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'J Camp' Provides Intensive Journalism Training For High School Students of Color in Washington D.C.

Lia Chang

'J Camp' Provides Intensive Journalism Training For High School Students of Color in Washington D.C. this summer.

Have you ever considered a career in journalism? If you are a high school freshman, sophomore or junior, you have until April 1 to apply for J Camp -- a free six-day intensive journalism training program to be held July 30-August 4, 2004 at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

The program is organized by the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) , the nation's largest professional organization for Asian Pacific American journalists.

At J Camp , students learn writing, broadcasting and photography from experienced professional journalists with some of the country's top media outlets. Applicants for J Camp must be high school freshmen, sophomores or juniors available to travel to and stay in Washington, D.C. for the six-day program. There is no fee to apply and students selected will have all costs covered, including airfare, housing and meals. AAJA will select a maximum of 40 participants.

Past J Camp speakers include CBS News correspondent Joie Chen, Pulitzer Prize-winning Detroit News reporter Angelo B. Henderson, CNN anchor Aaron Brown, People magazine senior editor Cynthia Sanz, Pulitzer Prize-winning Sacramento Bee photographer Manny Crisostomo, Dateline NBC correspondent Hoda Kotb, and CBS Early Show co-host Rene Syler.

"Since 2001, J Camp has taught the finer points of journalism to 125 of the country's best and brightest students of color while also highlighting the importance of newsroom diversity," said Mae Cheng, AAJA national president.

"It was one of the best groups of high school journalists I've ever seen," said Sacramento Bee executive editor Rick Rodriguez, a speaker at J Camp 2001 in San Francisco and in 2003 in San Diego.

"It was inspiring," said author and magazine writer Ralph Wiley, who spoke at J Camp 2002 , held at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. "It was my pleasure, getting a chance to meet the future communicators and storytellers of a newer, brighter generation. Actually, they blew me away, with their intellectual rigor, their instinct, their level of engagement, their brimming and obvious talent."

Through exposure to all facets of journalism, J Camp participants learn what it takes to succeed in the media industry. And by residing on campus for the duration of the program, students are also provided an opportunity to interact with other aspiring journalists.

"This was, by far, the greatest experience I've had," said Elio Pichardo of Bronx, New York. "Never have I had such fun while learning at the same time."

Julie Yen of San Diego, Calif. said: "My fellow campers amazed me with all their passion and achievements; my instructors challenged and refined my writing skills. Each conversation left me in more awe of the talent around me. J Camp raised my expectations of and confidence in what I can do as a journalist."

Application forms are available online at http://www.aaja.org and must be received by April 1st, 2004.

For more information contact Lila Chwee, AAJA Student Programs Coordinator, at 415/346-2051 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

J Camp is made possible through contributions to the AAJA Challenge Fund for Journalism, with additional funding and support from ChevronTexaco and The Washington Post .

About AAJA

AAJA (http://www.aaja.org) is a non-profit organization with over 1,900 members. With a history spanning more than 20 years, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry. The mission of the organization is to encourage Asian Pacific Americans to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of Asian Pacific Americans, and to increase the number of Asian Pacific American journalists and news managers in the industry.