BU To Launch Investigative Journalism Center
School teaming up with local media in first university-based investigative unit
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/15/2009 5:23:00 AM
Under the guidance of former TV station journalists and in collaboration with a regional cable news network, Boston University is launching a non-profit center for investigative journalism.
Boston is billing the newly-created New England Center for Investigative Journalism as the first university-based, multimedia investigative reporting unit.
Partners in the operation include New England Cable News, noncommercial WMUR-FM, and the Boston Globe and Boston.com.
BU students will be guided by center directors Joe Bergantino and Maggie Mulvihill, formerly of WBZ-TV Boston.
The effort serves the dual purposes of training journalism students, while giving news outlets a cost-efficient way of stretching their investigative journalism dollar.
“This comes at a critical moment in American journalism when investigative journalism has become a luxury rather than a necessity in too many newsrooms,” said Tom Fiedler, dean of the College of Communications in announcing the project. “Just as medical schools serve the dual purpose of training physicians while serving the health needs of patients, we believe that Boston University’s journalism program can train reporters while serving the community’s civic health.”
Another goal of the center is to figure out how to deliver long-form investigations online. To that end, the center will have its own interactive web site, www.necir-bu.org.
Funding for the project comes from a number of sources, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
I don't think you DO get it. Perhaps you aren't aware of the credentials of the two "unemployed" journalists. Bergantino is a stellar journalist who exemplifies what a real reporter should be. Mulvihill, his former producer, is another exceptional journalist who will offer much to BU's journalism students. You act as if college interns working for free at stations is a recent development...boy are you out of the loop. BU was lucky to snatch long-time college instructor, Bergantino, away from their rival (in sports but hardly in journalism) BC. What a unique opportunity for the fortunate students who participate! It's also a smart move for the university and their media partners to be part of such a cutting edge consortium. You further suggest that these students are being led to a dead-end career. Would it be better to continue with business as usual or to train students to be ready for a news environment that includes converging technologies in varied formats? Finally, you brag about neither reading nor watching and list your occupation as retired. Methinks that retirement was not your decision. Who employs the proudly ignorant? Good luck NECIR!
Real News Junkie - 1/16/2009 4:34:53 PM EST
OK. I get it. The news organizations have shed the journalists to save money. College interns now do it all in the newsrooms and do not get paid. So now the colleges take it to the next level. They hire the unemeployed journalists, using someone else's money, and the over-the-hill, unemployed has-beens supervise students in gathering and disseminating the news until the students have enough experience to get a non-paying internship. Is it any wonder no one bothers to watch TV news or read newspapers anymore. Can't these students, allegedly educated and bright, wake up and smell the rat. They're being led down the garden path to a career dead-end. When they wise up they'll graduate and join those o$ us who no longer watch or read.
Long Time News Junkie - 1/16/2009 11:20:58 AM EST
After pondering and trying to gleen the exact meaning of Vic's comment for a few minutes, I took a short break and read a few of his thoughts elsewhere and realized he is just plain out of his mind.
Observer - 1/15/2009 2:22:00 PM EST
CORPORATE COWARDICE borne of economic and political pressure is the reason there's virtually NO meaningful investigative reporting going on at local stations or networks. Take it from one who's been there. Want to remedy that root problem? Shame managements into living up to a vanishing public service mission. Academic journalism programs don't amount to a hill of beans when the bean-counters are effectively lording over the editorial process. Without addressing the underlying economic and political forces that dictate content, the idealism you are fostering soon will turn to cynicism, your well-intentional efforts rendered meaningless.
Vic Livingston, columnist, NowPublic.com/scrivener - 1/15/2009 12:16:00 PM EST
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