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What It Is All About
The Sports Journalism Institute is a nine-week training and internship
program for college students interested in sports journalism careers.
The Institute is designed to attract talented students to print journalism
through opportunities in sports reporting and editing and enhance racial
and gender diversity in sports departments of newspapers nationwide.
The program will be in residence at the Poynter Institute in St.
Petersburg, Fla.
Who We Are
The Sports Journalism Institute, which works with the National
Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the Asian American
Journalists Association (AAJA) and the National Association of
Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), is funded by the Tribune Foundation,
Gannett, Hearst Newspapers/Houston Chronicle, Associated Press
Sports Editors and the New York Daily News.

The program, which began in 1993, has more than 120 graduates who
have gone on to work at newspapers throughout the country.
SJI is a private, nonprofit 501c3 organization (donations to which are
tax deductible).  Here is our
Board of Directors.
Sports Journalism Institute
In the news
  In a year of unprecedented economic turmoil, the Sports Journalism Institute is delighted to
announce it has completed the selection and placement of students for the Class of 2009. The
result is a strong, rainbow-coalition-worthy class of  7 men and 2 women—6 African-
Americans, 1 Hispanic, 1 Asian-American and 1 Hispanic/Asian-American—who will be
interning at 8 APSE newspapers and at ESPN (where 3 former APSE presidents, among
others, will be there for support).
 “A big thank you should go to APSE and others who have made Class 2009 a reality in
these tough economic times,” said Leon Carter, SJI co-director and sports editor of the New
York Daily News. “We had a record number of applications. We have a very good class and
the interns will be ready for duty once they complete boot camp at Poynter in early June.”
 SJI’s mission is—as it was when it was founded in 1992—to add diversity to the nation’s
sports media. But in 2009, diversity means not just a diverse staff, but diverse forms of news
delivery. As the news industry changes and emphasizes electronic delivery, SJI must become
more of a multi-platform institution, so that the interns who graduate from the program are
fully trained to serve the needs of a changing sports media, one that relies on internet, video,
tape and printed delivery of news.
 To that end, SJI is delighted to welcome ESPN to the table. Former APSE presidents
Vince Doria, Don Skwar and Sandy Rosenbush (SJI co-founder/co-director) are all at
ESPN, where director of production recruitment Fred Brown made the decision to
participate in SJI.
 “ESPN is always looking to diversify its workforce, and SJI represents a strong possible
source to tape those diverse candidates just entering the field,” said Skwar, senior news
editor who oversees the news coverage of ESPN games and its bureau reporters and
 Once again, SJI thanks its partners at the Asian-American Journalists Association (which
selects one member of the class each year), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists
(which promotes our program in email newsletters to student members educators nationwide)
and the National Association of Black Journalists (whose Sports Task Force chair Greg Lee
is an SJI alum, and which faithfully promotes and works with SJI). SJI also thanks APSE for
its continued financial and advisory support, and the Chicago Tribune Foundation and New
York Daily News for funding through the years.
 Thanks also go to Keith Woods, Kenny Irby, Roy Peter Clark and all the staff at the
Poynter Institute, where the students will receive training this year (May 29-June 7), as they
have for the past three summers. Jack Sheppard’s staff at the St. Petersburg Times will again
print the student newspaper, The Bulletin, to be delivered at the APSE convention in
Pittsburgh. Having students take classes at and receive instruction from Poynter professionals
has saved SJI more than $10,000 a year and, along with APSE, is greatly responsible for the
financial viability of the institute in these troubled times.
 SJI had aimed for a class of 10 this year and was prepared to accept and place 12 students.
But four newspapers that regularly participate had their intern budgets slashed in the brutal
economy. Fortunately, other outlets were ready and waiting, and SJI is happy to welcome
back The Oklahoman and the Buffalo News to the family this summer.
 And when it comes to family, the members don’t get any closer than the Houston Chronicle,
the only outlet that has been a participant in SJI since Day One in the early 1990s. Dan
Cunningham, take a bow!
The class of 2009
Student/School/Interning at
Ana Kim, North Carolina, Buffalo News
Andrew Johnson, Morehouse College, Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
Juan Lopez, Nevada-Reno, Colorado Springs Gazette
Jordan Mason, North Carolina, ESPN
Nate Taylor, Central Missouri, Star Tribune in Minneapolis
Ronnie Turner, University of Houston, Salt Lake Tribune
David Ubben, Missouri, The Oklahoman
Anica Wong, Stanford, Denver Post
Larry Young, Southern University, Houston Chronicl
Class of '08 at end showed they
'weren't rocks lying around'
Another SJI Class survived the rigorous grind of ten
days of boot camp.
Mornings started off with the daily sports check and
ended with well another sports check.
In between the ten students covered the Tampa Bay
Rays (it was the first time in SJI history the team was
a winning franchise), were exposed to valuable
workshops led by Poynter faculty and of course
lessons from Sgt. Leon Carter, who deemed this year’
s class with one of his “Leon-isms” ‘Rocks Lying
The endearing phrase was used as a motivation tool
to inspire the class not to settle like rocks on the
ground, but to take advantage of all the opportunities
that SJI has provided them
The Tampa Tribune once again hosted a multimedia
seminar for the class and demonstrating how the
internet has become a vital component in their
The St. Petersburg Times once again printed a well-
put together Bulletin, the news paper of the sports
editors’ convention. The Times’s sports editor Jack
Sheppard and his wife hosted a barbeque at his home.
The Sports Journalism
Institute is well
represented at ESPN these
days. Alumni Heather
Dinich (Indiana, SJI class
of 1999) and Graham
Watson (Missouri, SJI
class of 2002) are both
covering college football
for and SJI co-
director Sandy Rosenbush
has come on board as an
event news editor for
college football at the
Dinich, who previously
worked for The Sun in
Baltimore, is the ESPN
veteran of the group. She
came to last
November and writes
mainly about the Atlantic
Coast Conference.
Before moving to ESPN,
Watson covered Missouri
and the Big 12 Conference
for the St. Louis Post-
Dispatch. Before that, she
was a sportswriter at the
Dallas Morning News.
“Heather and Graham are
part of the new ESPN
Blog Network,” said Rob
King, editor in chief of “Heather
polices all things ACC,
and Graham will watch
key Independents all
season long …We’ve hired
Heather, Graham and 14
other experienced news
reporters as professional
bloggers. They have the
contacts, access and
experience to help us grow
this product.”
Dinich, Watson and the
other bloggers will also
travel to games and
provide “insights for TV
in addition to blogging for,” said King.
The newbie is Rosenbush,
who joins Watson’s
former boss, Larry Starks
(previously the sports
editor in St. Louis), in the
network’s event news
team. In her new job,
Rosenbush will be
traveling to college football
games televised by ESPN
and ESPN on ABC each
weekend. (Starks is a news
editor for the NBA.) The
past two years,
Rosenbush has been
earning her masters at
Brooklyn College and
teaching public school in
Brooklyn; before that, she
was an assistant managing
editor at Sports Illustrated
for 13 years after stints at
the New York Times,
International Herald
Tribune and Washington
“Getting a journalist as
accomplished as Sandy
makes us all the more able
to provide the most vital
news and information to
our viewers,” said Don
Skwar, ESPN senior event
news editor.
SJI represented
Angela Busch, Class of
2006 won three awards in
the 2008 Florida Press
Club Excellence in
Journalism Contest (Class
B). She earned second
place in Light Feature
Writing, Third place in
Sports Writing and First
place in Sports Feature
Award winner
Meet the Class of 2009