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Foundation funds new technology and science reporting professorship at UC Berkeley's journalism school
25 Sep 2000

By Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations

Berkeley -- In an era when researchers unravel the secrets of DNA and the world watches Silicon Valley for the latest technological breakthrough, students at the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism will have special training in reporting the cutting edge news of science and technology.

Today (Sept. 25), the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a $1.5 million grant to fund a tenured Knight Chair in Journalism at UC Berkeley for a professor to concentrate on science and technology reporting.

"Living as we do at the epicenter of the 21st century's revolution in science and technology, this endowed chair will allow the Graduate School of Journalism at Berkeley to help train a new generation of journalists to cover this crucial field," said Orville Schell, dean of the school.

"The chair will be a great asset for the school and for the cause of good journalism in America," he said.

The UC Berkeley grant was one of two announced. Another Knight Chair is going to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The two universities were selected from a field of 35. Both will begin immediately searching for professors to fill the new chairs.

The UC Berkeley post will be broadly defined, according to the school's proposal to the Knight Foundation, but will emphasize information technology and biological sciences.

In recent years, the Graduate School of Journalism has offered numerous courses on covering science and high tech that require field reporting and result in published articles. School officials say efforts such as these, and the new endowed chair, improve the state of science reporting for specialty writers as well as for general assignment reporters.

Since 1990, the foundation has used endowed tenured teaching positions to place noted journalists into classrooms at top journalism and public affairs schools across the country. Those writers have included Haynes Johnson, Jacqui Banaszynski, Rosental Alves and William Raspberry.



Graduate School of Journalism