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School of Communications receives business journalism grant

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism has awarded the School of Communications a $50,000 grant.


The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism has awarded the School of Communications a $50,000 grant to host a visiting business journalist in spring 2013 and to support student internships in business journalism.

Elon is one of three universities announced on May 11 as Reynolds grant recipients, joining Louisiana State University and Central Michigan University.

“The Reynolds grant will be the catapult to propel our school to do a better job of training future journalists to expand and improve coverage of business and the economy,” said Paul Parsons, dean of the School of Communications and author of the grant application.

Reynolds Center President Andrew Leckey said Elon, LSU and Central Michigan were chosen from dozens of applications, and all three “presented strong immediate and longer-term plans for initiating vigorous business journalism coursework and programs.” He added, “The large number of excellent applications from throughout the country underscored the fact that business and economic journalism is growing in importance and popularity.”

This is the second year that the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation has funded visiting professors at universities to encourage the development of stronger business journalism training. Currently, the inaugural visiting professors are at Texas Christian University, the University of South Carolina, Colorado State and Grambling.

The five-year program, funded by a $1.67 million grant, ultimately will create 11 visiting professorships at 11 different schools.

The Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism is housed in Arizona State’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Reynolds Center also sponsors week-long training seminars for prospective business journalism professors.

“The goal of the Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professors Program is to select institutions that will commit long-term to the teaching of principles and skills necessary to train business journalists,” said Steve Anderson, president of the Reynolds Foundation.

The visiting professors have yet to be selected for Elon, LSU and Central Michigan. Current visiting professors have been reporters and editors at the Wall Street Journal, Rocky Mountain News and Raleigh News & Observer.

In addition to teaching courses in business journalism, visiting professors help establish partnerships with local business media. The Burlington Times-News wrote a letter of support as a local media partner for the Elon grant application.

Since 2003, more than 13,000 journalists have received free training from the Reynolds Center, funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. The Reynolds Foundation, headquartered in Las Vegas, is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.

Colin Donohue,
5/15/2012 8:21 AM