Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

The Class of 2009

The Sports Journalism Institute class of 2009.

The Sports Journalism Institute class of 2009.

The class of 2009

(Pictured above clockwise from the top left)

  • Andrew Johnson, Morehouse College, Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
  • Ana Kim, North Carolina, Buffalo News
  • Juan Lopez, Nevada-Reno, Colorado Springs Gazette
  • Jordan Mason, North Carolina, ESPN
  • Larry Young, Southern University, Houston Chronicle
  • Anica Wong, Stanford, Denver Post
  • David Ubben, Missouri, The Oklahoman
  • Ronnie Turner, University of Houston, Salt Lake Tribune
  • Nate Taylor, Central Missouri, Star Tribune in Minneapolis

In a year of unprecedented economic turmoil, the Sports Journalism Institute is delighted to announce it has completed the selection and placement of students for the Class of 2009. The result is a strong, rainbow-coalition-worthy class of seven men and two women— six African-Americans, one Hispanic, one Asian-American and one Hispanic/Asian-American — who will be interns at eight APSE newspapers and at ESPN (where 3 former APSE presidents, among others, will be there for support).

“A big thank you should go to APSE and others who have made Class 2009 a reality in these tough economic times,” said Leon Carter, SJI co-director and sports editor of the New York Daily News. “We had a record number of applications. We have a very good class and the interns will be ready for duty once they complete boot camp at Poynter in early June.”

SJI’s mission is—as it was when it was founded in 1992—to add diversity to the nation’s sports media. But in 2009, diversity means not just a diverse staff, but diverse forms of news delivery. As the news industry changes and emphasizes electronic delivery, SJI must become more of a multi-platform institution, so that the interns who graduate from the program are fully trained to serve the needs of a changing sports media, one that relies on internet, video, tape and printed delivery of news.

To that end, SJI is delighted to welcome ESPN to the table. Former APSE presidents Vince Doria, Don Skwar and Sandy Rosenbush (SJI co-founder/co-director) are all at ESPN, where director of production recruitment Fred Brown made the decision to participate in SJI.

“ESPN is always looking to diversify its workforce, and SJI represents a strong possible source to tap those diverse candidates just entering the field,” said Skwar, senior news editor who oversees the news coverage of ESPN games and its bureau reporters and producers.

Once again, SJI thanks its partners at the Asian-American Journalists Association (which selects one member of the class each year), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (which promotes our program in email newsletters to student members educators nationwide) and the National Association of Black Journalists (whose Sports Task Force chair Greg Lee is an SJI alum, and which faithfully promotes and works with SJI). SJI also thanks APSE for its continued financial and advisory support, and the Chicago Tribune Foundation and New York Daily News for funding through the years.

Thanks also go to Keith Woods, Kenny Irby, Roy Peter Clark and all the staff at the Poynter Institute, where the students will receive training this year (May 29-June 7), as they have for the past three summers. Jack Sheppard’s staff at the St. Petersburg Times will again print the student newspaper, The Bulletin, to be delivered at the APSE convention in Pittsburgh. Having students take classes at and receive instruction from Poynter professionals has saved SJI more than $10,000 a year and, along with APSE, is greatly responsible for the financial viability of the institute in these troubled times.

SJI had aimed for a class of 10 this year and was prepared to accept and place 12 students. But four newspapers that regularly participate had their intern budgets slashed in the brutal economy. Fortunately, other outlets were ready and waiting, and SJI is happy to welcome back The Oklahoman and the Buffalo News to the family this summer. And when it comes to family, the members don’t get any closer than the Houston Chronicle, the only outlet that has been a participant in SJI since Day One in the early 1990s. Dan Cunningham, take a bow!