By Jorge Rojas
Miami Herald sports editor
APSE will accept applications for the 2015-16 Diversity Fellowship Program from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31.
The program is an in-depth, nine-month course of study for working, mid-career professionals who are interested in pursuing a path as a manager (typically a sports editor, assistant sports editor or sports reporter) in sports journalism. This training program, which prepares Fellows to be candidates for such positions, is underwritten by APSE and its partners, and there is no cost to the Fellows.
The program for employees of APSE member organizations begins in the fall and concludes with APSE’s annual conference June 22-25 in Charlotte. Women and minority journalists who have at least three years’ professional experience (exceptions may be considered) are eligible to apply.
Applicants should have the support of their employer as attendance at several events is required. Note, however, that travel expenses are paid by the program.
APSE realizes the Fellows are working professionals whose first responsibility is to their news organizations. APSE will work with supervising editors to ensure the Fellows meet all work responsibilities, and will customize the Fellowship experience to focus on skills most important to the employer. The goal for APSE is that employers value Diversity Fellowship Program graduates and consider this training invaluable to their newsrooms and, more broadly, their companies.
The program is described below.
Indicate your intention to apply as soon as possible to Selection Committee members Jorge Rojas of the Miami Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org), Larry Graham of the San Diego Union-Tribune (email@example.com) and Fellowship founder Michael Anastasi of the Los Angeles News Group firstname.lastname@example.org) and provide a cover letter, resume and essay of no more than 1,500 words that describes your vision for a sports department under your leadership. (With approval, the selection committee is open to considering other essay topics).
E-mail your application packet by Aug. 31 to Rojas, Graham and Anastasi at the addresses above. They also are your contacts for questions.
The APSE Diversity Fellowship Program Course of Study consists of several components:
* The Sports Management Program. Each Fellow is a student in this APSE program. The Fellow is paired with an experienced editor from a large news organization who serves as a mentor. Through the process, the Fellow learns such skills as how to critique and analyze a sports section, how to plan for and deploy resources to cover an important sports event in their community, how to be a member of the overall newsroom leadership team, how to plan for and execute high-quality summer sports coverage, how to plan for and execute football preview sections and coverage for various times of the year. (There is no travel for this component.)
* Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center. Each Fellow attends IU (at program expense) for a three-day, long-weekend academic experience (planned this year for Oct. 3-6). The experience might include seminars in sports journalism law, business of sports media, digital sports journalism, managing and motivating a staff, the editor as entrepreneur, and the fundamentals of managing money and a budget.
* Online Sports Coverage. Each Fellow works as a member of a team judging APSE’s annual web contest. This component consists of at least two full days of judging, a half day of deliberation with other members of your team and two one-hour sessions of what makes outstanding sports coverage online with an experienced editor from either the judging team or one of the nation’s top sports sites. (There is no travel for this component).
* Print Sports Coverage and Sportswriting. Each Fellow works as a member of a team judging APSE’s annual sports section and sportswriting contest. This is a four-day commitment, taking place in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Feb. 27-March 2. Under the supervision of experienced editors from across the country, each Fellow will typically judge at least three different types of sports journalism, such as daily or Sunday sections, or investigative, project, news or enterprise reporting. The Fellow also will take part in professional development coursework offered during the conference. Finally, the Fellow will complete an assignment prior to the conference and it will be reviewed with an experienced editor in St. Petersburg. A typical assignment might be completing a mock performance review or a daily online coverage budget. (All travel expenses for this component are covered by the program).
* Region APSE meeting. Each Fellow attends their region’s annual professional-development day. These daylong sessions — the dates vary depending on the area of the country — consist of several seminars on various topics conducted by editors from within that region. (Region meetings are held typically within driving distance. All travel expenses for this component are covered by the program).
* Sports Journalism Institute. Each Fellow, under the direction of leaders of the Sports Journalism Institute, the nation’s premier diversity sports program, works as an offsite assignment editor with the Institute’s incoming class.
* APSE’s summer conference. This capstone experience has each Fellow attending the various sessions and workshops of the APSE Conference. At the conclusion of the conference, the Fellows receive their certificates of completion.
* Finally, an additional practicum such as shadowing an experienced sports editor for two days may be considered.