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Journalism School Announces Grant from Knight Foundation

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June 22, 2006. The School of Journalism has received a $1.25 million grant from the Knight Foundation that will establish the Knight Case Studies Initiative
to promote journalism leadership. The case studies will be developed into interactive modules by CCNMTL, which, coupled with classroom discussion, will teach the process of newsroom decision-making in ways that further the creation of fair, accurate, contextual news in the public interest.

Columbia has already tested three cases. The first follows one day's news cycle at the Washington Post from the point of view of Leonard Downie, Jr., the paper's executive editor, who decides what to put on the front page. Another looks at the reporting from Knight Ridder's Washington bureau on Iraq's weapons capabilities during the buildup to and aftermath of the 2003 invasion. Knight Ridder was significantly more skeptical about those capabilities than most American news organizations, and the case illustrates how to question the official version of the news on national security matters. The third case leads students through an analysis of the data available to reporters covering Hurricane Katrina.