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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    4 journalism students to get Times treatment

    During the first few weeks of January, when most students will still be recovering from New Year’s Eve and enjoying the break from school, four UA journalism students will be participating in the New York Times Student Journalism Institute.

    Fernanda Echavarri, Lauren LePage, Nathan Olivarez-Giles and Roxana Vasquez will be among the 20 college students chosen nationally to participate in the program, which will be held Jan. 2-13 at the Department of Journalism, said journalism program coordinator Kate Harrison.

    Vasquez is a photographer for the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

    “”We’re …

    It’s an opportunity for bright young journalists to work with professionals from the top
    newspapers in the country.

    -Kate Harrison,
    journalism program coordinator

    extremely proud that of the 20 students nationally chosen to attend the institute, four are from the UA journalism department,”” Harrison said. “”It’s an opportunity for bright young journalists to work with professionals from the top newspapers in the country.””

    To qualify for the institute, students had to be members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, have completed one semester at a student newspaper or other major newspaper, be in good academic standing, and write a 500-word essay about being a journalist, Harrison said. Students also needed to submit a letter of recommendation and six clips of their work, according to the New York Times Web site.

    “”I received a call from them on Nov. 16. I was so excited,”” said Vasquez, a sophomore. “”When you think about the New York Times being one of the most recognizable newspapers around the world, and being able to learn from the people that actually work there, it’s amazing.””

    Echavarri, a senior, decided to apply after meeting Alan Robertazzi, a New York Times staff member, last spring when they visited Tucson to plan this year’s program.

    “”At dinner, I sat next to Robertazzi and he told me that it’s not often that young, Mexican females apply for the New York Times and that I should give it a shot,”” Echavarri said. “”He said he wanted to see more diversity in the Times.””

    The students will be covering news events, learning about full-time jobs and internships, and participating in discussions with professional journalists, according to the Times Web site.

    All participants will be exposed to the basics of journalism, but will be able to concentrate on reporting, editing, photography, design, and graphics or multimedia.

    The students will also run a daily news Web site during the institute, Harrison said. At the end of the program, a newspaper will be published containing the best material created during the two weeks.

    “”(I hope to) build a stronger portfolio, get criticism from the New York Times editor on how to improve my work and meet other photographers and reporters,”” Vasquez said. “”I’m sure that after those two weeks, I’ll be a better photographer – I have to, I’ll be working with the best.””

    The institute will be directed by Don Hecker, the Times’ editor for staff editor training and approximately 15 staffers from the paper.

    Its “”sister newspapers,”” like the Boston Globe, will help run the program, Harrison said.

    The institute was first held in January at Florida International University and will alternate each year between FIU and the UA,
    Harrison said.

    The program is modeled after a program the Times established for students in conjunction with the Black College Communications Association and the National Association of Black Journalists held at Dillard University in New Orleans, which started in 2004, Harrison said.

    Echavarri, who hopes to make connections with student journalists from other parts of the country, said she is excited about participating.

    “”Having the New York Times on your résumé is as good as it gets for a recent college graduate,”” she said. “”I’m going to be learning from the best of the best. I can’t wait.””

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