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Public Journalism Part of $31 Million Missouri Grant

Here is the essence of an article in today’s Missourian written by Joel Currier and Cristian Lupsa:

The University of Missouri’s School of Journalism received a $31 million grant to establish the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, which will focus on improving the practice of journalism in democracy.

Esther Thorson, associate dean of the journalism graduate school, paraphrased in the Missourian, said:

…the institute will pursue two distinct avenues: bridging the gap between journalistic theory and practice and bringing citizens in to voice their opinions.

With the exception of “public journalism,” Thorson added, the voice of the people is not heard in the process of journalism. Experts define public journalism as a strategy to engage people in an active news dialogue designed to improve democracy.

The article also says:

Similar institutes around the country, such as the Poynter Institute in Florida and the American Press Institute in Virginia, see the value of MU’s plan. Connecting journalists with citizens is not explored at most journalism schools across the country, said Warren Watson, vice president of API.

I was quoted in the article saying: “If we can figure out a way of tapping into that collective mind out there, we can make better journalism…”

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