Harvard’s Shorenstein Center to continue Carnegie-Knight Initiative in support of journalism education reform and knowledge building with new $1 million investment

Press Release

December 11, 2014


Funding will help improve research and education tool, Journalist’s Resource, and support collaboration between journalism school deans

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.—Dec. 11, 2014—Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy will update and improve Journalist’s Resource, a tool that connects journalists, educators and students with reliable research from around the world, and bring together leading journalism school deans to collaborate on education reform. The plan is supported by matching $500,000 grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The Journalist’s Resource and deans leadership group were started as part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, a $20 million initiative developed nearly a decade ago. The initiative supports a hands-on, digital approach to creating more meaningful journalism.

New funding will grow the reach and improve the effectiveness of the Journalist’s Resource, which supports news coverage by providing understandable research reports on a diversity of subjects. The site is used by journalism schools that teach specialty reporting topics and by journalists and major news outlets looking to build knowledge in science and social science subjects.

Additionally, support will continue biannual Carnegie-Knight journalism school deans’ meetings to help advance journalism education reform. Thought leaders will be invited to consult with the deans on new ways of updating and innovating their curriculums as well as their metrics for measuring success.

“With their generous support, the Knight Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation have taken a major step in bolstering the ability of journalists, journalism students and the public at large to have free access to the best research on policy issues of every kind, which will make journalism smarter and public understanding deeper,” said Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center.

“Our narrow goal is to promote the education of journalists who are knowledgeable in specific subject areas. The depth and insights with which they can infuse a story will add to its reliability and thus to the credibility of the journalism. This extension of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative through Shorenstein Center aims to make ‘knowledge journalism’ a standard in schools and newsrooms in the United States,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation. “In addition, we are extremely pleased with the collaborative nature of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative journalism deans discussions. They represent some of the best and most open thinking, as journalism schools evolve their approach to journalism education in the digital age.”

“Carnegie Corporation is very proud of its association with the Knight Foundation and our successful journalism initiative, which highlights not the speed of transmitting news, but its quality and substance,” said Vartan Gregorian, Carnegie Corporation president. “Our joint journalism endeavor has been multidisciplinary, collaborative and substantive. In recent years, 12 journalism school deans have met under the auspices of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard to share their successes, their current programs, and their future endeavors. With this joint $1 million grant from our two foundations in support of the Shorenstein Center, we believe that Journalist’s Resource will continue to serve an essential role not only for the 12 schools of journalism, but for all journalists who seek to distinguish wheat from chaff, fact from fiction, and who want to maintain and advance the highest standards of responsible journalism.”

The Journalist’s Resource is staffed by two full-time writers and up to 10 part-time graduate students with assistance from Shorenstein staff. In 2014 it is projected to reach 700,000 unique visitors, 150,000 of them return visitors. The database contains more than 1,200 entries on news topics and policy issues, combining findings from thousands of important studies. The American Library Association named it a Best Free Reference Site in 2013.

The Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education focuses on the digital transformation of journalism education, hands-on news innovation and knowledge-based journalism. It also covers curriculum reform, the News21 digital investigative reporting project, and the deans leadership group. 

“The Carnegie-Knight Initiative has been a crucial catalyst for innovation in journalism education, and it continues to inspire the vision that guides the rapid change taking place at the nation’s leading journalism schools,” said Jones.

The Initiative partners are 12 leading universities: Arizona State University, Columbia University, Northwestern University, Syracuse University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Maryland, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska Lincoln, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin– as well as the Shorenstein Center at Harvard.

The News21 project is now open to students from any university, as is Journalist’s Resource.

For more information please visit: journalistsresource.org/ and shorensteincenter.org/research-publications/carnegie-knight-initiative

About the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

The Shorenstein Center is a research center based at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, with a mission to study and analyze the power of media and technology and its impact on governance, public policy, and politics. Research, courses, fellowships, public events and engagement with students, scholars, and journalists form the core of the Center. shorensteincenter.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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.  www.knightfoundation.org

About Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's agenda focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.


Nilagia McCoy, Communications Manager, Shorenstein Center, 617-495-2233, [email protected]

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, [email protected]

Celeste Ford, Manager of Media Relations, Carnegie Corporation of New York

212-207-6277, [email protected]