The Driving Force will provide students with multimedia career development while increasing automobile industry fairness and equity
WASHINGTON – A unique partnership has been created for Cathy Hughes School of Communications students at Howard University who are interested in covering the automobile industry. Dubbed The Driving Force (TDF), the Black Automotive Media Group (BAMG) sought out applicants from Howard University to participate in the 10-week, virtual, field-credit internship comprising training and mentoring sessions.
Supported by Ford Motor Company, TDF guidance is designed to expose selected interns to opportunities as reporters, videographers, photographers, digital, and social media professionals covering the auto industry. Participants will also have an opportunity to showcase their work in various platforms at the end of the internship. They will also liaise with Ford communications executives, designers, and product planners.
“We are very excited about this partnership with the BAMG. This opportunity will allow our students to learn from the best in the business and gain access to an area of journalism that is in dire need of diversity,” said Journalism Sequence Coordinator and Professor Jennifer Thomas, Department of Media, Journalism and Film, Howard University.
The program is led by respected automotive journalists: Kimatni D. Rawlins of Automotive Rhythms Communications; Greg Morrison of Bumper2Bumpertv; and Fritz Gerald, a Howard University adjunct professor and media producer.
“Ford is proud to be the first sponsor of the BAMG-TDF Internship. We look forward to the program, which will provide students with a unique experience as a multimedia automotive reporter,” said Mark Truby, chief communications officer, Ford Motor Company.
The training program evolved following a series of discussions between automakers and BAMG members this past summer. While those conversations began with an effort to improve the diversity and inclusion of African American journalists covering the industry, the possibility presented itself to help prepare the next generation of automotive reporters.
“The goal is to expand learning opportunities for candidates who may not have taken a traditional educational path towards automotive communications,” stated Kimatni D. Rawlins, BAMG member and Automotive Rhythms publisher. “My career was initiated after an internship with Jaguar and subsequent media tutelage from African Americans on Wheels magazine, and I am thankful for the core competencies and industry introduction.”
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About the Black Automotive Media Group
BAMG is a distinguished group of seven Black reporters and writers representing over 200 years of combined experience in automotive journalism within radio, television, print, experiential marketing, and social media. BAMG members either work for or own various automotive media platforms. The primary objective is to bring equity and equality to Black professionals who work in and around the automotive industry. For additional details regarding TDF, please visit AutomotiveRhythms.com.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows, and more than 165 Fulbright Scholars. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.