The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication received an $800,000 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation to fund the school’s Edith Kinney Gaylord News Innovation Initiative.
According to the press release, the initiative will act as the innovation hub for Cronkite News, an Arizona PBS daily news division.
The initiative will also fund new courses in journalism innovation and entrepreneurship at the school, headed by Jessica Pucci.
Pucci will direct social media and analytics for Cronkite News and will teach a course on data analytics and audience engagement in the fall.
Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan said in the release that the grant will allow the school to explore digital options referring to journalism in order to adapt to an newly-changing medium.
“We are in the midst of one of the most exciting and tumultuous times in the history of American journalism, with the digital revolution disrupting economic models that stood for generations,” the release read. “The key to solving this challenge is to innovate.”
The initiative also allows Cronkite to collaborate with the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Students at the college will be able to participate in Cronkite classes through video conference and Cronkite professors will visit Gaylord to speak with classes and meet with faculty members.
Gaylord School Dean Ed Kelley said in the release that the collaboration between the two universities will not only bring an excess of education to the students but will provide them with a good time as well.
“Being able to collaborate with the Cronkite School will be of great benefit to our students, and a lot of fun as well,” the release read. “We are so grateful to Ethics and Excellence for its vision and willingness to invest in two journalism programs that want to help find innovative ways to ensure journalism has a bright and meaningful future.”
In addition to the $800,000 grant, the foundation also awarded the Cronkite School with a $150,000 grant over three years in order to annually host a Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Journalism Ethics in order to teach ethics and diversity.
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