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12 J-Schools Participate in News21 Voter Rights Investigation
March 26, 2012
Top journalism students from 12 universities around the country will conduct a national investigative reporting project on voting rights as part of the Carnegie-Knight News21 in-depth journalism program.
The program, headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, is an effort on the part of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to change the way journalism is taught and prepare a new generation of journalists capable of reshaping the news industry. News21 fellows produce in-depth news coverage on critical issues facing the nation, using innovative digital methods to distribute the news on multiple platforms.
This is the first year that News21, which launched in 2006 with summer incubators at four schools, is open to students from any accredited U.S. journalism school. The new program model is made possible by recent grants from national foundations that will fund additional fellowships.
A two-year grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation will provide funding for six students each year from the Cronkite School and the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication to participate in News21. A three-year grant from the Hearst Foundations will fund up to four fellows each summer.
Past News21 national projects have focused on food safety and transportation safety. News21 partners with The Washington Post, MSNBC.com and the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity, all of which have published large portions of the students’ work.
This year’s program includes a semester-long seminar on voting rights led by Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post and Cronkite’s Weil Family Professor of Journalism. Using teleconference technology, more than two dozen students across the country are participating in the seminar this spring, hearing from numerous election experts, officials and advocates and conducting research in preparation for the summer reporting project.
Students from the seminar then go onto paid summer fellowships, during which they travel across the country to report stories and produce content for publication or broadcast across a number of platforms.
Fellows will work out of the Cronkite School’s newsroom under the direction of News21 Executive Editor Bill Marimow, former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Baltimore Sun and former vice president of news at NPR. Marimow will be assisted by University of Arkansas Associate Professor Gerald Jordan, a veteran journalist who has worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Kansas City Star and The Boston Globe.
"This is the kind of experience that will prepare students to work in any news organization, combining the best in traditional tools of the journalistic trade with the digital skills needed in today's newsrooms," Marimow said.
Downie called News21 an extraordinary opportunity for outstanding student journalists to produce professional-quality, in-depth multimedia journalism on a timely subject of national importance.
“The journalism the students produce during the summer under professional editorial direction in the Cronkite School newsroom will both benefit our print, broadcast and digital partners and give the students invaluable experience for future employment," he said.
About the Carnegie Corporation of New York
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
About the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation
About the Hearst Foundations