About the Donald W. Reynolds
National Center for Business Journalism
More than 15,000 journalists have benefited from free training from the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism since 2003. The center is here to help journalists cover business better and thereby improve the quality of American business journalism.
The Reynolds Center is funded through a $6.21 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, based in Las Vegas, Nev. The foundation worked with William L. Winter, Ph.D., then president of the American Press Institute, to complete a yearlong study in 2002 on the state of business journalism in the United States. Newspaper editors, business journalists, business executives and journalism school deans were surveyed. All agreed that business journalists, as a group, were “lacking sophisticated knowledge of the complex issues and concepts they cover.”
To address that deficit, the center was launched at the American Press Institute in Reston, Va., in 2003. Andrew Leckey, syndicated investment columnist for the Chicago Tribune and a former CNBC anchor, was its first executive director. It moved in 2006 to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
The center also:
- Awards fellowships to a four-day training program each January in Phoenix for business journalists and business journalism professors. These competitive fellowships, valued at $2,000, cover all seminar expenses. The journalists’ seminar, called Strictly Financials, covers stock markets, financial statements, options and SEC documents. The professors’ seminar covers how to teach a hands-on, university course in business journalism.
- Confers the Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism annually. Named after the legendary reporting duo of Don Barlett and Jim Steele, the gold prize comes with $5,000, the silver prize, $2,000; and the bronze prize, $1,000.
- Offers a specialization in business journalism at the undergraduate and the graduate level at the Cronkite School, including internships, scholarships and assistantships.
- Coordinates a network of Reynolds chairs in business journalism at Arizona State University, Washington and Lee University, the University of Missouri and University of Nevada, Reno. In 2009, Leckey became the Reynolds chair at ASU and president of the center, and Linda Austin, then editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader, was hired as executive director.
- Administers a program to place visiting business journalism professors at other universities.
- Conducts practical research on issues in business journalism.
Instructors at Reynolds Center training sessions include noted journalists and professors. Presenters have included Pulitzer winners, such as Jacqui Banaszynski, Knight Chair in editing at the Missouri School of Journalism; Gary Cohn, adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism; Buzz Bissinger, best-selling author of Friday Night Lights; and Jim Steele, contributing editor to Vanity Fair.
Other teachers have included James Gentry, journalism professor at the University of Kansas and winner of the Barry Sherman Teaching Award; Alec Klein, professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and former Washington Post reporter; and Ron Nixon, projects reporter for The New York Times.
Journalists who successfully complete three regional workshops or online seminars presented by the Reynolds Center are eligible to receive a “Circle of Achievement” award certificate. The free training is open to not only business reporters, but also reporters on other beats seeking to improve their skills in business coverage.
For its regional workshops, the Reynolds Center provides curriculum, handout materials, trainers and online registration. Journalism groups, media outlets and universities serve as hosts. If you are interested in hosting a Reynolds workshop, please email Executive Director Linda Austin or call her at 602-496-9187.
About the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., it has committed over $115 million nationwide through its Journalism Program.
About ASU’s Cronkite School
The Cronkite School, named for the long-time CBS news anchor, serves more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate journalism students. The Cronkite School occupied a new $71 million building on ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus in 2008.
Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Arizona State University
555 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004-1248
General number: 602-496-9188
Fax number: 602-496-6962