Law & Courts A National Roundup

Dow Jones Drops Race Consideration in Summer Program

By Ann Bradley — February 20, 2007 1 min read

The Dow Jones Newspaper Fund has agreed to operate all of its summer workshops for high school students interested in journalism in a race-neutral manner.

The fund, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Dow Jones Inc., which publishes The Wall Street Journal, had operated urban journalism workshops exclusively for minority students since the late 1960s.

But last week, to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a white student in Virginia and her parents challenging her exclusion from the program last year, the fund agreed to change its policies for the dozens of summer programs it sponsors nationwide.

Virginia Commonwealth University, which operates the program to which Emily Smith sought admission, agreed to drop considerations of race and admit her this summer. Media General Inc., the owner of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and co-sponsor of the program, also agreed to drop all racial restrictions on participants in its program.

Ms. Smith, 15, and her parents were represented in their lawsuit by the Center for Individual Rights, a Washington-based public- interest group.

For the next three years, according to the settlement, the fund’s materials on the summer program must conspicuously state that the admissions criteria have changed and that there is no preferential treatment for, or discrimination against, any applicants on the basis of race or ethnicity.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 21, 2007 edition of Education Week

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