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Reynolds Journalism Institute Unveils Projects on MU Website

Feb. 21, 2008

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573) 882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The home of the world’s first journalism school is taking steps toward improving the global media industry. The University of Missouri will officially dedicate the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) in September with the goal of improving journalism around the globe. The RJI Web site, which launched Monday, previews several innovative projects already underway in partnership with leading media and non-profit organizations including the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME), National Conference of Editorial Writers (NCEW) and the Committee of Concerned Journalists (CCJ).

RJI projects address current problems in journalism to find solutions that can be applied worldwide. Professional journalists and researchers, interested citizens and students can access the site and provide ideas, participate in forums, and use research and media tools.

“The RJI Web site will be a valuable resource for journalists in the Internet era,” said Pam Johnson, executive director of RJI.  “The site will feature Institute projects that focus on enhancing journalism using new technologies. Our mission is to bring citizens and journalists together to ensure the availability of credible information.”

Featured projects include:
• The Opinion Pool: RJI partners with NCEW to discover the effect on editorial writers when newspapers reduce staff and bloggers attract readers.
• Credibility: Project with APME that focuses on media credibility asking “who or what can people believe?”
• RJI Leadership Forums: Project with CCJ on topics including “Newsroom Leadership in a Challenging World” and “How to Promote your Online Version.”
• Community Knowledge Base: Exploration to develop a functioning prototype for civic mapping. The project uses concepts from Lew Friedland, professor at the University of Wisconsin, to understand local communities from the associations of people and institutions that are engaged civically.
• Digital Publishing Alliance: Member-supported initiative that brings leaders and innovators together with technology experts and researchers to find new digital publishing products, strategies and business models.
• Adobe AIR/RJI Student Design Competition: Last summer, students were asked to submit innovative ideas about how news organizations could deliver news and advertising to consumers. Viewers are asked to vote on students’ application demos.

“As we’re demonstrating with the Adobe competition, the RJI Web site is a great way to showcase the work our students are doing with the Institute and to elicit feedback from citizens partnering with us to create the future of democratic media,” said Mike McKean, chair of convergence journalism and director of the project.

 “We hope our Web site will inspire citizens, academics, journalists and other professionals to participate in the Institute’s many endeavors,” Johnson said.

The Institute was made possible by a $31 million gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the largest private donation ever to the University of Missouri. Mr. Reynolds graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism.  

 The RJI Web site can be accessed by visiting: