Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

SJI returns to roots

ESPN's Sandy Rosensbush, ESPN New York editor Leon Carter and the Boston Globe's Gregory Lee will lead SJI boot campus in a college setting.

SJI says thank you to the Poynter Institute.

The Sports Journalism Institute got its start on a college campus.
SJI’s first class assembled on the campus of Norfolk State in 1993, where co-founder Leon Carter was teaching while on a sabbatical from Newsday. For the next two summers, classes were also conducted at universities–at Kansas in 1994 then Clark Atlanta in 1995.

In 1996, the institute began doing its classes at the site of Associated Press Sports Editors conventions. (APSE and NABJ were SJI’s first partners and remain vital to the program.) But hotel ballrooms and “boot camps” are not always the best fit, and as costs rose for wiring newsrooms in hotels, SJI and the Poynter Institute teamed up.

Since 2006, Poynter’s professionally renowned staff has helped SJI prepare students for newsrooms nationwide and special thanks go to Poynter for its expertise and to our friend Kenny Irby, without whose help the partnership with Poynter would never have been forged.

The SJI-Missouri partnership got a ringing endorsement from Phil Kaplan, APSE’s president, who said: “APSE’s commitment to diversity starts with SJI. There’s no program like it that helps develop and offer a springboard to women and minority journalists to become the next great sports reporters and leaders in newsrooms.”

And now, special thanks go to Greg Bowers, whose ideas about a partnership to give SJI students a home in the famed Misssouri newsroom and add a Misssouri student to SJI’s annual rainbow coalition of students got things rolling for the 2012 move.

“SJI returning to its campus roots is great for sports journalism education during this era in this industry’s history,” said Greg Lee, a member of the 1994 SJI class that studied at Kansas and now the editor of the student-produced publications at the institute. “We are proud that Missouri shares ideals for a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”