In 1990, Knight Foundation started a Knight Chair in Journalism program, saying 'The purpose of a Knight Chair is to strengthen American journalism education by bolstering core curricular values and encouraging innovation ' to improve standards and effectiveness ' to assure a large number of journalists in the next century experience quality training.'
Today, news professionals at 22 universities help Knight achieve that mission by teaching innovative classes to thousands of students, developing groundbreaking programs and centers, and speaking out for quality journalism values.
Recently 17 of these endowed, tenured Knight Chairs met in Austin, Texas to discuss the state of journalism education, and to answer the following questions:' 'Is journalism education rising to the challenges of the digital age?' and 'Should students be taught not just to inform, but also to engage communities?'
On whether journalism education is rising to the challenges of the digital age, Knight Chairs were divided.
Here are excerpts of some of their comments:
- 'Through greater collaborations with mainstream media and the new nonprofit investigative centers the academy will ensure that it stays current.' - Brant Houston, Illinois.
- 'Journalism educators need to do much more to educate students about the challenges of changing technology and economic models in the digital age.' ' Jim Detjen, Michigan.
- 'We must continue to be flexible and nimble while at the same time retaining the bedrock values that define journalism ' on any platform it appears.' - Malcolm Moran, Pennsylvania.
- 'The journalism landscape is much different than it was five years ago, but most journalism schools are not.' - Rich Beckman, Miami.
- They also discussed whether students should be taught not just to inform communities, but to engage them.' Here are a couple of their thoughts:
- 'For the first time in the history of mass communication, the devices we use to receive the news are also able to distribute news, and to talk back. Passive audiences are increasingly being replaced by active networks of engaged people,' Rosental Alves, Texas.
- 'Journalists should not be removed from their communities, but learn how to be a vital part of them with journalistic purpose ' which is to find and share the information those communities, writ small or large, need to know and govern themselves.' ' Jacqui Banaszynski, Missouri.
The group was joined by guest speakers Dan Gillmor, author and director of Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, Evan Smith, Texas Tribune CEO and Editor, Roderick Hart, dean, UT Austin College of Communication, Glenn Frankel Director, University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism, Knight Foundation's CEO and President Alberto Ibarügen, and Knight Foundation Senior Advisor to the President Eric Newton.
More about the Knight Chairs in Journalism can be found on this website on the following pages:
- Knight Chair in Computer-Assisted Journalism at Arizona State University, Stephen K. Doig
- Knight Chair in Business Journalism at Columbia University, Sylvia Nasar
- Knight Chair in Computational Journalism at Duke University, Bill Adair (2013)
- Knight Chair for Journalism Student Enhancement at Florida A&M University, (currently vacant, as of 2014)
- Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University, Mark Goodman
- Knight Chair in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, Eric Freedman (2014 update)
- Knight Chair in Digital Media Strategy at Northwestern University, Owen Youngman
- Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Pennsylvania State University, John Affleck (2014 update)
- Knight Chair in Political Reporting at Syracuse University, Charlotte Grimes
- Knight Chair in Science and Technology Reporting at University of California Berkeley, Michael Pollan
- Knight Chair in Journalism Technologies and the Democratic Process at University of Florida, Melinda McAdams
- Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism at University of Georgia, Patricia Thomas
- Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Brant Houston
- Knight Chair in News, Leadership and Community at University of Kansas, Pam Fine
- Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at University of Maryland, Dana Priest (2014 update)
- Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at University of Miami, Rich Beckman
- Knight Visiting Chair in Journalism at University of Miami, Kelly Whalen (2014 update)
- Knight Chair in Editing at University of Missouri at Columbia, Jacqui Banaszynski
- Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies at University of Missouri at Columbia, Amy McCombs
- Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Penny Muse Abernathy
- Knight Chair in Digital Advertising and Marketing at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, JoAnn Sciarrino (2014 update)
- Knight Chair in Media and Religion at University of Southern California, Diane Winston
- Knight Chair in International Journalism at University of Texas at Austin, Rosental Alves
- Knight Chair in Journalism Ethics at Washington & Lee University, Aly Colón (2014 update)
- Knight Professorship in Constitutional Law and First Amendment at Yale University, Jack M. Balkin.