Grant Helps UT Implement Leading-edge Journalism Curriculum

KNOXVILLE — A $50,000 grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation will allow journalism and electronic media students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to learn from leading Web journalism professionals during this academic year.

“Collaboration between university journalism and electronic media programs and the media industry is essential in the fast-changing media world,” said College of Communication and Information Dean Mike Wirth. “We are very grateful to the Scripps Howard Foundation for the opportunity to bring our vision of educating the next generation of media professionals to fruition.”

The “Tennessee Journalist Web Journalism Project” will include virtual team teaching and two workshops.

The Tennessee Journalist, or TNJN.com, is the new convergence media Web site of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media (JEM).

The virtual team-teaching component of the project is taking place in both fall 2007 and spring 2008. Three adjunct faculty members selected from the ranks of working Web editors and reporters will be paired with JEM faculty members teaching online journalism courses to create teaching teams.

“This teaching approach allows professionals to share practical journalistic experience and leading-edge techniques with our students and faculty members. The resulting dialogue should be tremendously beneficial,” said JEM Director Peter Gross. “It also allows the professionals to identify practicum, internship or even employee prospects.”

The second component of the project, “Student Convergence Media Week,” will occur in spring 2008. During this weeklong event, the virtual professionals-in-residence employed during the fall 2007 and spring 2008 semesters will visit campus. While here, they will lecture in several journalism and electronic media classes; hold a public workshop in multimedia storytelling, editing or Web management; and review and discuss Web team-teaching concepts, processes and materials with their faculty partners and other JEM faculty. The workshop will be open to all JEM students and to journalism students from colleges and universities in the Southeast.

The third and final component of the project is a two-day workshop, “A Public Conversation among Media Professionals, Faculty and Students,” that will be hosted by JEM in spring 2008. The workshop will feature key Tennessee-based media Webmasters and editors who will explore innovative ways to present news, information and advertising on Web sites. In addition, select workshop presenters will make class presentations and participate in “The Future of Web Journalism,” a panel open to the general public. A nationally known Web management or Web journalism professional will deliver the keynote address at the workshop dinner.

Tennessee media, journalism and telecommunication professional organizations along with JEM students and faculty will be invited to attend all workshop events.

The Scripps Howard Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the E.W. Scripps Co. Its mission is to advance the cause of a free press through support of excellence in journalism, quality journalism education and professional development.

The E. W. Scripps Co. is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, interactive media, and licensing and syndication. Among the company’s portfolio of media properties are Scripps Networks, which is headquartered in Knoxville, and the Knoxville News Sentinel.


Contacts:

April Moore, (865) 974-0463, amoore9@utk.edu
Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu