ESSENCE, Women's Health, Fox Television Network, Washington Post, Mundo Hispanico and Univision.

ASU's Dr. L. Simone Byrd, a professor of Public Relations and a recently chosen Fulbright U.S. Scholar, believes this Fellowship will give Gooding just what she needs to be noticed by the nation's major media outlets and launch a national career. 

"This is a really exciting Fellowship for Indira whom I am sure will blossom in her role with The Root. The news media is pushing to better diversify its staff and content so their coverage is fair and equitable, and they now have one of the most gifted students that I have seen in ASU's communication's department in quite a while," Byrd said. 


The new Fellow from ASU credits her experiences at Alabama State University, both in and out of the classroom, with propelling her to this new threshold of opportunity. 

"Alabama State University's department of Communication's faculty and its ability to teach and inspire me is the reason that I now have this great career opportunity," Gooding said. "ASU helped me discover who I am, explore diverse ideas in communications and pushed me to apply what I learned for this fellowship. The University taught me all that I needed to know to be an effective communicator and now I am going to put it to work for The Root." 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.