Cronkite School receives grant to support News21 initiative

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University has received a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation to support the national Carnegie-Knight News21 program.

The two-year, $150,000 grant will provide funding for six students each year from the Cronkite School and the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication to participate in News21, beginning next year. As part of the News21 initiative, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Fellows will collaborate with peers from across the country to produce in-depth news coverage on critical issues and experiment with innovative digital methods to distribute the news through multiple platforms.

Robert J. Ross, president and CEO of the foundation, said the Carnegie-Knight News21 initiative presents a unique new opportunity for the Oklahoma City-based foundation to support journalism education.        

“Our partnership with the Cronkite School will enable journalism students from the two universities to participate in this groundbreaking program and enhance their skills as multimedia journalists,” he said.   

The national News21 program is part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, a larger effort by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to change the way journalism is taught in the U.S. and train a new generation of journalists. The Cronkite School serves as the national headquarters for News21, which includes students from the nation’s top journalism schools.

"We are tremendously grateful to our friends at the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation for supporting the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, and we're particularly excited that the Gaylord School will be joining the News21 family," said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan.

Until this year News21 has been open only to students from the 12 universities that are members of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education. In the next generation of this highly acclaimed national program, News21 will be open to top students from all accredited journalism schools. The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Fellowships are the first fellowships to be funded under this new program model.

Callahan said the new model will help foster diversity in the program by allowing more students and more schools to participate.

“It’s a whole new chapter for News21,” he said.

This year News21 Fellows from Arizona State University, University of Maryland, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska and Harvard University collaborated to produce a major national investigation into food safety that was published by The Washington Post and

The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was founded by Edith Kinney Gaylord, the daughter of Daily Oklahoman Publisher E.K. Gaylord. She launched her journalism career at her father’s newspaper in 1937 after graduating from college. In 1942, she joined The Associated Press in New York. The following year, she went to the AP’s Washington bureau, where she covered the Roosevelt administration and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II.

Ms. Gaylord created the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation in 1982 to improve the quality of journalism by supporting research and creative projects that promote excellence and foster high ethical standards in journalism.

The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation also supports the Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Journalism Ethics at the Cronkite School. Past Gaylord Professors include Caesar Andrews, former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press; Sharon Rosenhause, former managing editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; N. Christian Anderson III, publisher of The Oregonian; Ellen Soeteber, former editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; and James N. Crutchfield, former publisher and president of the Akron Beacon Journal.