People of color make up only about four percent of the media in Madison — one of the problems that Madison365 was founded to solve.

Madison365 will launch the 365 Academy this summer to train young people of color in journalism and expose them to journalism as a career option.

Madison365 will work with the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County to provide journalism internships in a pilot program this summer, the two organizations announced at a press conference today. Madison-based American Family Insurance will provide financial support for 365 Academy, and Madison365 continues to seek additional sponsorship.

“We are an organization focused on helping people of color, and more importantly getting journalists of color into the craft, into the field,” said Madison365 CEO Henry Sanders.

The 365 Academy will be one of several internship programs the Boys and Girls Club manages with many employers in the Madison area. The programs provided work experience for 275 young people last year, and that number will continue to grow, according to Boys and Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson.

“We want to make sure our young people are prepared for college and career,” Johnson said. “We’re very excited about our program this year. We’ve added some great partners to help give our kids real-life experience and career opportunities they need to help shape their futures.”

The 365 Academy pilot program will offer reporting internships to 10 – 15 students during an intensive 3-week program in July. In addition to training and experience under the supervision of Madison365 staff, students will learn from working journalists in several media and take field trip tours of working newsrooms.

“It’s going to be a boot camp for high schoolers,” said Sanders. “We will teach them how to write, how to brand themselves, and give them a platform on our site. It will help these students understand what it means to be a journalist, the power of journalism, the power of having a voice for the community.”

Madison365 leaders intend to expand the 365 Academy program to create internship opportunities for college-age students of color during the academic year.