Ball State Creates News Research Institute


Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., which has teamed with the Radio-Television News Directors Association on numerous media studies, will use some of its $20 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to create a News Research Institute (NRI) to study the future of newsgathering.

NRI will bring together students, faculty, and industry to "help the news industry prepare for an uncertain future as well as to educate upcoming journalists through rigorous immersive learning projects," according to Roger Lavery, dean of Ball State's College of Communication, Information, and Media.

Lilly gave the school the money for an initiative, dubbed Digital Exchange, for "immersive" learning projects. The new institute is the fourth created, joining the Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education (IDEE), the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation (IDIAA) and the Institute for Digital Fabrication and Rapid Prototyping (IDFRP).

The newest project will be headed by Chris Bavender, managing editor of NewsLink Indiana, another, which

integrates various TV, radio, newspaper, cable, and online news operations and a mix of noncom and student-run outlets to give students a taste of "journalism jobs of the future."

Newslink will be brought under the NRI umbrella, along with its Webfirst online project and J-Ideas First Amendment project for scholastic journalism.