Sports Journalism Institute


SJI-Logo.pngThe Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) established the institute to increase racial and gender diversity in the sports departments of America’s newsrooms. APSE formed partnerships with AAJA, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) to connect the institute’s opportunities with college students aspiring to be sports journalists.

The program combines an intensive week of instruction from top professionals with an eight-week paid internship at a print, digital or electronic media outlet. Class session topics range from ethics to photo editing, to how to keep a running score at a baseball game to copy editing. Upon completion of the program, college students may receive a $500 scholarship.



Please check back in late September/ early August to apply for the 2021 class. 


Editing and online candidates are urged to apply. A car is required. Applications must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation, work samples (no more than 10), a current college transcript, a personal essay on what this program would mean to you (500 words maximum), and a photograph.

Download the application via the link above and send to Gregory Lee via email to; be sure to include your affiliation with AAJA on your application. If you are a writer, please convert package into a PDF. If you are showing videos, send via Dropbox.



Ten student journalists will be selected. Ideally, applicants should be college sophomores or juniors (current seniors will also be considered). Candidates will be selected on the basis of academic achievement, demonstrated interest in sports journalism as a career and excellence on the required essay.

Eligibility is not limited to journalism majors. Travel logistics, housing arrangements and internship placements are made by the institute.

Additional questions? Email


For the full list of the SJI alumni class, click here. AAJA participants are listed below. 


2020 Recipients:

David Song Indiana University – Purdue University Graduate Student, Indianapolis.  Internship Host: USA Today

Andy Yamashita University of Washington. Internship Host: Denver Post


2019 Recipients: 

Sierra Galanza University of Tennessee. Internship Host: ESPN. Currently at ESPN. Read about Sierra

Eric He University of Southern California. Internship Host: Southern Californ.ia News Group. Read about Eric.
Currently at Columbia as a Graduate Student. 

Parth Upadhyaya University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Internship Host: Denver Post. Read about Parth.


2018 Recipient: Souichi Terada

"The Sports Journalism Institute opened so many doors for me. The moment it was announced I was part of the Class of 2018, droves of AAJA members contacted me. At the actual bootcamp, it was incredible meeting 12 other student journalists just like me, who had similar experiences being a minority in the sports journalism field. That was eye-opening. There's a lot of talent throughout the U.S., and meeting my peers was a humbling experience.

"Through SJI, too, I was able to go to the APSE convention in Nashville, where my internship was held. That opened a number of doors — and even helped me land my internship/freelance gig for the fall. I've always been nervous my lack of networking would burn me eventually, but being around a lot of established professionals in the business was one of the highlights of my summer. SJI was easily the best part of my summer, and I had an incredible time. Any aspiring sports journalist still in college should apply for SJI."

Terada completed a sports reporting internship at The Tennessean in Nashville. He covered the first Japanese-born MLS player, the Titan's rookie training camp, Sounds super-fans, among other topics.


Hayden-Kim.jpg2016 Recipient: Hayden Kim

“There are classes to take, events to cover and internships to join. It’s all a part of getting your foot in the door. But when you join the SJI family, you experience all three at a professional level during an unforgettable summer that will not only get your foot in the door at a major publication, but also grant you a key to a network of like-minded professionals who all want to help each other succeed.

“By the end of the summer, I was undoubtedly an improved reporter who felt confident covering anything – from NBA Summer League to cycling to rodeos – but most importantly, I became one of the select few Asian Americans in this industry who now carried the tools and support to prove we belonged.”

Hayden completed a sports reporting internship at the Salt Lake Tribune, covering a wide range of topics from the Salt Lake Bees’ first Korean player, the Tour of Utah cycling competitionSalt Lake City’s NBA summer league and the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.


Alysha-Tsuji.jpeg2015 Recipient: Alysha Tsuji

“Through the Sports Journalism Institute’s week-long boot camp at Mizzou, I gained valuable career insights from the best in the industry, and I was fortunate to become friends with a class of extremely talented young journalists.

“SJI also provided me with the incredible opportunity of interning as an editorial producer for in NYC. I’m proud to be part of the SJI family and everything that it stands for. I’m very grateful to AAJA Sports Task Force members for encouraging me to apply.”


Jack-Wang.jpg2012 Recipient: Jack Wang

“Both SJI and my internship at the Salt Lake Tribune helped ease my transition from college into the working world.

“Starting with a week-long boot camp in Missouri, I had a chance to improve as a reporter as well as gain numerous friends and colleagues in the industry. While Utah isn’t where young journalists usually dream of landing, I found great stories to tell — from covering cycling races to football games to wildfires.”



Since 2001, twelve students with AAJA have participated in the Sports Journalism Institute:

  • 2001 – Daniel Kim, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2004 – Gerald Tang, Northwestern University
  • 2005 – Bryan Chu, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2005 – Melanie Ho, University of Ottawa
  • 2007 – Stephen Lee, Rutgers University
  • 2007 – Ann Liu, San Francisco State University
  • 2008 – Stephen Chen, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2009 – Anna Kim, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 2009 – Kyle Goon, University of Maryland
  • 2012 – Jack Wang, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2015 – Alysha Tsuji, Pepperdine University
  • 2016 – Hayden Kim, University of Oregon
  • 2017 - Jackson Safon
  • 2018 - Souichi Terada