Last year, The 19th announced its inaugural fellowship for students and graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This week, we welcome Kari Cobham as our first Director of Fellowships to lead the groundbreaking Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Fellowship, which seeks to create meaningful pipelines for those historically excluded from U.S. newsrooms. Harper was an abolitionist, suffragist, orator, mentor and one of the first African-American women to be published in the United States.
Cobham will play a key role in designing and recruiting for the fellowship program, which launches its first class of fellows in September 2022, and partnering with Nikole Hannah-Jones and Howard University’s Center for Journalism and Democracy to support fellows.
Cobham comes to The 19th with almost two decades of experience in journalism, digital storytelling and newsroom leadership. Most recently, Cobham served as senior associate director of The Carter Center’s Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and Media, where she oversaw the program in the United States and abroad. Under her leadership, the fellowship expanded its global training for journalists on mental health reporting and wellbeing, grew its Colombia-based program across Latin America, launched a local newsroom collaborative to enhance reporting on access to mental health care, and drilled down on supporting the mental health of journalists from historically excluded communities.
Prior to The Carter Center, Cobham was the senior manager of digital content at Cox Media Group and executive producer of social media at ABC affiliate WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando. Throughout her career, Cobham has covered government and women’s issues in the Caribbean and Florida as a staff writer for the Trinidad Guardian and The Daytona Beach News-Journal, worked on tools to aid refugees in Italy with Chicas Poderosas, and managed media relations for former Philadelphia 76ers president, Pat Croce.
A graduate of Yale University’s Thread media storytelling program, Cobham has bylines in The New York Times, CNN, Fortune Magazine, Huffington Post, Poynter, Caribbean Beat and SHE magazines, among other publications. Cobham is a renowned mentor to some of the most accomplished women in journalism and is an alumna of the Online News Association-Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. She is a sought-after public speaker and the co-founder of Media Moms, an online support group for mothers in journalism. Cobham holds a master’s degree in mass communications from the University of Central Florida and a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising from Bethune-Cookman University, where she has also served as adjunct professor. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and can be found @KariWrites on Twitter.
Please join us in welcoming Kari to the team!