2006 Academy for Alternative Journalism Fellows Named

Ten fellows have been chosen to attend the Academy for Alternative Journalism summer residency program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. The academy trains minority journalists in long-form feature writing with the aim of recruiting them into the alternative press. The ten fellows were selected from 420 applicants for the program, which is now in its seventh year.

The Academy emphasizes the fundamentals of successful long-form journalism, including reporting, story structure and literary technique. Classes are taught by Medill faculty, with guest lectures and workshops led by AAN member editors. Donna Ladd of Jackson Free Press, Tim Redmond of the San Francisco Bay Guradian and Mark Zusman of Willamette Week are scheduled to serve as guest lecturers for this year’s Academy. Each student is expected to produce at least one piece suitable for publication by the course’s end.

Fellows receive a $3000 stipend as well as housing for the program, which runs from June 18 to August 13. The Alternative Newsweekly Foundation funds the $75,000 annual budget for the program.

These are the 2006 fellows: Max Brooks currently lives in Chicago. He is a 2004 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he majored in English. Max is a former staff writer for the Chicago Journal, a local weekly. He was a volunteer on the Kerry campaign in 2004 and has written about and traveled extensively through Latin America.

&nbsp Danielle Cabell

Danielle Cabell is a freelance writer in New York. She has written for a number of alternative and youth-oriented publications, including Chicago’s Newcity, Paper Magazine in New York and the website Allhiphop.com. Most recently she worked as editorial office assistant of YRB Magazine. She has attended the University of Memphis, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Roosevelt University.

Miriam Cintrón is a 2005 graduate of Loyola University of Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and international studies. Currently, she is reporter and editorial assistant for the Nadiq Newspapers, covering neighborhoods and communities on the north side of Chicago and the near-north suburbs.

&nbsp Caitlin Copple

Caitlin Copple is a graduate student at the University of Montana School of Journalism. In 2004, she earned a bachelor’s degree in history, international political economy and journalism from Albertson College of Idaho. Caitlin has a wealth of internship and freelance experience. She’s been published in Missoula Independent (an alt weekly), Sun Valley Magazine, Idaho Magazine, The Idaho Statesman, and Boise Weekly.

Kristina Francisco

Kristina Francisco of Chicago, graduated from the Medill School of Journalism in 2003. Currently, Kristina is the communications coordinator for the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights. She has written for Venus magazine and UR Chicago. She also has been an intern at Newsweek magazine and worked with Medill’s Innocence Project, a program that affords journalism students the opportunity to investigate possible wrongful convictions.

Kabir Hamid currently works as a freelancer and typesetter at the Chicago Reader, where he has contributed a number of book and music reviews and mid-length features. He is also an improv artist who has been featured in several of Chicago’s showcases for improv comedians. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2002 with a degree in English.

Max Linsky &nbsp

Max Linsky just left a job as a columnist and staff writer for the Weekly Planet, an alt-weekly in Tampa, Fla., to move to San Francisco. In addition to writing columns and features for the WP, Max also took photos and edited special issues. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2003 with a degree in English.

&nbsp Amanda Miller

Amanda Miller is a 2004 graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C. She majored in English and history. Currently, she is a contributing writer for the Washington Informer newspaper. She has also served as a ward reporter for the Capital Community News and done freelance work for The Washington Post and Crisis Magazine.

&nbsp Ronnie Reese &nbsp

Ronnie Reese of Chicago earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola University in 2003. He works as a media analyst for Delahaye, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in corporate communications. He has been a contributor to a number of local publications, including the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Defender, Chicago and Chicago Innerview magazines.

&nbsp Matt Saldana

Matthew Saldaña will join the Academy class after studying abroad in Havana, Cuba. He will earn a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May. While at UNC, Matt founded and edited a literary magazine, Other Words, and served as an intern at Spin magazine. He also was a staff writer for The Daily Tarheel.