University, Public Broadcasting and Newspaper Partnership

The Macon Telegraph in Georgia and Georgia Public Broadcasting are planning an innovative new project that will have professional reporters training Mercer University journalism students. Ed Grisamore, Chair of the 2012 conference told the NSNC Board, “I also expect there will be some conference interest in this breaking news from the Telegraph. I’m not saying this will be a model of the future but could be.”

There is no other arrangement like this in the country with a university, a daily newspaper and public broadcasting working in the same newsroom. This project has the potential to transform journalism in Georgia and beyond, some officials believe.

The business venture is possible due to a multimillion-dollar grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Telegraph will move its editorial staff to a new building adjacent to the Mercer campus . Mercer hopes to also double its number of journalism students over the next five years. Mercer President Bill Underwood said journalism students will learn much like medical students learn, by participation and supervision with working professional journalists. The effort will train journalists in a real world setting and will give students critical experience needed to find a job.

Telegraph Executive Editor Sherrie Marshall said that as the news business changes, journalists need to be innovative . Pros will give practical training to the students.  News people hope this experiment will provide guidance for others as they seek ways to gather and distribute news and information. and believe the partnership could be a model for other communities across the country.

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