USC business journalism initiative expands
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The University of South Carolina will expand its emerging specialty in business and financial journalism as a result of a national program that sends visiting professors to universities around the country to teach business journalism.
Funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the program will bring a visiting business journalism professor to teach business journalism at USC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications in the spring.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to enhance our teaching in this critical area of journalism that we have undertaken through the Ken Baldwin Business Journalism Endowment,” said Dr. Carol Pardun, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
USC’s visiting professor is expected to teach an undergraduate course on business journalism and a graduate course on business foundations for future media managers and help develop the business journalism initiative, Pardun said.
Currently, the school has two endowments to enhance teaching of business journalism. In March 2009, USC alumnus Kenneth W. Baldwin Jr. gave $500,000 to the school to establish the Baldwin Business and Financial Journalism Fund to support teaching, research and other activities.
Last year, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) established the David J. Morrow Scholarship to honor the memory of David Morrow, a highly respected business journalist, teacher and a USC journalism graduate. SABEW’s board of directors channeled $90,000 in memorial gifts to USC in Morrow’s honor.
Pardun said interest in business journalism among students appears to be increasing. A business journalism course taught last May attracted undergraduate business students, an indication of interest and the potential for partnership with the Darla Moore School of Business, Pardun said. Kevin Noblet, the SABEW president, was a participant in the special topics “Maymester” course, along with board member Beth Hunt.
“Living through the current recession gives us a good ‘life lesson’ on the importance of financial literacy and an informed citizenry,” Pardun said. “There is a business side to just about every part of the news. The idea of business journalism is a commitment to this understanding.”
The program, called the Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professor Program, is a five-year initiative and is administered through Arizona State University. In addition to USC, Colorado State University, Grambling State University and Texas Christian University were among the first colleges selected.
Since 2003, more than 10,000 journalists have learned to cover business better through free training from the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. The center is at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University’s Phoenix campus. It is funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, it is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.
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