[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

GLIN==> Knight Foundation Awards Michigan State University Knight Center For Environmental Journalism $2.2 Million

For more information contact Jim Detjen at 517-353-9479 or Detjen@msu.edu; Dave Poulson at 517-432-5417 or Poulson@msu.edu

Knight Foundation Awards MSU Knight Center For Environmental Journalism $2.2

        The Michigan State University School of Journalism has been awarded
 $2.2 million by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to expand the
educational, training and research efforts of the Knight Center  for
Environmental Journalism over the next five years.

        The grant, the largest in the 90-year history of the Journalism
School at Michigan State University, will enable the center to significantly
expand its programs. Since MSU has also pledged to contribute the equivalent
of another $2 million to support the Knight
Center's programs, the actual value of this grant is more than $4  million.

        "Our center will be able to dramatically increase its outreach and
training efforts to journalists around the world," said Jim Detjen, director
of the Knight Center.

        The funds will make it possible to set up a national "boot camp" for
environmental journalists, expand international activities, develop online
courses for reporters around the globe and create a specialization in
environmental journalism in the MSU  master's degree program.

 MSU officials have pledged to make permanent the position of assistant
director of the Knight Center, held by Dave Poulson, an award-winning
environmental journalist for Booth Newspapers hired in January 2003.  They
have also committed to hiring an adjunct instructor to teach a course in
environmental journalism for broadcasting students, to provide for
additional technology, and to make available space for the expanded Knight
Center programs.

        Knight Foundation has now given nearly $4 million to support MSU's
environmental journalism program. Funding began with a $1 million award in
1992 to establish a Knight Chair in Journalism with a specific focus on
environmental journalism. After a nationwide search the MSU School of
Journalism hired Detjen, an award-winning reporter at The Philadelphia
Inquirer and the founding president of the Society of Environmental
Journalists. In January 1995 Detjen began teaching at  MSU.

        Since 1990, the foundation has established 18 Knight Chairs in
Journalism at major U.S. colleges and universities, investing $27 million in
the program. Knight Chairs are classroom innovators,   catalysts for new
university programs and accomplished journalists who hope to improve their
profession nationally.

              "The story of our environment may well be the most important
story of the coming century," said Eric Newton, director of Journalism
Initiatives at Knight Foundation. "Jim Detjen and the  Knight Center will
help thousands of journalists at home and abroad better tell that story."

        The Knight grant consists of $2 million for expanded programs and a
 $200,000 "challenge grant" to help the Knight Center build an endowment for
its activities. To qualify for the additional endowment money, the Knight
Center will have to raise $600,000 in contributions by 2011.

The new Knight grant will be used to:

        * Create an environmental specialization in the Journalism School's
master's degree program. This specialization will include courses in
environmental science and policy, a required internship and a strong ethics

        * Set up an institute offering week-long training for environmental
journalists. This "boot camp" will be modeled on the successful Great Lakes
Environmental Journalism Training Institutes the Knight Center has organized
since 1996, but will be national in scope.

        * Organize international workshops for training journalists about
environmental reporting. The Knight Center will partner with
otherinstitutions to set up these institutes, which will likely be held
inChina and Latin America. These international workshops will be patterned
after the successful conference for Mexican environmental journalists the
Knight Center hosted in Mexico City in January 2004.

        * Organize at least three environmental journalism summits and
leadership retreats. These summits will identify and tackle some key
problems facing the field of environmental journalism, such as the decline
of environmental reporting on television and the shortage of journalists of
color in the field.

        * Organize weekend workshops for environmental journalists on
subjects such as computer-assisted reporting, ethical issues faced by
environmental journalists and land use.
        * Develop online course modules on air and water pollution, land use
issues, evaluating environmental risks and other topics. These courses and
materials will then be available as training tools for journalists across
the nation and the world.

        * Write and publish a textbook on environmental journalism for use
by journalism students and professional journalists.

        * Increase the circulation and improve the quality of EJ magazine,
the Knight Center's award-winning magazine.

        * Expand the Knight Center web site to include calculators and
conversion tables, links to key web sites, seminal readings and other
resources of value to environmental journalists.

        * Conduct practical research on topics, such as the state of
environmental reporting in the United States and historical research on
pioneering environmental journalists. The funds will also be used to assess
the success of the Knight Center's programs in educating and training
environmental journalists.

        During the 10 years that Detjen has held the Knight Chair at MSU,
the environmental journalism program has been involved in many activities.
The program hosted the national conference of the Society of Environmental
Journalists in 2000, an event that attracted 515 participants from about 20
countries to MSU.

        The program has also organized seven Great Lakes Environmental
Journalism Training Institutes for Canadian and American journalists and is
now planning its eighth, which will be held June 7-11 at the Kellogg Center
on the MSU campus and in Ontario, Canada.

        Detjen and Poulson have created and taught more than a dozen courses
in environmental and science journalism and have attracted students from
around the world to study at MSU.

        The MSU School of Journalism is one of the oldest, largest and most
highly regarded journalism programs in the nation. The first journalism
course was taught at MSU in 1910 and since 1949 the journalism school has
been continuously reaccredited. Its undergraduate program was ranked ninth
best in the U.S. in the 1998 edition of the Gourman Report, a respected
rater of the nation's educational programs.

        The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in
journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.
Since it was established in 1950, Knight Foundation has approved more than
$250 million in journalism grants. Learn more online at

========================================== Alex J. Sagady & Associates http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * glin-announce is hosted by the Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN): http://www.great-lakes.net

To subscribe: http://www.glin.net/forms/glin-announce_form.html

To post a message: http://www.glin.net/forms/glin-announce_post.html

To search the archive: http://www.glin.net/lists/glin-announce/

All views and opinions presented above are solely those of the author or
attributed source and do not necessarily reflect those of GLIN or its
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *