JCamp's in-person programming for 2020 has been cancelled in an effort to protect students, faculty and support staff amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Alums and other JCamp supporters are welcome to attend two virtual summits on July 11 and July 18, 2020. Check out the AAJA JCamp Alumni Facebook Group for further details.

JCamp brings a multicultural group of high school students together for six days of intensive journalism training. Students will learn from professional journalists and get hands-on training in writing, photography, television broadcasting, online media, and reporting. Sessions and workshops will be led by experienced journalists from some of the top media companies in the industry. Students with a strong interest in broadcasting, newspapers, magazines, photojournalism or online media are encouraged to apply. The program is designed for high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors; since 2001, over 700 high school students have graduated from JCamp. Every year, AAJA receives hundreds of applications from all regions of the country. Students selected for the program have all costs covered including airfare, campus housing and meals.



Changing the Face of Media

JCamp was started in 2001 as a response to the industry’s diversity crisis. The program is designed to help assure excellence in the profession for decades to come and to confront the lack of diversity in journalism, not just in race, but also in matters of religious background, political background and other factors. Since the program began, hundreds of the nation’s most talented teenagers have graduated. Early surveys of JCamp students indicated that approximately 75% went on to pursue journalism in college. With a multicultural team, media get more accurate perspectives on stories of Latinos, African Americans, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and Middle Eastern Americans.

With a diverse team, readers and viewers get different views on city governments, local communities, business, entertainment and recreation, science and medicine, and national and international issues.

AAJA’s JCamp is a national multicultural journalism program for high school students. The six-day training camp brings together culturally diverse students from across the nation to learn from veteran journalists and leading media executives. JCamp participants will receive hands-on training and produce multiplatform news packages for the program’s news site, JCamp Live.

JCamp’s goal is to develop the next generation of journalists. This six-day training camp brings together a multicultural group of high school students from across the nation to sharpen their journalism skills and work together in a unique learning environment. The curriculum consists of interactive workshops, hands-on training and field trips.

Selected students demonstrate a keen interest in broadcasting, newspaper, magazine, photojournalism or online media. This program is not limited to Asian American students, but to all high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors. There is no fee to apply and all costs are covered  — including airfare, lodging and meals. Students stay in university housing during the camp week.

JCamp strives to confront the lack of diversity in journalism, in regards to race, socioeconomics, geography, religion, sexual orientation and identity. The camp strives to ensure excellence in the profession for decades to come. Through this culture of excellence and diversification, JCamp cultivates the voices and views of our future media leaders on government, human interest, entertainment, recreation, science, medicine, and national and international news.

The curriculum focuses on teaching and ingraining the following core principles:

  • The Value of Cross-Cultural Communication Skills – This heightened awareness comes from interactions with peers and mentors from completely different environments and backgrounds, along with training in the basics of effective interpersonal skills and the importance of creating inclusive environments as colleagues and journalists.
  • The Fundamentals of Leadership – Faculty work with students on persuasive communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, project management, developing a personal identity and accountability.
  • The Importance of Diversity in the Newsroom and in Media Coverage – JCamp fosters an appreciation for diverse viewpoints and reporting in diverse communities. Students also learn why it is important that media outlets reflect the communities they cover.
  • Strong Ethics in Journalism Practice – Students gain an understanding of the universal ethics of good journalism and the responsibilities of the media to cover communities with sensitivity and high standards.
  • The Value of Networking & Career Mapping – Regardless of a student’s eventual career choice, each will go home with an understanding of how to pursue a profession and an appreciation for the importance of networking and building relationships with mentors and peers.

JCamp speakers have included Hoda Kotb, co-host of NBC’s “Today Show;” Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., former publisher of The New York Times; Chuck Todd, host of “Meet the Press;” Bob Schieffer, former CBS News’ “Face the Nation” moderator; Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times; Touré, former co-host of “The Cycle” and author of “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?”; Bill Whitaker, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” correspondent; Cheryl Diaz Meyer, Pulitzer Prize-winning war photographer; Kevin Merida, senior vice president of ESPN and editor-in-chief of “The Undefeated;” and the late Gwen Ifill, host of “Washington Week” and “PBS NewsHour.”

