The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) Sports Task Force has named Jackson Safon the inaugural winner of its ESPN internship.

Safon is graduating with a degree from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. 

“The process to find one that was most worthy of this ESPN/AAJA Sports Task Force internship wasn’t easy, with so many strong candidates,” said Howard Chen, STF’s chairman. “Special thanks to our judging panel for going through all the entries and selecting USC’s Jackson Safon, our inaugural winner of this incredible opportunity. Think about it: this is a paid internship with furnished housing covered! Thank you to ESPN and Disney for continuing to champion diversity with this internship.”

There were over 43 applicants for the ESPN/ AAJA Sports Task Force internship, but Jackson distinguished himself with his grades and his extensive work as in digital and broadcast media.

Nader Issa Wins STF’s Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) Sports Task Force has named Nader Issa as the second recipient of the Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship.

Issa is a senior journalism and sports management major at Loyola University in Chicago. The managing editor of the student newspaper, the Loyola Phoenix, Issa broke a national story in spring 2016 about Sheryl Swoopes, one of the greatest women’s basketball players. Issa’s reporting revealed mistreatment allegations of players by Swoopes, the head coach of the women’s basketball team.

“This was a very close judging process. We had a tremendous pool of applicants who we feel all have bright futures,” said Howard Chen, the Sports Task Force chairman. “Nader is committed to sports journalism, and he demonstrated his potential in breaking the Swoopes story that landed him national interviews, including Outside the Lines.”

Currently a student member of AAJA, Issa attended the AAJA Convention last summer in Las Vegas.

“It was good to know that there are people supporting me, the way everyone at the Sports Task Force has since I joined AAJA,” Issa said. “It’s reaffirming to know my hard work is paying off.”

While wrapping up his studies at Loyola, Issa will soon start a Metro internship at the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Nader’s tenacity, commitment and desire to succeed as a sports journalist makes him a worthy winner,” said Al Young. “His Sheryl Swoopes investigative piece that became a national story is testimony that he’s on the right track. I’m delighted that this scholarship will help him move forward.”

The Al Young Sports Journalism Scholarship is named after an award-winning journalist whose career spanned more than four decades. Young was the nation’s first Asian American sportswriter at a metro daily. He was a writer and editor at various publications including the Boston Globe, USA Today and the New York Daily News before he retired in 2012.