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Gaylord College to begin new business journalism specialization
The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma has been chosen to receive a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to create a new specialization in business journalism for students.
Business reporting will be introduced to all journalism students in the Multimedia Newsgathering class with several courses to be developed that will specialize in different areas of business reporting. The first specialized course will center on the energy industry, which is a key economic force in Oklahoma and Texas. Future courses will focus on areas such as the sports, entertainment or technology business sectors.
The grant, which could total $70,000 or more, will provide funding for an experienced business journalist to be in residence as a visiting professor to teach the first specialized courses during spring 2014. The grant will also provide additional resources to bring in other business journalists as guest speakers.
“This grant is the catalyst for a new emphasis on business journalism at OU,” said Gaylord College Dean Joe Foote. “In addition to the visiting professor and professionals, our program will be anchored by Pulitzer Prize-winning business reporter, John Schmeltzer, formerly of The Chicago Tribune, who has been on our faculty for several years.”
Participation in the grant program also opens doors to partnerships with business media. This program will enhance the existing relationship with The Journal Record in Oklahoma City.
“This is an important step for the Gaylord College and for its students. Business news has never been more important and these additional resources bring a much-needed focus to our program at OU,” said OU journalism graduate Jim Dolan, chairman, president and CEO of The Dolan Co. and member of the Gaylord College Board of Visitors.
“I am particularly pleased that our daily Journal Record newsroom in Oklahoma City will be participating,” said Dolan. “I'm sure the program will help Gaylord College students not only get experience in business news coverage, but also develop a deeper understanding and insight into business and finance issues.”
In addition, this funding will enable OU students to compete for paid internships in business journalism. Paid internships are often difficult to obtain in the current economy but are increasingly important to student success in the face of increasing student debt.