Foundations' grants support national News21 program

Cronkite School

Nine journalism students are participating in the Carnegie-Knight News21 program this summer, thanks to support from Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Hearst Foundations.

The national News21 program, headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, brings together top journalism students from universities around the country to produce in-depth news coverage of critical issues and experiment with innovative digital methods to distribute the news through multiple platforms. This summer, students from 11 universities are conducting a national investigative reporting project on voting rights.

A three-year grant from Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation provides 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. This year’s Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Fellows are Cronkite students Maryann Batlle, Natasha Khan and AJ Vicens and Gaylord students Ana Victoria Lastra, Annelise Russell and Lindsey Ruta.

Robert J. Ross, president and CEO of Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, said the foundation is delighted to be supporting journalism students from both the Cronkite School and the Gaylord School.

"We're very excited to be participating in News21 with our colleagues from Knight, Carnegie and Hearst,” he said. “News21 is a uniquely powerful learning experience for students, and it produces impactful content."

The Hearst Foundations’ gift provides support for three students to participate in News21. This year’s Hearst Fellows are Cronkite students Jack Fitzpatrick, Joe Henke and Khara Persad.

“We are pleased to support the students participating in the Carnegie-Knight News21 program,” said Dino Dinovitz, executive director of the Hearst Foundations. “The education of young journalists is something Hearst has cared about deeply for generations.”

Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan added, "We are honored and very excited that two of the most important and influential supporters of journalism education – Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the Hearst Foundations – are joining the Knight Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation in this groundbreaking journalism program. These four foundations joining forces mirror the multi-university collaboration of News21 itself."

News21 is part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, an effort on the part of 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. Last year’s News21 participants collaborated to produce a major national investigation into food safety that was published by The Washington Post, and the Center for Public Integrity, among other publications. The project won first place in online in-depth reporting in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence national awards program.

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. Ms. Gaylord created the 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.

Publisher and philanthropist William Randolph Hearst founded The Hearst Foundation Inc. in 1945. Three years later he established the California Charities Foundation, which was renamed the William Randolph Hearst Foundation in 1951. Today the foundations operate as a single entity under the name the Hearst Foundations and function as private philanthropic organizations independent of The Hearst Corporation. The foundations’ funding priorities include the fields of education, health, culture and social services.

2012 News21 Schools

• Arizona State University
• Elon University
• University of Florida
• Harvard University
• University of Maryland
• University of Nebraska
• University of North Carolina
• University of Oklahoma
• University of Oregon
• Syracuse University
• University of Texas – Austin