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Four Universities Selected for Inaugural Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professor Program

September 14, 2011

Journalism programs at Colorado State University, Grambling State University, Texas Christian University and the University of South Carolina will be the first schools to receive visiting business journalism professors next spring under a $1.67 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

The five-year program will ultimately create 11 visiting professorships at 11 different schools. It is administered through the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“We are pleased with the first four schools selected to participate in the Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professor Program,” said Steve Anderson, president of the Reynolds Foundation. “These four schools will form the nucleus of a much larger group of institutions that will be selected annually over the next five years. The program’s goal is to select institutions that will commit long-term to the teaching of principles and skills necessary to train business journalists in what we believe is an increasingly important field of journalism.”

The new Reynolds Visiting Professorships are modeled on successful programs at Washington and Lee University and the Cronkite School. The Reynolds Center also has sponsored a weeklong training seminar for prospective business journalism professors for the past five years.

The professorships will enable students at the four universities to get valuable training in a specialized and increasingly critical area of journalism, said Andrew Leckey, president of the Reynolds Center and the Reynolds Chair in Business Journalism at the Cronkite School.

“These four journalism programs displayed remarkably thoughtful and ambitious strategies for both their current and their future business journalism education initiatives,” Leckey said. “In addition, the large number of excellent applications received assures us that other outstanding schools stand ready for the future visiting professorships of this five-year program.”

Besides teaching courses in business journalism, visiting professors will help establish partnerships with local business media and contribute to businessjournalism.org and Reynolds Center webinars, which provide resources and training enabling professional business journalists to excel at their craft. The schools, which also are eligible for funding for business journalism internships, will provide space as well as technical and administrative support for the professors.

“You need look no further than the economy being the No. 1 issue in national politics to recognize that instruction in business journalism is critical to the mission of journalism programs and the training of the journalists of the future,” said John Lumpkin, director of TCU’s Schieffer School of Journalism. “Our grant from the Reynolds Center will allow TCU to expand its offerings in business journalism and take a more focused and strategic approach in this area for its students.”

“Our students and future journalists, whether they are writing for the front page, the sports page or the style page, need to understand and explain the underlying business interests,” said Charles Bierbauer, dean of the University of South Carolina College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. “This grant will allow us to raise our efforts and profile in teaching business journalism.”

Three more universities will be selected next year for the spring 2013 term. Prospective universities can apply at http://businessjournalism.org/2011/03/02/how-to-apply-journalism-programs/. Prospective visiting business journalism professors can apply at http://businessjournalism.org/2011/03/02/how-to-apply-visiting-professor....

Since 2003, more than 10,000 journalists have learned to cover business better through free training from the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. The center is at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University's Phoenix campus. The center offers regional workshops and Webinars, as well as daily tips at BusinessJournalism.org.

It is funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, it is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.