Belmont University’s New Century Journalism program has attracted more than $200,000 in grants from prominent journalism foundations and organizations in the past several months including the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, The Freedom Forum, the Gannett Foundation and Scripps Howard Foundation.
Belmont launched the New Century Journalism program in 2003. The program’s four-year curriculum is designed to prepare students to work in broadcast, print and online media while grounding them in new media, ethics, writing and storytelling. As many universities across the country are revamping and re-evaluating their programs, Belmont seems to have found the “convergence” niche and several major journalism foundations agree.
The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation has given $87,000 toward completion of the broadcast studio. The studio is part of the newly renovated, 7,000-square-foot Media Studies Center which houses a multimedia lab, student newspaper including its virtual edition, radio station, editing facility and broadcast studio and control room.
“The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation is pleased to support Belmont’s New Century Journalism Program as the program fulfills the Foundation’s mission to support projects and organizations that provide students with the opportunity to learn the craft of journalism,” said Robert J. Ross, Vice President and Executive Director of the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.
Thanks to grants totaling $30,000 from the Gannett Foundation, the multimedia lab has 24 computer stations.
“The New Century program is a vital and relevant learning program that prepares journalism students to be news gatherers in an emerging multi-media communications world,” said Leslie Giallombardo, president and publisher of The Tennessean, Nashville’s Gannett-owned daily paper. “We completely support and applaud Belmont’s direction in leading journalism students in the future of communications which includes newspapers, internet, television and other new media.”
The Freedom Forum has contributed $34,400 to date. “There is great potential for journalism education at Belmont,” said Charles Overby, chairman and CEO of the Freedom Forum. “I am impressed with the good things happening at Belmont and with its students.”
The Scripps Howard Foundation promised grants totaling $54,000 over the next three years, including $10,000 each summer to support an on-campus summer camp for high school journalists.
“Scripps Howard Foundation is pleased to support Belmont University’s excellent plans for a high school journalism summer workshop and to include the New Century Journalism Program in our internship grant partnerships,” said Judith G. Clabes, president and CEO. “On behalf of the company’s Shop at Home network in Nashville, we look forward to a long and productive relationship with Belmont’s innovative New Century Journalism Program.”
The program is also pleased to announce that Rob Curley, general manager, Lawrence Journal-World and Lorrie Grant, retail reporter at USA Today, have joined MSNBC anchor John Seigenthaler, National Public Radio weekend anchor Scott Simon, and Poynter Institute Broadcast/Online Manager Al Tompkins on the advisory board.
Belmont’s student newspaper, the Vision, finished sixth overall in the awards competition at the 19th Annual Southeast Journalism Conference, held recently at Louisiana Tech. The staff picked up firsts in the on-site competition in Ethics and Public Relations Campaign. Belmont was the top-ranked private university in the competition, which involved journalism programs from nearly 40 colleges and universities across the Southeast.