AIJI underway on USD campus

AIJI underway on USD campus Twenty-four Native college students from 19 tribes in 12 states and one Canadian province are currently attending the fourth annual American Indian Journalism Institute, an intense academic program run jointly by The University of South Dakota and the Freedom Forum.

The students, chosen from nearly 90 nominees, are enrolled as special students at USD. This year's program began June 6, and will end June 25. Sessions will be held in the newly refurbished Al Neuharth Media Center.

AIJI is the largest journalism program of its kind, designed to attract, train and mentor the next generation of Native reporters, editors and photographers. The four-hour college course is sanctioned through The University of South Dakota Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism.

"Native Americans are the most under-represented group in journalism," said Jack Marsh, executive director of the Freedom Forum's Al Neuharth Media Center, which is funding and administering the program. "AIJI draws Native college students into the journalism pipeline and equips them to succeed by giving them a strong academic foundation and practical experience."

The course is being taught by a faculty of 10 journalism professionals and educators.

: Kevin Abourezk, reporter, Lincoln (NE) Journal Star; Ray Chavez, chairman, Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism, The University of South Dakota; Steve Chin, new media specialist, Maynard Institute for Journalism Education; Dana Hedgpeth, reporter, Washington Post; Val Hoeppner, photo editor, Argus Leader, Sioux Falls; Kelly Johnson, copy editor, Oregonian, Portland; Carl Juste, staff photographer, Miami Herald; Jack Marsh of the Al Neuharth Media Center; Denny McAuliffe, journalism professor, University of Montana; and Victor Merina, senior fellow, Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism, University of Southern California.

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