AAN to award matching grants of up to $2,500 to hire minority interns.
In an effort to help its members diversify their newsrooms, AAN announced today that it has developed a new diversity program. Under the new program, member papers will be able to hire interns from their own communities with support from AAN, in the form of matching funds.
During its first year, the program will award four matching-fund grants of up to $2,500. The first two grants will help to pay for summer interns this year, and the last two will support internships for the spring semester of 2002.
The grants will be authorized by a special Diversity Committee; this five-member group will review applications from AAN papers that are interested in hiring minority intern journalists. The deadline for applications for summer internships is March 30.
“The Editorial Committee agreed that AAN’s goal of increasing newsroom diversity at alternative weeklies is best-served by a grass-roots approach,” said committee chair Blake de Pastino. “Editors are in the best position to identify the most promising candidates in their own communities, and AAN can help by providing them with financial support.”
If the response from member papers is large enough in the program’s first year, additional funds may be provided in next year’s budget for more matching grants, according to de Pastino, who is the editor of AAN-member Missoula Independent.
In making its selections, the Diversity Committee will consider the the financial and diversity needs of the applying papers as well as qualifications of the interns. Papers with a staff member serving on the committee cannot apply for a matching grant.
Members can apply by completing an AAN Diversity Internship Program application form and submitting the intern’s resume and writing samples. Application forms and instructions will be mailed the week of February 26.
For the papers that are selected to receive matching funds, half the grant will be paid immediately and the remainder will be paid after the internship is completed and the paper submits a follow-up report to the committee.
AAN will begin accepting applications immediately for the March 30 deadline and will announce the first two grant recipients in April.