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

Pictured (clockwise from bottom left) are Alissa Skelton, Alia Conley and Emily Nohr.
Pictured (clockwise from bottom left) are Alissa Skelton, Alia Conley and Emily Nohr.

A pair of 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 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 Professor of Journalism at Arizona State University. Using teleconference, 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 traveling 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.

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.

— Marilyn Hahn, Journalism and Mass Communications