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Medill Leads Initiative to Revitalize Journalism Education

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May 31, 2005

The Medill School of Journalism, with four other of the nation’s top university journalism programs, will lead a three-year, $6 million initiative to revitalize and reform American journalism education.

Funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education seeks to deepen the intellectual life at journalism schools and influence discussions about journalism and the news business.

Speaking at the headquarters of Carnegie Corporation of New York where the two foundations announced the initiative, Medill Dean Loren Ghiglione emphasized that the Carnegie-Knight Initiative is intended to benefit journalism schools nationwide. “This initiative is inclusionary, not exclusionary,” he said.

Also announced at the press conference were the first ABC Summer Institute 2005 Carnegie Fellows, including Medill graduate students Michael Andersen and Karson Yiu. The summer fellows will have the opportunity to experience and observe all the operations of the ABC Network, from World News Tonight to ABC Radio to ABC.com. They will be trained in ABC News ethics and procedures and on new digital equipment.

Ghiglione, who next year becomes president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, noted that Medill “is already challenging its students to produce research and reporting that have impact.” He cited a well-publicized study this academic year on travel expenses of Congressmen dating back to 2000. He also pointed to the work of the students in Professor David Protess’s Innocence Project who “undertake shoe-leather research that regularly frees innocent men from death row.”

To improve journalism and its future, Ghiglione and the other journalism school deans plan to take advantage of the strengths of the five universities -- Columbia University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Southern California, Harvard University as well as Northwestern -- leading the initiative.

The initiative will provide opportunities for the five institutions to work together on national investigative projects and create a platform for educators to speak on policy and journalism education issues.

The Carnegie-Knight Initiative will work to integrate the schools of journalism more deeply into the life of the university, establish yearly national investigative projects overseen by campus professors and distributed nationally through traditional and new media, and focus on research.

For further information, visit the http://www.carnegie.org/, http://www.knightfdn.org/ and http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/medill/.

Topics: University