Since the first JCamp in 2001, more than 700 of the nation’s brightest young people have graduated from JCamp. Some of the graduates of JCamp have gone on to become professional journalists. A few of these alumni include:

  • Terrell BrownJCamp 2002: After attending JCamp, Brown was awarded a full scholarship for broadcasting excellence by the National Press Club. In 2009, at age 22, Brown was named a CBS News correspondent — the youngest in that network’s history.

  • Jessica CarballoJCamp 2004: Carballo won the Sun-Sentinel Correspondent of the Year Award, the Sun-Sentinel scholarship upon high school graduation, and she was the Miami Herald Silver Knight Winner in Journalism. She worked as an ABC production intern at WPLG-TV in Miami and is a 2010 graduate of Yale University.

  • Arelis Hernandez, JCamp 2004: Hernandez graduated in 2009 from the University of Maryland, majoring in broadcast journalism. During her senior year at the university, Hernandez was named to the select list of the Top 100 Student Journalists in the country. She is now a political reporter for The Washington Post and a JCamp co-director.

  • Hailey Lee, JCamp 2009: Lee studied at Wellesley College and founded WCTV, the school's satire news show. She interned at Crain's Chicago Business before being hired permanently at CNBC. She is now an economics producer and has served as a board member for UNITY: Journalists for Diversity.

  • Taylor Turner, JCamp 2010: Turner studied broadcast journalism and political communications at The University of Texas at Austin while also interning at ESPN and participating as a video journalist for The New York Times' Student Journalism Institute in 2015. Turner worked as a production associate at ABC News before her current position as a video editor at The Washington Post.

  • Ben Bartenstein, JCamp 2011: Bartenstein graduated from Macalester College in 2015 and also participated in AAJA's VOICES journalism training program for college students. He is now an emerging markets reporter for Bloomberg in Peru and a JCamp mentor.


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JCamp News

Apply Today for JCamp 2020

UPDATE  FROM THE JCAMP DIRECTORS: It was our profound hope to push forward with JCamp 2020 programming while keeping our students, faculty and guest speakers safe. It is clear now, given recent events with the Covid-19 pandemic, that we cannot responsibly proceed with JCamp this summer....

Student Leaders Selected for JCamp 2019

Media Contact:Naomi Tacuyan UnderwoodAAJA Executive DirectorEmail: naomitu@aaja.org San Francisco, CA – The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) has selected 42 talented students from high schools across the U.S. to participate in JCamp...

Apply Today for JCamp 2019

Georgia Public BroadcastingJuly 27 - August 1, 2019   JCamp is a six-day intensive, multicultural journalism training program for high school students. Students learn from professional journalists and get hands-on training in writing, reporting, photography, television and radio broadcasting, online media...

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"The most valuable lesson I took from JCamp was to believe in myself. JCamp gave me the idea that I could accomplish my goals in journalism. I’ve never been one to think small, and having professionals around who’ve accomplished their own goals meant a lot to me. Since JCamp, I written for the St. Louis Post­ Dispatch, Columbia Missourian and USA Today College. I’ll continue to sing the praises of AAJA because JCamp gave me the inspiration to continue in journalism and reach my goals."

 — Ymani C. Wince, JCamp Class of 2011

"JCamp provided incredible exposure, invaluable connections, and practical knowledge. Spending a week in Boston learning from top journalists and executives impacted my career trajectory in a myriad ways. One of my favorite memories from JCamp was practicing my elevator pitch with Craig Robinson, EVP of Diversity at NBC, and Jackie Bradford, President & GM of NBC Washington. Fast forward a couple of years later, and I'm an Emma L. Bowen fellow at the station. JCamp continues to instill within me a desire to contribute diversity, passion, and hard work to the media world through multi platform storytelling."

– Doni Holloway, JCamp Class of 2014

"I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experience at JCamp. I met invaluable mentors and it led me to AAJA, where I went on to participate in VOICES. AAJA was instrumental in getting me my first internship at The Sacramento Bee. Being able to interact with students from all around the country at JCamp was an incredible experience and I encourage anyone with any interest in journalism to take advantage of it."

– Thomas Oide, JCamp Class of 2014