Sizable grants offer J-School options to improve education

by Erin Ghere

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication announced last month it would be receiving one grant and awarding another.
The journalism school was awarded a $1.35 million grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation in early January. The grant will allow the journalism school to work in collaboration with New Directions for News.
NDN was the “nation’s leading center for the advanced study of news and the news industry,” according to the Murphy Monthly, a journalism school publication. With the grant, the school will relaunch the center.
Nora Paul, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Institute for New Media Studies, will serve as the part-time interim director of NDN until a new executive director is chosen.
The School of Journalism and Mass Communications is also offering students something they can’t resist: money.
Students can be awarded a grant for up to $10,000 to create “new learning experiences for University journalism students,” according to the announcement.
The Cox Innovation Fund grant was made possible by David Cox, the retired CEO of Cowles Media Co., and his wife Vicki.
Officials ask that ideas involve at least six students and answer four questions: What is the idea? How is the idea an innovative and valuable learning experience? What are the presenter’s qualifications for implementing the proposal? How will the money be spent?
Ideas could include — but are not limited to — a new course, enrichment of an existing course, the production of a publication, or a community project.
Proposals are due by Feb. 15 and winners will be announced by March 15.
The school is offering new courses in spring 2001 that include the Economics of New Media, Interactive Advertising, Field Study of Community Newspapers, and Computer-Assisted Reporting, according to the school’s Web site.