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Elon students chosen for News21 reporting program

Two students in the School of Communications were selected to participate in the 2012 Carnegie-Knight News21 Initiative this summer in Arizona.

Juniors Caitlin O'Donnell and Kassondra Cloos

Junior journalism majors Caitlin O’Donnell and Kassondra Cloos will represent Elon University at the program’s home base at Arizona State University. It’s the first year Elon students have been eligible to participate in the program that’s funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the Knight Foundation.

News21 brings students from around the nation together to produce in-depth multimedia projects. Students begin their work in a seminar this spring, when they’ll comprehensively study the topic on which they’ll report. Then, in the summer, O’Donnell, Cloos and students from other schools nationwide will travel to Arizona State for a 10-week reporting fellowship.

The work the students produce is published on the web and offered free to partners under Creative Commons usage. Previous News21 projects have been picked up by media outlets across the country.

Past projects have included stories about food safety, health, religion, senior citizens, education and the economy. And this year, the News21 team will be working under the direction of former Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie.

O’Donnell, a Lumen Scholar in the Class of 2013, will be the editor-in-chief of The Pendulum starting next month after spending the last year and a half as the organization’s news editor. Cloos will serve as an assistant producer on the Pendulum’s webcast “The Swing” in 2012 after working as a news editor for the last year.

News21 launched in 2005 with five universities: the University of California-Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard, Northwestern and Southern California. Three years later, seven other schools were added, and this year, the initiative was open to all journalism programs.

Colin Donohue,
12/15/2011 9:36 AM