Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

The brotherhood—and sisterhood—of success

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Jose de Jesus Ortiz speak the truth on May 30. He understands what it means to be the only person of color in the newsroom, where not everyone recognizes the importance of covering certain stories.

He said the key is to find like-minded individuals who will take the time and listen. “Find people who will invest in your career,” he said. For me, staying connected with speakers we’ve had throughout the week at Missouri and reaching out to SJI alum is a good place to start.

For example, SJIer and NABJer Malika Andrews is someone I looked up to when I first started attending the NABJ conventions. She didn’t wait for an opportunity, but instead chased after her dreams.

She graduated from University of Portland and landed an internship with The New York Times. Within one year she now works for The Chicago Tribune and covers the Bulls and NBA. This makes her the second African American female NBA beat writer, joining The Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, another SJIer.

I would like to follow in both of these hard-working women’s footsteps.

-Allana J. Barefield

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