Honolulu Weekly, Baltimore City Paper Receive AAN Diversity Grants

Honolulu Weekly and Baltimore City Paper are the recipients of the winter/spring 2003 AAN Diversity Internship grants.

The program, which awards two $2,500 grants twice annually, was instituted by the association in 2001 to help alternative weeklies hire and train top-quality minority journalists .

The two interns are Ric Valdez of Honolulu Weekly and Jamil Roberts of Baltimore City Paper.

Valdez, a Mexican-American, is a self-supporting student and contributing writer for Honolulu Weekly. His “Stripped Clean” story for the Weekly took second place for long feature in this year’s Society of Professional Journalists local competition.

“Valdez has a keen eye and ear and is a naturally talented reporter and writer,” says Managing Editor Curt Sanburn of Honolulu Weekly.

Valdez will assist the arts editor in music coverage, as well as writing two stories each week and three cover stories during his three-month internship.

Roberts, an African-American, studies journalism at Morgan State University in Baltimore. Roberts became acquainted with the City Paper as an applicant for the Academy for Alternative Journalism. Although not selected for the Academy, Roberts’ essay caught the eye of City Paper editors, who wanted to offer him a position to help him improve his writing skills.

“We were particularly impressed with Jamil’s ability to identify stories in our city,” says News Editor Erin Sullivan. “He was prepared with three solid story ideas that he’d like to do if we offered him an internship.”

Roberts’ duties will include completing at least four news stories and one art story during his internship.

AAN received four applications for this round of grants.

Josef Sawyer is AAN’s editorial intern.