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Cronkite School to Train Journalism Educators in Entrepreneurship

July 24, 2011

Journalism professors from around the country will learn about teaching entrepreneurship under a new fellowship program by the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

The Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute will bring 12 leading educators to the Cronkite School in January for interactive workshops and seminars that will equip professors with the necessary expertise to infuse journalism entrepreneurship into their own academic programs.

The five-day institute is made possible by a grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The E. W. Scripps Company, which owns television stations in nine markets as well as 13 newspapers, a Washington, D.C.-based news service and a worldwide syndication company. The foundation supports efforts that promote excellence in journalism and further journalism education and professional development.

Scripps Howard Foundation President and CEO Mike Philipps said the institute will play an important role in enabling journalism professors to equip their students with the entrepreneurial skills they need in today’s new media landscape.

“We need faculty who can teach young people the skills they will need to reinvent our business,” Philipps said. “Their programs must turn out graduates with the core values of journalism – fairness, accuracy, storytelling, a deep respect for the First Amendment – who also can recognize and exploit a business opportunity and who are entrepreneurial and nimble enough to adjust to wild changes in the media landscape. We hope this program will be a giant step in that direction.”

Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the Cronkite School, will be the primary instructor for the program. He will be joined by entrepreneurs, investors and other Cronkite faculty in teaching the 12 fellows.

The Knight Center helps journalism students become savvy in digital media technologies and develop entrepreneurial skills appropriate to the new media marketplace. It won the ASU President’s Award for Innovation in 2010 and several of its students have won grants to launch projects they conceived in the lab.

Gillmor, who has authored two books on the digital media revolution, said an understanding of entrepreneurship is vital to students’ success in the media industry.

“Journalism graduates are entering a diverse and quickly evolving marketplace,” Gillmor said. “They need to understand and appreciate the startup culture – ambiguity, rapid response, creativity and innovation, and ownership of processes and outcomes. They may not end up starting their own enterprises, but they will find these skills valuable even in large companies that are adapting to new conditions.”

The Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute will be held Jan. 4-8, 2012. Training, transportation, lodging, materials and meals will be provided through the fellowship.

To apply for the institute, go to http://cronkite.asu.edu/node/1533.