The Sports Journalism Institute is set to welcome its 20th class this summer in Columbia, Mo. A group of seven men and four women (seven African-Americans, two Asian-Americans and two Latinos) make up the Class of 2012, which will be in residence at the University of Missouri School of Journalism from June 1-9, after which students will move on to internships around the country.
The work experience that awaits the Class of 2012 is as diverse as the class, with interns placed at APSE-member newspapers, ESPN.com, MLB.com and the Wall Street Journal. And while the WSJ will be hosting its first SJI intern, the Houston Chronicle will be hosting its 20th—yes, the Chronicle has been part of the SJI family since Day 1. This year, the paper is one of two (The Virginian Pilot is the other) that will host an intern chosen through APSE’s partnership with Scripps Howard, which provides students with a stipend that pays their summer expenses.
Another first this year is the institute conducting its boot camp at Missouri. SJI’s first few classes were in residence at universities (beginning with Norfolk State in 1993), after which the institute moved its boot camp to hotels where APSE conventions were held. Then, in 2006, SJI began a partnership with the Poynter Institute that saw SJI hold its classes in St. Petersburg, Fla. with teaching assistance from Poynter faculty (led by Kenny Irby) and editorial help and guidance from the Jack Sheppard and his staff at the St. Petersburg Times.
Last year, however, SJI and Missouri began a partnership in which SJI students will work out of the Missouri print and digital newsroom for their boot camp, and the university will nominate a Missouri Scholar to the institute each year. The first student chosen was senior Gary Cotton, who will be an intern at MLB.com.
“I spoke with Gary and I know he was excited to get this opportunity,” said Greg Bowers, associate professor at Missouri. “He also understands that this could be a continuing opportunity for minority students at the J-School and I think he’s proud to be the first one through this new door.
“Gary and I are both looking forward to June, when SJI gets to Missouri. ”
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 President is Gregory Lee Jr. a 1994 SJI alum, and which faithfully promotes and works with SJI).
As SJI prepares to turn 20, we thank our funders and partners (old and new), including APSE, the Chicago Tribune Foundation, ESPN, MLB.com, the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and the Poynter Institute. With their help, we’ve added roughly 250 women and minorities to the staffs of the nation’s sports media.
Ros Dumlao of Illinois is the 2012 Association of Women in Sports Media Scholar and Jack Wang of California at Berkeley is the AAJA scholar, both chosen through SJI’s partnerships with those organizations.
The Class of 2012