The Future of Journalism Education

Please note: This program area has concluded its grantmaking.

Under President Vartan Gregorian's leadership, Carnegie Corporation of New York has made journalism education a key priority. In 2003, the Corporation began a dialogue with deans of several of the United States’ most prestigious journalism schools to determine how major research universities could improve the journalism curriculum. The goal was to challenge students intellectually and prepare them for careers in the news industry at this pivotal time of change in the field.

The deans at four top research universities—the University of Southern California, Northwestern University, Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, along with the head of Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy—collaborated on a vision for journalism education in the 21st century.

Vartan Gregorian created a partnership with Hodding Carter, then president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a leading philanthropy focused on excellence in journalism, and enlisted the aid of the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. who, on a pro bono basis, interviewed 40 news industry leaders, including news executives, editors, and correspondents, about their views on journalism education.

These conversations with deans and journalism professionals became the intellectual foundation for the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, launched in 2005. Since then, seven additional university schools of journalism have joined the Initiative, capping it at twelve member universities.

Carnegie Corporation’s relationship with the Knight Foundation, under the leadership of current president Alberto Ibarguen, is an equal partnership, with both foundations supporting all the intellectual and scholarly facets of the Initiative, which focuses on reform and innovation.

The three components of the Initiative are:

Curriculum Enrichment

A key feature of the Initiative is curriculum enrichment, a process aimed at offering students a deep and multi-layered exploration of such complex subjects as history, politics, classics and philosophy to undergird their journalistic skills while raising the profile of journalism education within the university.

News 21

The News 21 incubators are national reporting projects organized on an annual basis and overseen by campus-based professors for distribution through traditional and innovative media;

The Carnegie-Knight Task Force

The Carnegie-Knight Task Force provides the journalism deans with an opportunity to speak out on issues affecting journalism education and the field of journalism.

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