By Karen Kloser
After a combined 41 years of programming and service, the Minnesota Journalism Center and the Institute for New Media Studies are merging. The new entity will retain the name Minnesota Journalism Center but will have a new, broader mission and will serve both the journalism and academic communities.
The Minnesota Journalism Center was established in 1979 through a gift from the late John Cowles, Sr., chairman of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune Co. and his wife, the late Elizabeth Bates Cowles.
The center's mission was to improve the practice of journalism, promote interaction between media professionals and the academy, and serve as the outreach arm of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Through hundreds of programs, events, lectures and partnerships, the MJC played a critical role in the Twin Cities and beyond, providing early and mid-career professional development opportunities and celebrating journalistic achievement and career contributions. (Some highlights of the center's work are detailed in the accompanying timeline.)
The Institute for New Media Studies was established as part of then-University of Minnesota President Mark Yudof's New Media Initiative in 1998. Its mission was to serve as a center for creation, innovation and examination of media content and messages and the effects of new media technologies and techniques on message forms and functions. Nora Paul arrived in 2000 to lead the institute, which hosted more than 100 leading-edge programs, seminars and workshops during its 10-year span of work. (Highlights of the institute's work are detailed in the accom-panying timeline.)
The new Minnesota Journalism Center will be led by Paul, who consulted with the MJC advisory board members (leaders from the Minnesota media community) in fall 2010 to define the updated mission for the center. Combining the service mission of the center and the innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration approach of the institute will provide the MJC with a new direction.
"The MJC's programming and research mission will focus on news organizations and their need to understand the new news audience, discover new ways to tell stories, and develop strategies to strengthen their business models," Paul says. "I look forward to building on the strong foundation of programming and outreach conducted by the MJC over the years and adding exciting new elements in the coming years."
Minnesota Journalism Center
The 1980s - the early years of this decade featured many well-known and world-famous figures as guest lecturers, speakers or panelists: Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper's magazine; Erwin Knoll, editor of The Progressive magazine; Leonard Silk, The New York Times economics columnist; Samuel Segev, political commentator for Maariv, Israel's largest newspaper; Yuan Xian-Lu, Washington, D.C., bureau chief for People's Daily from the Republic of China; Harrison Salisbury, Moscow correspondent for The New York Times; Alexander Ginzburg, writer, journalist and human rights activist; Joe Adamov, voice of Radio-Moscow; Esteban Lopez-Escobar, scholar and journalism professor from Pamplona, Spain; Peter Brook and Pamela Creighton, BBC World Service news editors; Muriel G. Cantor, sociology professor at The American University; Stanley Hubbard, Hubbard Broadcasting; and many more.