AAN's Diversity Committee recently elected to expand the Diversity Grant Program to cover diversity-related projects as well as interns. AAN members may apply for one of the four $1,250 grants to hire an intern, or to support an editorial project that demonstrably serves people of color in that paper's market. Grant applications, which can be downloaded here, are due to the AAN office by Jan. 9. AAN News recently caught up with Diversity Chair Donna Ladd to chat a little more about the program. Click through to read more.
Victoria Williams returns to her campus newspaper after a highly productive four-month stint at the Oklahoma Gazette, AAN News reports. Williams says she found the freedom to write more in-depth stories at the alt-weekly a much needed break from the strictures and pressures of the daily newsrooms she worked in during earlier internships. Among the highlights of Williams' work for the Oklahoma weekly was her feature on a joint project linking female craft artists in Kenya to Oklahoma merchants. Established in 2001, the AAN Diversity Internship program awards four annual grants of up to $2,500 to talented young journalists of color.
"It’s not all that surprising that the Washingtonian is a really white magazine," writes the City Paper's Huan Hsu, scolding his employer in a sidebar to its 2,900-word demolition of the upscale city mag's lily-white staff and hypocrisy on diversity issues. "It would seem a much bigger problem for the City Paper, which purports to write about a predominately black city, yet is produced by a bunch of young white folks who live in Northwest D.C. Our urban cred is just as contrived as the Washingtonian’s class." (CP's Washingtonian story can be found here; scroll down for Hsu's sidebar.) "It wasn't always this way," according to Hsu, a Chinese-American who grew up in Utah and says he spent most of his "childhood aping the mannerisms of Mormons, not Chinese people." Former Editor in Chief David Carr established a minority fellowship that "wasn't just window dressing," he says, and the paper's "high-water mark (in edit-staff diversity) came in 2001, during Howard Witt’s tenure, when there were three black female editorial staffers and two black female interns." The paper's last minority fellow departed in 2001, and current Editor in Chief Erik Wemple accepts the blame: “It’s clearly my fault that we don’t have more minority representation on staff,” he tells Hsu.
Both Ayana Taylor and Michael Marsh (pictured) attended the Academy for Alternative Journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Funded by AAN and its Alternative Newsweekly Foundation, the six-week summer program teaches students how to pick and structure stories, and it apparently teaches skills necessary for award-winning writing.
The recipients of this year's National Association of Black Journalists Awards were announced Oct. 9 in Washington, D.C. New Times writers fared impressively, winning nine of the 22 awards handed out to newspapers with a circulation of 150,000 or less. Dallas Observer, Cleveland Scene, Phoenix New Times and New Times Broward-Palm Beach each had writers take home awards, while Riverfront Times writers won four awards -- including a clean sweep of the business category by Randall Roberts and Mike Seely. According to the NABJ, the awards recognize "outstanding coverage of people or important issues in the African diaspora."
Finalists have been announced in the annual Salute to Excellence Awards sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists. More than half of the finalists named for papers with a circulation under 150,000 are from New Times papers. The Riverfront Times of St. Louis has four stories nominated, including two by staff writer Mike Seely. The Cleveland Scene boasts two finalists. Phoenix New Times, Dallas Observer and New Times Broward-Palm Beach are also represented on the short-list. Winners will be announced at the NABJ's awards banquet Oct. 9 in Washington, D.C.