Hubbard Broadcasting donates $10 million to U journalism school

Tess Langfus

The University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication received a record pledge of $10 million from Hubbard Broadcasting to help distinguish the school as one of the country’s best.
“(The donation) provides the money to make sure the education, research and outreach at the school of journalism remains at the very top in the United States, including the new media,” said University President Mark Yudof.
A portion of the pledged money will establish a permanent endowment fund for the Institute of New Media Studies, making it a world-class center, said Al Tims, director of the journalism school.
“We can’t think of anything that is more important for the University right now than to occupy a leading international position in the new media,” he said. “I’m just so happy I can barely speak.”
New media combines traditional media, such as television broadcasting, with digital assets, such as the Internet.
For example, television viewers may be able to learn more about a product during a program by clicking a special mouse that is immediately tied to a Web site or other digital system.
“That’s what’s really exciting,” Tims said. “That’s where the future is.”
The school’s research and use of digital technology will continue to tie into fundamental aspects of journalism, such as ethics and legal issues, he said.
Tims said the gift will allow the school to stop worrying about maintaining technical equipment, and instead create innovative and visionary programs to enhance students’ skills and methods of storytelling.
Part of the $10 million will be added to the school’s continuous budget for technology and software replacements and updates in the new media studios.
“The students here really do have a state-of-the-art facility from now on to work in,” said Tims. “And that’s really exciting for us.”
Students will also see added features in the Digital Information Resource Center, the journalism library at Murphy Hall. They will be able to use streaming media resources such as video and audio components to enhance their digital storytelling.
Finally, about $1 million of the pledged gift will be used as a matching fund for other contributions to the school. If, for instance, a donor offers $1,000 for a student scholarship, another $1,000 will be added from the Hubbard gift.
Tims said Hubbard Broadcasting is an innovative leader in broadcasting and considers the University a strong proponent of the new media.
“Hubbard Broadcasting wants to do what it can to help ensure that Minnesota has an absolutely world-class journalism school, now and far into the future,” according to a press release.
The money is expected to come in over several years and will be added to the school’s endowment fund. Once the entire pledge is received, the school could see an increase of $550,000 a year in available funds.
“This gift will be used in large measure to help support aspects of the program that directly impact the lives of students,” Tims said. “It gives us the foundation we need to sustain a position of excellence.
“This is extraordinary.”
The $10 million donation is the largest yet to the journalism school and one of the largest contributions to the University in the Campaign Minnesota fund-raising drive.

Tess Langfus welcomes comments at [email protected]