OLD Media Moves

Reynolds Foundation gives $5.3 million to biz journalism education

November 20, 2008

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation announced today two grants totaling $5,336,360 to make Arizona State University a global hub of business journalism education by endowing a faculty chair and expanding the work of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

With the grant, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will create the Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism, build a specialization in business and economics journalism and integrate the Reynolds Center’s work throughout the Cronkite School curriculum.

The Las Vegas-based Donald W. Reynolds Foundation also announced the creation of two other business journalism chairs –- at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Nevada, Reno. Together with a previously created business journalism chair at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., the senior professors will work with the Reynolds Center to improve media coverage of business and economic news nationally.

“The current worldwide financial crisis has shown clearly that journalists must be prepared to understand and interpret complex financial and economic issues,” said Fred W. Smith, chairman of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, in a statement. “Consequently, our trustees have committed substantial funding to ensure that resources are in place to help professional journalists, and university journalism students, gain expertise in reporting on these issues.”

“With four Reynolds Chairs in Business Journalism in place, and with the outstanding coordinating skills of the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, we envision this network of Reynolds-funded institutions providing real leadership in the effort to improve the quantity and quality of business journalism across the country,” Smith added. “This increased flow of high-quality journalism on business topics will, we believe, be an important factor in helping citizens and public institutions make informed decisions about the tough economic challenges that confront all of us.”

Andrew Leckey, the founding director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism who is a longtime syndicated investment columnist for the Chicago Tribune and former CNBC anchor, will be appointed as the inaugural Donald W. Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism at the Cronkite School. The tenured position carries the faculty rank of full professor.

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