Journalism programs at Central Michigan University, Elon University in North Carolina 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, who have yet to be selected for these three schools, are expected to bring with them years of professional business journalism experience. This spring, the first group 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.
Two more universities will be selected next year for the spring 2014 term.
What officials at the selected schools had to say
- “A visiting business journalism professor will enhance the offerings of the Department of Journalism and provide our students with a competitive edge.”—Salma Ghanem, dean, Central Michigan University’s College of Communication and Fine Arts.
- “The Reynolds grant will be the catapult to propel our school to do a better job of training future journalists to expand and improve coverage of business and the economy.”—Paul Parsons, dean of Elon’s School of Communications.
- “Business is one of the biggest influences on public affairs, but the public doesn’t realize that. 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.”—Jerry Ceppos, dean of LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication.
About the Reynolds Center
Since 2003, more than 13,000 journalists have learned to do a better job of covering business 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 offersregional 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.
For more information
Email Andrew Leckey, president of the Reynolds Center, or call 480-276-3654.