The FI"z"a L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media Inc., based in New York, will be the recipient of corporate funding aimed at increasing the number of internships for minority students in media businesses.
The foundation currently admits 30 to 40 students a year into its program, which offers internships and mentoring. The increased financial support means the program will be able to take in roughly 100 students next year. Officials couldn't provide a total dollar amount for the increased support, which can vary according to the number of students participating companies sponsor. Each student is typically paid a $4,000 salary and receives an identical amount from his or her sponsoring company that goes toward the college tuition. Participating companies also contribute to administrative expenses.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, the commitment complements the agency's efforts to create new minority recruitment rules for television, radio, and cable. A federal appeals court in April struck down the FCC's 30-yearold equal employment opportunity rules for TV and radio as unconstitutional.
"I know these programs work," says Bill Kennard, the FCC's first Black chairman. "I've seen the power of them in my own life."
Kennard said a similar program helped him by giving him his first taste of the media business as a college student through a summer internship at a San Francisco television station. The FCC says 20.2 percent of all full-time employees in TV and radio in 1997 were minorities, up from 9. …