News 21: Reporting on a Changing America

About Us

News21 is a national initiative to train a new generation of journalists capable of reshaping the news industry.

Voting Wars

Students from 18 universities investigate voter access and participation in a presidential election year.

Join the Team

News21 now welcomes students from all journalism schools. Applications are due Nov. 10.

Partners

Student work has appeared in numerous national publications.

Awards

News21 stories and projects have been honored in multiple journalism awards contests.

Foundations support News21 fellows:The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York have provided millions of dollars in funding for News21 since the program's inception in 2005. For a history of News21, go to https://cronkite.asu.edu/experience/news21.

Other support comes from foundations and philanthropic organizations that support the work of individual fellows. These include the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the Peter Kiewit Foundation and Women & Philanthropy, part of the ASU Foundation.

Big Journalism On Campus (PDF)

Leonard Downie Jr., vice-president-at-large and former editor of The Washington Post, writes about how journalism schools are producing high-level reporting that is making its way into major news outlets.

News21 is a program of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that is helping to change the way journalism is taught in the U.S. and train a new generation of journalists capable of reshaping the news industry. It is headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Since 2006, more than 500 top journalism students from across the country have participated in the landmark national initiative. Their work has appeared in major national publications, including The Washington Post, msnbc.com, the Center for Public Integrity, NBC.com and many others. It is also published on the news21.com website. The content is free under Creative Commons usage.

Students selected for the News21 program study a topic in-depth during a spring video-conferenced topics seminar, followed by a 10-week reporting fellowship during the summer. Students work out of a newsroom at the Cronkite School and travel the country – and sometimes to other countries – to report and produce their projects.

Students work under the direction of leading news veterans, including Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post, and Jacqueline Petchel, former investigative editor at major newspapers and television stations in Houston, Miami and Minneapolis. The students’ work has been recognized with numerous awards from the Online News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of News Design, among others.

“News21 attracts top students from all over. It’s an all-star team. So yes, it wins awards,” said Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at the Knight Foundation. “But more important than the awards, we hope, will be its lasting impact, not just on journalism education or the notion of increased collaboration, but the impact of the stories themselves.”

Carnegie and Knight launched News21 in 2005 as a cornerstone of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education. It began with five universities: the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, Harvard University, Northwestern University and the University of Southern California. Three years later, seven other schools were added: ASU, University of Maryland, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, University of North Carolina, University of Texas and Syracuse University.

In 2011, News21 was opened to all accredited journalism schools. New schools that joined the program since then are Central Michigan University, Elon University, Florida International University, Kent State University, University of Florida, University of Oklahoma, University of Minnesota and University of Oregon.

Over the years, participating schools have produced projects on health, religion, senior citizens, energy, education, the economy, diversity and politics, among other topics. In addition, News21 students have produced national investigations on voting rights, transportation safety and food safety in America.

Foundations that support individual students through named News21 fellowships are The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the Peter Kiewit Foundation of Omaha, Neb., and Women & Philanthropy, part of ASU’s Foundation for a New American University.

For more information, contact news@news21.com

Big Journalism On Campus

Leonard Downie Jr., vice-president-at-large and former editor of The Washington Post, writes about how journalism schools are producing high-level reporting that is making its way into major news outlets.