Scripps establishes academy for Hispanic journalists at the Rocky Mountain News

Wed, December 03, 2003 by Mike Phillips/Michael Madigan

CINCINNATI – The E.W. Scripps Company today announced the establishment of the Scripps Academy for Hispanic Journalists, a training and education program designed to help early-career Hispanic journalists develop the skills they need to succeed in daily newspaper careers. “The Academy will identify, recruit, develop, place and establish career paths for top young Hispanic journalists at Scripps newspapers in support of Scripps’ commitment to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) Parity Project,” said Alan Horton, senior vice president/newspapers for Scripps.In April this year Scripps and the NAHJ announced that Scripps would be the first major media company to partner with NAHJ in its national Parity Project, the centerpiece of NAHJ’s five-year strategic plan to double the percentage of Latinos in the nation’s newsrooms by 2008. As part of the project, Scripps has launched an initiative to improve news coverage of Latinos and dramatically increase the number of qualified Latino journalists and other professionals employed on the staffs of Scripps newspapers.“We recognized from the beginning that we could not help the NAHJ realize the goal of the Parity Project without helping to develop more Hispanic journalists,” Horton said. “Hiring experienced Hispanic journalists from other newspapers might improve the diversity in Scripps newsrooms, but it wouldn’t increase the overall number of Hispanic journalists in our nation’s newsrooms. The Scripps Academy for Hispanic Journalists will do just that.”The Academy will be located at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver under the direction of Michael Madigan, assistant managing editor of the News. “NAHJ has been impressed and very pleased with the aggressive and innovative way the Rocky Mountain News has pursued the objectives of the Parity Project in the first six months of its involvement,” said NAHJ President Juan Gonzalez.Gonzalez and John Temple, editor and publisher of the News, will serve on the Academy’s advisory board. Other advisory board members include Mike Phillips, Scripps editorial development director; Peter Copeland, editor and general manager of the Scripps Howard News Service, and the editors of the following Scripps newspapers:** Tim Gallagher, Ventura County (Calif.) Star;** Phil Lewis, Naples (Fla.) Daily News; ** Libby Averyt, Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times; ** Tim Archuleta, San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times;** Phill Casaus, The Albuquerque Tribune. “Locating the Scripps Academy at the News is a great decision by Scripps,” said Gonzalez. “The News is one of America’s best newspapers, and the environment of professionalism and journalistic achievement is perfect for developing the skills aspiring journalists need to succeed.”The Rocky Mountain News won its second Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography in the past four years in 2003 and has been named Colorado’s best large daily newspaper eight straight years by the Colorado Press Association.Placement in the Scripps Academy for Hispanic Journalists will be open to Hispanic journalists with three years of daily newspaper experience or less, and recently graduated Hispanic students seeking newspaper careers who have been exposed to daily newspaper journalism through formal internships while in college. Positions will be offered in reporting, design and copy editing, photography and Internet journalism.Four Hispanic journalists will be offered two-year full-time positions in 2004, and four more in 2005. A full complement of eight participants will be maintained in succeeding years. Pay and benefits will be in accordance with the News’ contract with the Denver Newspaper Guild. Regular full-time employment at the Rocky Mountain News or another Scripps newspaper may be offered to successful participants at any time between the end of the first year of participation and conclusion of the second year.Each prospective participant will be provided with a skill level assessment and a set of development goals as part of a written offer of a position at the academy. Each participant will work with a designated professional mentor within newsroom management, and will receive a formal, written performance assessment quarterly.“This is a tremendous opportunity for talented Hispanic journalists who want to learn and grow at a major American daily newspaper,” said Temple. “We are committed to helping every academy participant realize his or her full potential. It’s a win-win situation – for young journalists, for the Parity Project, and for the News and other Scripps newspapers.”A complete program description and application form are available online at rockymountainnews.com. Click on the SAHJ button found on the left side of the home page.Celebrating its 125th anniversary, The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse media concern with interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, national television networks, interactive media and television retailing. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 broadcast TV stations, four cable and satellite television programming services and a home shopping network. Scripps national television network brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, DIY -- Do It Yourself Network, Fine Living and Shop at Home. Scripps also operates Scripps Howard News Service and United Media.Founded in 1984, NAHJ is based in Washington, D.C., and is the nation’s largest professional organization for Latino journalists, with nearly 2,000 members in print, broadcast and new media.

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