Less than a month before the start of JCamp, the New Orleans community and the journalism world received stunning news: The Times-Picayune would shift the bulk of its resources to a digital form and cease publication of a daily paper. Our hearts are heavy for our compatriots. At the same time, we are optimistic about the future.
More people are watching TV news and reading news stories than ever before. While working journalists may not be able to afford joining the country club, we believe they will continue to prosper by entering one of the noble and thrilling professions in the land. There’s no question that the media is changing — and it’s highly likely that JCamp graduates will be at the forefront of that charge.
No matter what form journalism takes in the future, we want to make sure that it remains rooted in the fundamentals: Courageous reporting, responsible ethics, engaging prose and strong leadership. Passing along those traits to our students was our mission when we started 12 years ago. It remains our mission.
This project wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bloomberg News, CBS, CNN, the Dow Jones News Fund, the Dow Jones Foundation, Google, the National Association of Black Journalists, Southwest Airlines, The New York Times, the staff of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the AAJA Florida, Minnesota and New York Chapters. A shout-out to our bosses as well at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business and Bloomberg News in Washington, D.C. We also gratefully acknowledge the hard work of our volunteer staff, guest speakers and, most important, the top-notch professionals who give up their vacations and family time to work around the clock and re-live dorm life. You are the best.
We dedicate this year’s program to JCamp grad Jeff Lee who died late last year after running a half-marathon in Philadelphia. Jeff’s gracious spirit and hard work epitomizes what our program stands for. He will be missed.
Neal Justin, Lorene Yue, Clea Benson
View the 2012 AAJA JCamp program (pdf)