PULLMAN, Wash. — The Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication has awarded the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University a Newspapers-in-Residence Program, funded by a $12,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“Reaching Generation Y — Back to the Future (Again)” will be the focus of four newspaper professionals who will each spend a week at WSU over the next school year. Professionals in residence from The Spokesman-Review in Spokane will be editor Chris Peck, managing editor Peggy Kuhr and interactive editors Rebecca Nappi and Doug Floyd.
The professionals will focus classroom visits, open lectures and faculty discussions by demonstrating civic journalism tools and media convergence strategies. The efforts will include trying to find out more about Generation Y, as well as expose students to a better understanding and appreciation of the media.
“The next generation of Americans is wired, worldly and wondering if the news their parents read isn’t a bit like an Oldsmobile, a vehicle for an older generation,” Peck said. “Their music is different, their cultural icons are different, their values are different from Generation X and the baby boomers before them.”
The Spokesman-Review is ranked as one of the top 25 daily newspapers in the nation. It has become an industry leader in many areas, including civic journalism, and invested considerable time and effort in addressing many industry readership and credibility concerns.
“The WSU community, specifically students, will benefit greatly from the professionals in residence,” said assistant professor of communication John Irby, who applied for the grant and will administer the program. “Chris, Peggy, Rebecca and Doug are highly respected in the newspaper industry, and The Spokesman is recognized nationally for having its heart and soul tied to interactivity and being connecting with readers. The program has the potential to identify critical information that could help reconnect newspapers and young readers across the nation.”
The program consists of four main components, each culminating with such events as a mini-symposium, public forum, student publishing project and keynote address — all centered on Generation Y.
The ASJMC program is completing its fourth year, with only 10 universities being awarded nationally each year.