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Journalism programs at Central Michigan University, Elon University and Louisiana State University will receive visiting business journalism professors next spring under a $1.67 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
This is the second year that the foundation has funded business journalism professors at universities to encourage the development of stronger business journalism training. This past spring, the inaugural visiting professors taught at Colorado State University, Grambling State University, the University of South Carolina and Texas Christian University.
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. The Reynolds Center also has sponsored weeklong training seminars for prospective business journalism professors over the past six years.
“The goal of the Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professors Program is to select institutions that will commit long-term to the teaching of principles and skills necessary to train business journalists. We are pleased that these three schools have been selected to participate in the second year of the program,” said Steve Anderson, president of the Reynolds Foundation.
Andrew Leckey, president of the Reynolds Center and the Reynolds Chair in Business Journalism at the Cronkite School, said the three schools were chosen from dozens of applications, and all three “presented strong immediate and longer-term plans for initiating vigorous business journalism coursework and programs.
“The large number of excellent applications from throughout the country underscored the fact that business and economic journalism is growing in importance and popularity,” he said.
The visiting professors bring with them years of professional business journalism experience. This spring, they included Karen Blumenthal, author of The Wall Street Journal’s “Getting Going” column and its former Dallas bureau chief; Rob Reuteman, former business editor of the Rocky Mountain News and former president of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers; Will Sutton, former president of the National Association of Black Journalists and a senior editor at several newspapers; and Rob Wells, former deputy bureau chief for Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal in Washington.
In addition to teaching courses in business journalism for a semester, visiting professors help establish partnerships with local business media and contribute to BusinessJournalism.org and Reynolds Center webinars, which provide resources and training for professional business journalists. The schools, which also are eligible for funding for business journalism internships, provide space as well as technical and administrative support for the professors.
“Business is one of the biggest influences on public affairs,” said Jerry Ceppos, dean of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication. “The grant will make it possible to explain to our students how important the role of business is in the life of our country and how to communicate that information to citizens.”
Two more universities will be selected next year for the spring 2014 term. To apply to become a Reynolds visiting business journalism professor or to bring a visiting professor to your university, visit http://bit.ly/Reynoldsbizjprofs.
Since 2003, more than 13,000 journalists have received free training from the Reynolds Center, which 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 U.S.
The Cronkite School, named in honor of the longtime “CBS News” anchor in 1984, prepares the next generation of journalists in both the time-honored fundamentals embraced by Cronkite and the multimedia skills necessary to thrive as journalists in the digital age. Housed in a $71 million state-of-the-art media complex in downtown Phoenix, the school is the home of the Carnegie-Knight News 21 Initiative, Cronkite News Service, Cronkite NewsWatch and the New Media Innovation Lab.