Knight Foundation Funding Knight Chair At Kent State J-School

By: E&P Staff

Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication will become home to the 20th Knight Chair in journalism in 2007, the school announced Tuesday.

Kent State said a total of $2 million in past and current funding from the John S. Knight and James L. Knight Foundation is endowing the Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism, a new tenured faculty position.

Kent State will begin a national search this fall to select a journalist to hold the chair.

“The Knight chair will lead national campaigns currently underway to increase scholastic journalism education and student media in America’s high schools, as well as help increase the use of news in classrooms and First Amendment and civic education,” Kent State said.

The school noted that survey of more than 20,700 high schools by the Knight Foundation’s “Future of the First Amendment” study found that 17% did not have any form of student media.

“Kent State is prepared to seize this opportunity to play an integral role in strengthening scholastic media programs across the nation and, in turn, groom the next generation of highly skilled journalists, editors and designers,” Kent State President Dr. Lester A. Lefton said in a statement.

The chair is the 20th created and endowed by the foundation since 1990.

“The prestige of being awarded with one of only 20 Knight Chair’s in journalism, indicates the importance of scholastic journalism from a Knight Foundation perspective and also indicates the regard in which Kent State’s program is held,” James Gaudino, dean of the College of Communications and Information, said in a statement.

Among the responsibilities of the new Knight Chair will be turning the university’s existing Scholastic Media Program from an Ohio-based program to a national center for student media.






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