Media Moves

WaPo welcomes 2023 academic year fellows

August 21, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

The following excerpt was sent out from The Washington Post:

The Washington Post is delighted to announce the 2023 class of Academic Year Fellows who will cover sports, edit breaking news and enterprise stories, produce audio, and report on climate and environment alongside award-winning journalists during their fall semester.

In partnership with Howard University’s Cathy Hughes School of Communications and the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, two students from each school will join the Post newsroom for 10 weeks for an immersive experience working in a rigorous, fast-paced, 24-hour news environment.

Howard University students Jasper Smith and Trinity Webster-Bass will edit and produce on the News Multiplatform Editing Desk and Audio staffs, respectively. University of Maryland graduate student Sapna Bansil will join the Sports staff, and junior Rachel McCrea will cover climate and environment.


Jasper Smith
Jasper Smith

Jasper Smith, a senior at Howard University, manages a staff of nearly 60 student journalists as editor in chief of the Hilltop. During her tenure, Smith also established award-winning investigations and multimedia sections. As a digital media intern at the Arizona Republic this summer, she wrote headlines, copy-edited articles, and produced and published stories on while prioritizing search engine optimization. Smith has covered higher education and trends as an HBCU Student Journalism Network Fellow for Open Campus Media and topics such as homelessness in Washington, local elections and public health initiatives for Street Sense Media.



Trinity Webster-Bass
Trinity Webster-Bass

Trinity Webster-Bass is a junior at Howard University, where she is the digital media manager for the campus chapter of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting and covers culture for the Hilltop. She has held internships at WHUR 96.3 FM, where she was responsible for daily song selection, social media posting, and research and correspondence with artists, and at WJCT 89.9 FM, an NPR affiliate station in Jacksonville, Fla., where she, among other duties, wrote scripts for “First Coast Connect With Melissa Ross,” edited audio files and managed social media accounts.



Sapna Bansil (@SapnaBansil) / X
Sapna Bansil

Sapna Bansil is a graduate student at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and a data reporter for the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and the Diamondback.

This summer, she interned at the Philadelphia Inquirer, covering local sports, which boosted the Inquirer’s coverage of women’s sports in particular. She also covered women’s basketball for the Baltimore Banner and has freelanced for Baltimore Fishbowl and Capital News Service.



Rachel McCrea (Photo: Rachel McCrea, The Washington Post)

Rachel McCrea, a junior at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, covered the environment, local business, community events and performing arts as a summer intern for the San Mateo Daily Journal in California. As a freelance reporter for the Diamondback, she wrote stories on campus events and reported on stormwater pollution awareness efforts, among other topics. McCrea is trained in digital photography and serves as the photographer and social media manager for the university’s Nearspace Balloon Payload Program.

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