Our mission is to educate producers and consumers of existing and emerging forms of public communication, and to instill in them the value of freedom of expression, intellectual and cultural diversity, critical thinking, creativity, ethics, professional skills, and social responsibility.
The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication is involved in various outreach programs centered around the advancement of journalism ethics and practices that support democratic societies from underserved populations in Oklahoma and the United States to emerging democracies across the globe. Several of our programs are in partnership with the U.S. government and U.S. State Department.
You can read a brief synopsis of each program below or get more information by choosing a program from the menu on the left.
Institute for Research and Training
The Gaylord College Institute for Research and Training (IRT) facilitates collaborative partnerships of faculty, students, and citizens to study and solve problems facing communities in Oklahoma and around the world involving media, communication, and civil society. The institute is a contract and grant-driven agency that harnesses teams of experts to conduct research and educational programs to improve media and communities.
Many of the IRT programs are in conjunction with various branches of the U.S. government such as the U.S. State Department programs and the U.S. Army Media Training with Ft. Sill.
U.S. Army Media Training
Through a contract with the U.S. Army, the Institute works to help train groups of 60-80 Field Artillery Captains from Ft. Sill in Lawton, OK on how to best work with journalists to ensure a clear and exact message. The day of training consists of guest speakers, such as ABC News correspondent and Gaylord College professor of journalism Mike Boettcher, a journalism and public relations briefing by members of the Gaylord College faculty, mock interviews conducted by advanced journalism students, and an a debrief that includes reviewing the interviews from earlier that day.
This training not only provides a great service to our nation’s armed forces, but it also provides an excellent opportunity for tomorrow’s journalism professionals to have hand-on experience and education on military practices in regards to the media.
The Field Artillery Captain’s Media Training program is executed through a contract with the U.S. government.
Professional Development Year
The Professional Development Year (PDY) is a program with the United States Embassy for the study of journalism and/or mass communication in the United States. The program enables young and mid-career international journalists and media professionals to enhance their skills through study and practice at leading universities in the U.S.
Other programs (described below) administered through the IRT are:
- Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists
- Immigration in the Heartland
- New Media in Indian Country
- World Journalism Education Census
U.S. State Department partnerships
New Media Institute for South Asian students
The five-week New Media Institute is designed to educate the students about new media practices and the role that new media can play for both journalists and citizens in an emerging democratic society. The program also teaches critical thinking skills that will benefit them as private citizens regardless of whether they pursue a career in journalism.
The workshop curriculum teaches the students the mechanics of newsgathering, reporting and producing multimedia presentations while incorporating social media skills such as setting up and administering a Facebook Page for the workshop, creating Twitter accounts and writing their own blogs.
Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists
The Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists invites rising international journalists to travel to the United States and examine journalistic principles and practices. Since its inception in 2006, the program has welcomed more than 600 foreign journalists. The Gaylord College's Institute for Research and Training has participated in the program since its inception and typically hosts journalists from Latin and Central America.
Participants meet in the nation’s capital and then travel in smaller groups for academic seminars and field activities with faculty and students at one of the prestigious partner schools of journalism. The visitors also visit various American cities to observe U.S. media coverage of state politics and government as well as American civic life and grassroots involvement in political affairs in smaller towns. The program concludes in New York City, with visits to major media outlets and a symposium to highlight current trends and challenges facing the media in the United States and around the world.
Each year, leading journalists are nominated for participation by the U.S. Embassies in their home countries. The program represents an innovative public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State, the Aspen Institute and leading U.S. schools of journalism.
Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation partnerships
Immigration in the Heartland
Since 2010 the Gaylord College and the Institute for Justice in Journalism have partnered for the annual Immigration in the Heartland conference for professional journalists exploring the effects of immigration in Oklahoma and other Heartland states.
Fifteen professional fellowships and up to five student fellowships are awarded each year to journalists seeking to report on the complexities of immigration with clarity, depth and context. Besides focusing on the impact of immigration in Oklahoma and other interior states, the program also explores immigration issues being played out across the nation, including state legislation and labor, education and legal topics.
The conference is typically held in mid-March with the first five days spent in Norman and the final three days in Dallas.
The Immigration in the Heartland program is co-sponsored by Gaylord’s Institute for Research and Training and the Institute for Justice and Journalism and is funded by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.
Oklahoma Institute for Diversity in Journalism
The Oklahoma Institute for Diversity in Journalism is a summer journalism workshop for promising high school journalists. Its goal is to expose youth to careers in the world of daily journalism. OIDJ’s mission is to provide opportunities for students who would otherwise lack access to journalism training or who face other barriers to pursuing careers in journalism.
Oklahoma Watch is a non-profit, investigative and in-depth reporting team that collaborates with other news organizations and higher education to produce journalism that makes a difference in the lives of Oklahomans. The Oklahoma Watch team is housed at the Gaylord College of Journalism.
Our mission is to provide an accurate, clear and insightful analysis of the facts on issues of public importance. Our multimedia and higher education partnerships will allow us to enhance our product and expand our reach to the greatest number of Oklahomans.
The project is funded by Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Tulsa Community Foundation.
Professional and academic organization partnerships
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Mid-Winter Conference
The AEJMC Midwinter Conference is an annual forum for the presentation of research and debate in areas relevant to the 13 AEJMC groups (divisions, interest groups and commissions) sponsoring the event. The conference provides a platform for presentations and extended discussions in a relaxed setting. Gaylord College and Dr. Elanie Steyn have been proud to host this meeting in March of each year since 2009.
Native American Journalists Association
The Native American Journalists Association serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures. The University of Oklahoma and the Gaylord College are proud to have NAJA housed on campus in Copeland Hall.
NAJA recognizes Native Americans as distinct peoples based on tradition and culture. In this spirit, NAJA educates and unifies its membership through journalism programs that promote diversity and defends challenges to free press, speech and expression. NAJA is committed to increase the representation of Native journalists in mainstream media. NAJA encourages both mainstream and tribal media to attain the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and responsibility.
New Media in Indian Country: New Ways of Storytelling
New Media in Indian Country was a full-day conference for tribal communications staff members and tribal leaders designed as an intensive and practical conference to demonstrate current new media practices in Indian Country. Tribes showcased how they are using available communication technologies to maximize networking with tribal members. Recent changes in FCC policies which can provide more opportunities for tribes were also shared.
The conference was in conjunction with NAJA, the IRT and Gaylord College.
World Journalism Education Council
The World Journalism Education Council (WJEC) is an organization representing 28 academic associations worldwide that are involved in journalism and mass communication at the university level. It is an outgrowth of the World Journalism Education Congress that was held in Singapore in June 2007 and drew 450 delegates from 45 countries. The WJEC began as the planning group for the Congress, beginning with its first meeting in Toronto in 2004.
The WJEC is an informal group with no secretariat. Its major projects have been the adoption of a Declaration of Universal Principles of Journalism Education (approved June 2007) and a global census of journalism and mass communication education. The census is currently underway and is funded through a grant from the Knight Foundation at the University of Oklahoma in the United States. The census will be released in 2009. By bringing organizations from six continents together, the Council hopes to provide a common space for journalism educators from around the world and to focus on issues that are universal in the field.