Institute for
Educational Inquiry

Center for
Educational Renewal

National Network for
Educational Renewal

Agenda for Education
in a Democracy

Agenda para la Educacion
en una Democracia

Foundation Support

Board of Directors


Institute for Educational Inquiry
117 East Louisa Street #371
Seattle, WA 98102
Tel: (206) 325-3010

Journalism, Education,
and the Public Good
Journalists' Fellows Program, 2003-2004

General Information

The primary purposes of journalism and education are to ensure a well-informed citizenry for our social and political democracy. The Journalism, Education, and the Public Good program is dedicated to helping both journalists and educators fulfill this responsibility.

On April 24 and 25, 2005, at the Freedom Forum in Arlington, Virginia, twenty-one educators and journalists addressed the question of what actions are needed to provide the public with the information required for them to make wise decisions regarding the education of young Americans. This was the second in a series of two similar meetings with the first having been held in December 2004 in Seattle, Washington. Both conversations began by considering what the public needs to know about education, moved to an examination of what obstacles may be in the way of their being well informed, and concluded with suggestions about actions that should be taken. During 2005-2006 IEI staff are preparing a publication that will feature the results from these conversations and provide materials to help settings in the NNER conduct their own forums.

For five years one of the major activities of this initiative was a Fellows Program that included three seminars designed to increase the mutual understanding of educators and journalists regarding the critical role each plays in our society.

Most recently the Fellows Program was funded by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
and was hosted by the Institute for Educational Inquiry of Seattle, Washington. Other work continues with support from that Foundation.

For the Fellows programs, eighteen media professionals from throughout the United States were selected for participation in the year-long series of three, multi-day seminars that focused on the roles and responsibilities of the media in covering education and in providing information to the public.

The Fellows Program was originally funded by the Stuart Foundation of California and involved West Coast journalists and educators. The program, created and carried out by the Institute for Educational Inquiry, was expanded with funding from the Knight Foundation. This expanded program brought together a mix of media professionals from television, radio, newspapers, and new media outlets who have an interest in furthering the contributions of journalism and education to the public good and a commitment to participate.

Participants in the Fellows Program

  • studied examples of electronic and print educational journalism;
  • examined scenarios from perspectives of both the educator and media to determine ways to improve relationships and coverage;
  • talked with nationally recognized experts in media and education;
  • communicated with each other between seminar sessions;
  • dealt with issues such as ethical practices and access to media and to schools;
  • expanded their knowledge of critical educational issues such as assessment, accountability, school climate and safety, and teacher education; and
  • considered how journalism and education could best serve the public good in a social and political democracy.

All sessions were held at the Institute for Educational Inquiry in Seattle, Washington. Each session began on a Friday and ended on Sunday. The Knight Foundation grant provided for reimbursement of approved transportation, lodging, and travel expenses.

Ten Commonly Asked Questions About the Journalists' Fellows Program

  1. What is the Institute for Educational Inquiry?
  2. Why is the Institute sponsoring a Fellows Program for journalists?
  3. Who funds the Journalism, Education, and the Public Good program?
  4. Who are the advisors for this program?
  5. What is the Journalism, Education, and the Public Good Initiative?
  6. Who develops and conducts the Journalist Fellows sessions?
  7. What do participants get out of the Fellows Program?
  8. Is it ethical for journalists to participate in this program when the costs are paid for by the Knight Foundation?
  9. What are the requirements placed on those selected to participate in the program?
  10. Who has participated in the program in past and current years?

1. What is the Institute for Educational Inquiry?

Noted educator John I. Goodlad and colleagues founded the Institute in 1992 as a nonprofit entity to work independent of, yet in concert with, the Center for Educational Renewal (CER), which is a part of the College of Education at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The IEI and CER pursue the Agenda for Education in a Democracy. As part of this Agenda, they promote the simultaneous renewal of schools and the education of educators.

Specific projects include the creation and support of the National Network for Educational Renewal involving 42 colleges or universities, more than 150 school districts, and more than 700 partner schools in 20 states. Initiatives of the Institute have included leadership training for higher education faculty and administrators and educators from the K-12 system; promotion of more effective programs for dealing with the diversity of students in our schools, attention to educational programs in the fine arts, and strengthening secondary schooling. Link to Programs for a complete look at these initiatives.

