Poynter Receives $50,000 Carnegie Corporation Grant to Develop JRN 101, an Online Journalism Course for Universities

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The Poynter Institute and Carnegie Corporation of New York will partner on a new online journalism course for universities.

Our goal is to prepare students for the whirlwind of news, information and rapidly changing delivery devices, by helping them understand values-based journalism that serves democracy.

Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Poynter Institute to pilot Journalism 101, an online course on the basics of journalism. The 16-week course, planned for launch in the fall of 2011, will be piloted by up to 10 universities and will be designed to satisfy graduation requirements for a core journalism class.

The course will draw upon the expertise of Poynter’s faculty and the Institute’s e-learning program, News University. It will feature self-directed modules from NewsU, as well as live and video teaching by Poynter faculty and adjuncts. Upon completion of the pilot course on journalism basics, Poynter and the school’s partners will evaluate the program’s success with an eye toward developing similar courses in advanced topics.

“Universities and students seek innovative teaching. The Carnegie grant brings Poynter faculty and university educators together in creative, digital approaches to teaching journalism,” said Dr. Karen B. Dunlap, Poynter’s President. “Our goal is to prepare students for the whirlwind of news, information and rapidly changing delivery devices, by helping them understand values-based journalism that serves democracy.”

“Over the past decade, Carnegie Corporation has worked closely with 12 leading research universities and their journalism schools to assure that journalism education — in this moment of change — serves students and our democracy,” said Susan King, Vice President, External Affairs and Program Director, Journalism Initiative, Special Initiatives & Strategy. “This current grant to Poynter helps us to move the learning to even more university journalism programs. We couldn’t think of a better partner to help reach America’s young journalists than The Poynter Institute, the news industry’s most respected center of learning.”

Howard Finberg, Poynter’s Interactive Learning Director, will be responsible for coordinating relationships with partner colleges and universities, overseeing development of the online platform and working with faculty to ensure the content meets the needs of the schools and students.

Finberg emphasized the key role that partner universities will play in developing the JRN 101 pilot, as well as any expansion of the program. Finberg said university officials interested in learning more about the JRN 101 program should contact him at hfinberg(at)poynter(dot)org or 727-821-9494.

In addition to the pilot universities, Poynter will seek additional input from an advisory board convened to ensure that the program addresses real needs in the educational community. The board will be made up of educators, officials of journalism schools and others with expertise in online or distance learning.

“We’re very excited about the possibilities of JRN 101,” Dunlap said. “It is very much in keeping with Poynter’s mission to promote excellence in journalism education — and in providing the learning that students need wherever they happen to be.”

About The Poynter Institute
Poynter trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and citizens in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter’s News University (http://www.newsu.org) offers newsroom training to journalists and journalism students through interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities. Poynter's Web site, (http://www.poynter.org) is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.

About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York, which was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding," is one of the oldest, largest and most influential of American grantmaking foundations. The foundation makes grants to promote international peace and to advance education and knowledge — primary concerns to which founder Andrew Carnegie devoted the foundation.

Jessica Sandler, Marketing Director, jsandler(at)poynter(dot)org
Howard Finberg, Interactive Learning Director, hfinberg(at)poynter(dot)org

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