A journalism student with a drive to bring more diversity into the media landscape is the winner of the 2018-2019 Otto J. Bos Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Journalism.
Growing up in Santa Clara, Celine Wuu was first inspired to pursue journalism when she discovered that white men far outnumber women and minorities in newsrooms. That awareness ignited her desire to make a change.
“I've been intrigued to enter a field where a diverse range of perspectives are necessary from both sides … those being reported on and those doing the reporting,” Wuu said.
In her scholarship-winning essay, Wuu suggested that a more diverse media could even have prevented the election of the current president, Donald Trump.
“By including the viewpoints of smaller communities from a reporter with a similar understanding of where they come from, and articles that pertained to how policy changes could affect these communities, it could have an incredible impact in voter outcome,” she wrote.
After graduating in spring 2019, Wuu said she hopes to become an audience engagement editor to help publications better understand audiences and “restore trust” in the media.
“I think that it is vital for the future survival of the industry to be able to listen to what the public is experiencing or demanding and respond with stories or news that are relevant and relatable,” Wuu said.
The annual scholarship honors the memory of Otto J. Bos, who was a 1970 graduate of the department, editor of its award-winning newspaper (then named Phoenix) and an All-American soccer star. Following graduation, he covered politics and government for The San Diego Union.
He became a key staff member of San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson, who later was elected a U.S. senator and then governor of California. At the time of his death of a heart attack in 1991, Otto was Gov. Wilson’s director of communications and public affairs.
Family and friends created the scholarship, which covers a full year’s in-state tuition fees – currently approximately $7,250. The department’s largest scholarship has been awarded to a current or incoming journalism student since 1992.
Wuu said she was shocked and move to tears when she learned she’d won.
“This scholarship signified a moment of personal triumph and affirmation that my forward outlook in pursuing a career in the journalism world was supported,” she said.