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Denver's Rocky Mountain News will serve as the headquarters for the Scripps Academy for Hispanic Journalists, The E.W. Scripps Co. and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists announced last week. The academy will be a two-year program that is designed to help Hispanic journalists at the start of their career to succeed and will support eight people, with four participants starting next year and four more in 2005.

"We are committed to helping every academy participant realize his or her full potential," said John Temple, the News' editor and publisher.

The Academy is an offshoot of an agreement between the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and Scripps that was initiated earlier this year as part of the Parity Project, the focus of the association's five-year strategic plan to double the percentage of Latinos in U.S. newsrooms by 2008.

"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," said Alan Horton, Scripps' senior vice president for newspapers.

"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.

In addition to Temple and Gonzalez, the advisory board for the academy will consist of Scripps editorial executives, including the editors of papers in Naples, Fla., Corpus Christi and San Angelo, Texas, and Albuquerque, N.M.

Participants in the program will receive the same pay and benefits as other journalists at the News and following the participants' first year in the program, they may be offered full-time positions with other Scripps papers.

When America's newsrooms look more like America's neighborhoods, many of the issues about the credibility of newspapers and the media will magically melt away. A laudable effort by Scripps and one that should be emulated by other newspaper and multimedia companies.
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 8, 2003

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