By Rodney Manley
The Peyton Anderson Foundation has given a $1 million grant to fund the “teaching” newsroom at Mercer University’s new Center for Collaborative Journalism.
The partnership will put journalism students and faculty working alongside journalists from The Telegraph and Georgia Public Broadcasting.
The newsroom will be named the “Peyton Anderson Newsroom” after the former owner and publisher of The Telegraph. The newspaper’s editorial staff -- which produces news, sports, features and opinion -- will move into the first floor of Phase II of The Lofts at Mercer Village, a multimillion-dollar mixed-use development. The move is expected in mid-August, about a week before the start of the fall semester.
The center will occupy about 12,000 square feet of the ground floor of The Lofts. About half of that space will be devoted to the newsroom. The development also will feature loft-style student apartments on the three floors.
Mercer and other partners announced the grant in a news release Wednesday. University President William D. Underwood in the release thanked the trustees of the Peyton Anderson Foundation for funding the center’s newsroom, which he called “a key component of this nationally significant initiative in journalism education and community engagement.”
Officials announced plans for the Center for Collaborative Journalism in December when the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded $4.6 million in grants for the initiative to bring a “medical school model” newsroom to Mercer’s Journalism and Media Studies Department.
The Knight brothers once owned a chain of newspapers, including The Telegraph.
The funding of the initiative by the Peyton Anderson and Knight foundations “sends an incredibly powerful message about how vitally important it is that our community continues to receive the same high level of public service journalism that we have delivered for 185 years,” Telegraph Publisher George McCanless said Wednesday.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.