The mission of Mosaic Journalism is to inspire a passion for journalism, to expand opportunities for underserved high school students, to teach critical thinking and media literacy, and to enhance the cultural diversity of the American news media.
The Mosaic journalism program was established in 1993 by four journalists — Joe Rodriguez, Donna Kato and Manny Gonzalez of the San Jose Mercury News and Rosana Madrigal of KLIV/KARA radio — who wanted to mentor and inspire high school students, especially those with little or no access to journalism classes.
From the beginning, The Mercury News, San Jose State University, Dow Jones News Fund and California Chicano News Media Association have committed professional talent and resources to train students in journalism for a two-week period each summer.
Mosaic began as a residential program, with students staying in San Jose State dorms. More recently, it converted to a commuter program and refocused in serving South Bay students.
With a 4-to-1 student-instructor ratio, and with a 2-to-1 student-adult ratio, Mosaic offers personalized instruction and guidance from Mercury News reporters, photographers and alumni, assisted by Mosaic alumni. In two weeks students produce a print newspaper and a news website.
Mosaic has trained hundreds of high school students, many of whom became professionals in traditional and new media. Mosaic alumni have gone on to work at the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, NBC-KNTV 11, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Washington Post, Yahoo Sports, and other media outlets. Mosaic alumni also have gone on to successful careers in law, academia, high tech, education, non-profits and government.