UNL students selected for News21 Carnegie-Knight fellowship

Released on 02/25/2009, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., February 25th, 2009 —
Ford Clark (color JPEG)
Ford Clark (color JPEG)
Courtnee Lowe (color JPEG)
Courtnee Lowe (color JPEG)
Astrid Munn (color JPEG)
Astrid Munn (color JPEG)

Three students in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications are participating in News21, a national journalism fellowship sponsored by the Carnegie and Knight foundations.

The students are Ford Clark of Adams, Courtnee Lowe of Lincoln and Astrid Munn of Scottsbluff. They join 90 students from 11 other universities who are enrolled in seminars this spring to prepare for a 10-week national reporting project in the summer. The goal of the fellowship is to produce in-depth news coverage on critical issues facing the nation and then experiment with innovative digital methods to distribute the news on multiple platforms.

Clark will participate at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., focusing on the topic "The Changing Face of American Youth -- A New Generation Faces the Future." Fellows at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism will explore the perspectives of young Americans in metropolitan areas. Medill fellows will study in depth their views, concerns, hopes and preferences over the coming year. The fellows will examine the way members of this generation form communities, how they self-identify, the issues that matter to them and what sort of visions of their country and their future they hold. Medill's team will employ innovative multimedia storytelling and interactive resources to present their findings, and will produce their content with this target population in mind.

A research graduate assistant and Seacrest scholar in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Clark is working on two television documentaries: "Renewable Energy and the Future," an hour-long documentary about alternative fuels, and a retrospective on the Everly Brothers. After receiving his undergraduate degree in journalism from UNL in 1992, Clark embarked on a broadcasting career with a variety of Midwest radio and TV stations. His most recent job was teaching courses in mass media and advanced radio/TV for five years at Delta High School in Muncie, Ind.

Lowe will participate at Syracuse University in New York, focusing on the topic "Teenage America and Technology." News21 fellows there will investigate how technology has changed the lives of teenagers, how they are using it and what kind of opportunities there are to reach them and for them to reach out to others. The Syracuse fellows will create an online community with this group and eventually involve them in the content creation on the site.

A triple major in broadcast journalism, French and international studies who expects to graduate in May, Lowe studied abroad for six months in Besancon, France, where she received a diploma from Universite de Franche-Comte for her studies in French language. She is employed as a student worker with HuskerVision and produces a weekly feature that is shown during home football games. She also films and edits videos for Nebraska swimming and tennis teams. As a news intern at WOWT Channel Six in Omaha, Lowe covered breaking news and conducted interviews for special programming.

Munn will participate at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on the topic "Urban Reporting, Demographics and the American Tapestry." The class will look at demographics, race and ethnography in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cal-Berkeley will build on the hyper-local approach it has have been developing for online news sites, particularly in experimenting with content and delivery for underserved communities and regions.

A news-editorial major, Munn expects to graduate in December. She spent the fall semester as a reporter with the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire in Washington, D.C. Her other journalism experience includes working as a copy editor for the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and the Lincoln Journal Star; as a reporter and news editor for Hispanos Unidos, a bi-monthly Spanish-language newspaper; and as a features reporter and copy editor for the Daily Nebraskan, the UNL student newspaper.

News21 is part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative that is investing more than $11 million to bolster the journalism curriculum at 12 of the nation's top journalism schools. UNL was invited in 2007 to join this national initiative to redefine journalism education and train a new generation of journalists capable of reshaping the news industry. News21 students are paid $7,500 for the 10-week summer program and their travel costs also are covered.

For more information about News21, visit http://newsinitiative.org; for more information about the Carnegie Corp. of New York, visit www.carnegie.org; and for more information about the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, visit www.knightfoundation.org.