Jackson, New Haven Alts Receive Diversity Grants

Jackson Free Press and New Haven Advocate have been awarded Association of Alternative Newsweeklies winter/spring 2005 diversity internship grants. Jackson Free Press will be hiring Thabi Moyo as a photojournalist, and New Haven Advocate will hire Doron Monk Flake as a writer. Both Moyo and Flake are African American, and will intern with their respective papers for five months.

A native of Jackson, Miss., Moyo attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she honed the skills necessary to pursue her interests in photojournalism and documentary filmmaking.

Moyo has already contributed to “Project ‘Hood,” Jackson Free Press’s effort to report on its town’s different communities neighborhood by neighborhood. She will be the primary photojournalist for this ongoing project, on which she will work closely with the paper’s best photographers.

“She knows the city, and she has studied elsewhere and gained a wider frame of reference,” Jackson Free Press editor-in-chief Donna Ladd wrote in her Diversity Internship Program application. “I’m not sure anybody has walked through our door more enthusiastic about what we’re accomplishing here.”

New Haven Advocate’s intern, Doron Monk Flake, a senior journalism major at Southern Connecticut State University, was born and raised in New Haven, Conn. He’s contributed to the Advocate since May 2004 as a freelancer, writing articles about how to navigate the city’s bureaucracy, the importance of comic books and other topics.

“His politics are unpredictable; his musical tastes range widely; and he has a wonderfully geeky side,” wrote Advocate editor Mark Oppenheimer in his application. “He is a promising journalist, and his interests make him a natural for the alternative press.”

Oppenheimer’s hope is that the internship will position Flake, upon graduation, for a staff writer position — either at the Advocate or another leading alternative weekly.

Six papers competed for the winter/spring 2005 diversity internship grants, which are the 13th and 14th awarded since AAN instituted the program in 2001 to help alternative weeklies hire and train top-quality minority journalists, with the hope that they will choose careers in the alternative press. Each winning paper will receive $2,500 to help cover the costs of hiring the chosen intern.

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