3 to participate in Carnegie-Knight News21 in-depth journalism program

Released on 04/25/2012, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., April 25th, 2012 —
Alia Conley
Alia Conley
Emily Nohr
Emily Nohr
Alissa Skelton
Alissa Skelton

            Two University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications graduating seniors and one recent graduate will participate this summer in a national investigative reporting project on voting rights as part of the Carnegie-Knight News21 in-depth journalism program.

            The UNL students chosen to participate in the prestigious program are Alia Conley and Alissa Skelton of Omaha, and Emily Nohr of Crofton.

            Conley, who majors in journalism and Spanish, will graduate in May. Her journalism experience includes internships at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Omaha World-Herald, San Antonio Express-News and Omaha Weekly.

            Nohr, a journalism major, will also graduate in May. Her journalism experience includes internships at the Yankton (S.D.) Daily Press and Dakotan and the Omaha World-Herald.

            Skelton, a December 2011 graduate who majored in journalism, advertising and political science, works in New York City as an intern for Mashable, a prominent news website that covers social media, business and technology. She also has interned at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Omaha World-Herald, the Lincoln Journal Star and the Crete News, and was a collegiate correspondent for USA Today.

            The three joined top journalism students from 12 universities this spring in a semester-long seminar on voting rights led by Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of the Washington Post and Cronkite's Weil Family Professor of Journalism at Arizona State University. Using teleconference technology, more than two dozen students across the country are in the seminar this spring, hearing from numerous election experts, officials and advocates and conducting research in preparation for the summer reporting project.

            Students from the seminar go on to paid summer fellowships where they travel across the country to report stories and produce content for publication or broadcast across a number of platforms.

            The program is an effort of the Carnegie Corp. of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to change the way journalism is taught and prepare a new generation of journalists capable of reshaping the news industry. News21 fellows produce in-depth news coverage on critical issues facing the nation, using innovative digital methods to distribute the news on multiple platforms. The program is headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State.

            Past News21 national projects have focused on food safety and transportation safety. News21 works with the Washington Post, MSNBC.com and the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity, all of which have published large portions of the students' work.

            Downie called News21 an extraordinary opportunity for outstanding student journalists to produce professional-quality, in-depth multimedia journalism on a timely subject of national importance.

            "The journalism the students produce during the summer under professional editorial direction in the Cronkite School newsroom will both benefit our print, broadcast and digital partners and give the students invaluable experience for future employment," he said.

            News21 schools in 2012 include Arizona State University, Elon University, University of Florida, Harvard University, University of Maryland, University of Missouri-Columbia, UNL, University of North Carolina, University of Oklahoma, University of Oregon, Syracuse University and University of Texas-Austin.

            Carnegie Corp. of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." It is one of the oldest, largest and most influential of American grant-making foundations. The foundation makes grants to promote international peace and to advance education and knowledge.

            The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. The Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change.

Writer: Marilyn Hahn, Communication Specialist, Journalism and Mass Communications, 402-472-0876