Press

Applications for National Gay and Lesbian Task Force journalism internship/scholarship program now being accepted

Date: 
January 15, 2006

Up to $10,000 to be awarded to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender journalism/communications students. Deadline: February 24, 2006

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is accepting applications for its Messenger-Anderson Journalism Internship/Scholarship Program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. Self-identified LGBT undergraduate college students who plan to pursue a degree in journalism, communications or a related field at an accredited 4-year college or university are encouraged to apply.

The Messenger-Anderson Scholarship Award is $5,000 for the first year, followed by $2,500 each year for the next two years, bringing the award total to $10,000. Applicants must re-apply each year. Winners are required to participate in an 8-week Messenger-Anderson Scholarship Intern Program at the Task Force's New York City office during the summer. The postmark deadline for applications is February 24, 2006.

The Messenger-Anderson Scholarships allow students to hone their skills in several areas of communications practice. Responsibilities include writing and editing press releases, updating Web site materials, tracking and archiving news coverage of the Task Force, researching media opportunities and assisting with rapid response to breaking stories. Successful candidates should have strong communication skills, both written and oral; be prepared to work in a fast-paced, newsroom-like environment; and demonstrate a desire and commitment to work in a multicultural environment where commitment to diversity is an important institutional value.

Applications can be downloaded at www.thetaskforce.org/aboutus/messenger.cfm. Women and people of color encouraged to apply. The Messenger-Anderson Scholarship was donated by Larry Messenger and Jim Anderson in memory of Lawrence and Selina Messenger. The Messengers believed that there was a pressing need to encourage LGBT people to become more involved in shaping media coverage. Fair coverage of LGBT issues insists upon the basic premise that we are all created equal; however, media coverage today often begins with the discriminatory notion that equality for LGBT people is somehow a matter for debate. By encouraging LGBT students to pursue journalism and by assisting them with their studies, the Task Force hopes to improve the way the LGBT community and movement are covered.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.