From left to right: David Kurpius, Lori Bergen, David Holwerk and Alice Diebel.

Center Director Joins In Discussion On Future Of Journalism Education In U.S.

A group of 15 journalism and mass communication educators, including Cox International Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker, discussed changes they had made or planned to make in their curricula to make it more “citizen centric” during a two-day meeting at the Kettering Foundation in November.

Participants talked about adaptations they had made to specific classes as well as their goals for broader curricular change that would shift the focus of discussion from the needs of journalists to the needs of citizens in a democracy.

Dr. Becker, who is collaborating with the Kettering Foundation on a report on changes in U.S. journalism and mass communication education, initiated the discussion by talking with the group about his research project.

Dr. Becker said he is interested in learning about curricular change across a broad spectrum and asked those gathered to share their experiences, whether they had been a success or a failure.

The group had gathered for what Kettering calls a research exchange. The Dayton, Ohio, Foundation brings together people in organizations and institutions that are experimenting with innovations to address problems of democracy.

The meeting on Nov. 16 and 17 included representatives of universities around the United States, including the University of Oregon, the University of Missouri, John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, and Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind.

Dr. Becker has been a participant in Kettering Foundation discussions of journalism education since 2014. The Cox International Center, under Dr. Becker’s direction, has conducted research on journalism education since 1997.

The James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research is a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

The Kettering Foundation is a nonprofit operating foundation rooted in the American tradition of cooperative research. Kettering’s research focuses on the question: What does it take to make democracy work as it should?

The Foundation was established in 1927 by inventor Charles F. Kettering.