Freedom Forum is now accepting applications for this summer's American
Indian Journalism Institute, an intense, two-week, all-expense paid,
journalism boot camp.
AIJI is held annually at the University of South Dakota, and participants
who successfully complete the program are eligible to earn three
hours of college credit and possibly secure a 6-week internship
once the program has ended.
Deadline is March 1
can apply as long as they have completed at least one year of college
and would be able to travel to an internship in a different city.
The application deadline is March 1.
Redhouse, Navajo, said the AIJI's reputation as a journalism boot
camp is well deserved. The 23-year-old is a graduate of the 2005
said class started at 7 a.m., sometimes went until midnight, and
was full of reading news and, more importantly, writing it.
was one of those people there who had never done anything in the
realm of journalism ... I didn't know what it meant to be published,
I didn't even know what an internship was," Redhouse said.
"But somewhere along the way I took in what journalism was,
what it feels like to see your byline there every day, and I decided
to see how far I could get with it."
summer, Redhouse ended up getting an internship with the St. Cloud
Times in Minnesota through the program and since then has
interned for the Albuquerque Journal and Sports Illustrated. She
is now a sports writer for the Navajo Times.
for Journalism Matters Most
to Jack Marsh, the Freedom Forum vice president for diversity programs
and director of the AIJI, it doesn't matter what kind of background
an applicant has as long as the passion for journalism is there.
don't expect them to have all the training we'll provide
that. We don't expect them to have experience because we'll help
with that, too," he said. "What we're looking for are
those students who are curious and intelligent individuals ... with
the drive to succeed."
Walker, 26, went to the very first AIJI in 2001. While the experience
also helped shaped his career as a future journalist, it held another
significance for him, as well.
of the coolest things is it opens doors for Native American students
who wouldn't have had the opportunity to do something like this
any other way," said Walker, Red Lake Chippewa.
of the Faculty is Native
than half the faculty is Native ... to meet people who are Native
who have worked at these prestigious papers and have 'College Professor'
tagged to their names, to see what you can do, it just shows you
that you're not limited in any way," he said. Walker later
interned as a reporter at The New York Times and now works as a
reporter at the Argus Leader newspaper in Sioux Falls, S.D.
the faculty of the AIJI has certainly remained diverse, according
to Marsh, diversity in the newsroom has taken a pretty big hit as
a result of industry layoffs.
Freedom Forum, the foundation that funds AIJI, has been affected
by the recession as well, which is why the program has been cut
from three weeks down to two and will be accepting 12 students rather
Marsh still encourages Native students interested in going into
journalism to do so.
confident there's going to be opportunity for journalists moving
ahead in new areas," he said. "Clearly online or in digital,
just maybe fewer in purely print based."
and downloadable application forms are available online or by e-mailing
Janine Harris of the Freedom Forum.
article was reported and written in Columbia, Mo.
Greenberg, Eskimo, is a journalism student at the University of
Missouri in Columbia. She worked as a reporter at the Navajo Times
for one year and interned as a reporter at the Sun-Sentinel newspaper
in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.