Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ford Foundation provides $200K to seed "news literacy" center at Stony Brook

Published: September 26, 2007 1:45 PM ET

Klurfeld of 'Newsday' to Head News Literacy Center

By Joe Strupp
Editor & Publisher Online

NEW YORK -- Editorial Page Editor Jim Klurfeld of Newsday in Melville, N.Y., will serve as interim director of what is being touted as the nation's first News Literacy Center at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N,Y.

In a release Wednesday, the university announced the formation of the new center "designed to educate current and future news consumers on how to judge the credibility and reliability of news." The project is being funded in part from a $200,000 grant of the Ford Foundation.

"The Center will act as a resource center for universities across the U.S., develop curriculum for high school instruction and secondary teacher training programs, and design conferences, seminars, lectures, and workshops that will bring together scholars and journalists to explore issues related to the reliability of news from print, broadcast, and the web," the release added. "Last year, with a $1.7 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Stony Brook created one of the nation's first courses in News Literacy that the University expects to teach to 10,000 students over the next four years."

Klurfeld, who is joining the School of Journalism as a visiting professor, has been named interim director, said Stony Brook University President Shirley Strum Kenny. "Jim Klurfeld is just the right person to lead this new Center," Kenny said. "His commitment to truth and accuracy was the hallmark of his outstanding career in journalism. Under his leadership, this unique effort will have a lasting impact on students, teachers, and the public."

Adds Howard Schneider, Dean of the School of Journalism, who will serve as Executive Director of the new center: "The goal is to equip the next generation of news consumers with the ability to judge for themselves what information they can trust and what information is suspect," said. "We want to create more informed citizens and sustain quality journalism at the same time."

The center will "develop a pilot program for the public, act as a clearinghouse for 'best practices,' design and develop a center web site, and extend the News Literacy program to high school students," the release stated. "We are going through a media revolution and it's critical that students are equipped to deal with that revolution," Klurfeld said in a statement. "I'm excited about the challenge of starting Stony Brook.s Center for News Literacy and believe we can make it into a resource for educators not just on Long Island but throughout the country."

Joe Strupp ( is a senior editor at E&P.


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