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2. Why is the Institute sponsoring a Fellows Program for journalists?

“The primary purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing.” (Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect. New York: Crown Publishers, 2001.)

The IEI's concerns are for education in its broadest sense. We are concerned with not only the functioning of schools but with all the institutions in our society that contribute to the learning of our citizenry. Because of the broad exposure of young and old, there may be no other institution with more “educative” impact than the print and broadcast media. Therefore, the first reason the IEI has become involved in this initiative is to enhance the quality of the contributions by journalists to the knowledge that the public has as it fulfills its responsibilities in a social and political democracy.

Second, we have observed that, although educators and members of the media share many responsibilities, there is mistrust and poor communications between these two professions. We hope Fellows will help us to learn how we can help educators better understand the role of the free press and how to better communicate with journalists.

We also hope that by providing deep background information concerning educational issues we can strengthen participating journalists' work regarding education. To strengthen journalism concerning education and other issues vital to a democratic society and to increase understanding of what is needed to improve communications involving journalists and educators we will explore questions such as the following:

  • What is the media's role in contributing to an educated citizenry?
  • What are the purposes and moral grounding for education in a democratic society?
  • What is the evidence concerning our failure to educate all students (issues associated with education for children of minorities and children of poverty; issues associated with education for students with special needs and abilities)?
  • How should educators and media be held accountable for their work?
  • How can we promote accuracy and determine how to address contextual issues in publications and broadcasts regarding education and other issues related to the public good?
  • What needs to be done to enhance access by journalists to schools and students for stories? What needs to be done to enhance access by schools and the public to journalists?

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3. Who funds the Journalism, Education, and the Public Good program?

Financial support for the first two years came from the Stuart Foundation in San Francisco. Support for the continuing program comes from the Knight Foundation in Miami, Florida. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities. Additional funding has been provided by the Washington Mutual Foundation.

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4. Who are the advisors for this program?

The Journalism, Education, and the Public Good Initiative has a national advisory group. Members include:

  • Peter Bhatia, executive editor, The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon);
  • Gay Campbell, director of communications, Everett (Washington) School District and former Northwest Regional Vice President, National School Public Relations Association;
  • Bruce Christensen, senior vice president, Bonneville International Corporation (formerly President, PBS, and Dean, School of Fine Arts and Communications, Brigham Young University);
  • Ann Foster, executive director, the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER), and senior associate of the Institute for Educational Inquiry (IEI);
  • Sue Horton, opinion page editor, Los Angeles Times;
  • David Mathews, president, Kettering Foundation;
  • Lynn Olson, senior editor, Education Week; and
  • Warren Simmons, director, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Brown University.

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5. What is the Journalism, Education, and the Public Good Initiative?

In addition to the Fellows Program, this overall effort includes seminars for management in education and journalism, publications and videotapes related to the topic, and a speaker's bureau that has made presentations to educators and journalists in Washington, California, and Colorado regarding these issues.

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6. Who develops and conducts the Journalist Fellows sessions?

Richard W. Clark, a senior associate of the Institute for Educational Inquiry, directs the project. Clark, an educational consultant and author has worked with K-12 and college educators in 35 states. In addition to a background as a teacher and administrator, he has eight years of experience as a broadcaster.

Clifford Rowe, professor of journalism at Pacific Lutheran University, helps develop the curriculum materials and co-facilitates the sessions. Rowe, a member of the Washington News Council, is an experienced reporter and editor who worked for newspapers in Chicago, Portland, and Seattle.

Jacqueline Smith is responsible for selection of the Fellows and for program evaluation along with a variety of other duties. Smith is an independent consultant who is a former newspaper reporter, has worked as a school district public relations specialist, and is a past president of the Washington School Public Relations Association. She is also a board member for the Puget Sound Educational District.

National experts in education and journalism are retained as faculty during seminar sessions. Among those who have served as faculty are:

  • Dale Mezzacappa, education reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer;
  • Janet Bingham, education reporter, Denver Post;
  • Peter Bhatia, executive editor, The Oregonian;
  • David Boardman and Michael Fancher, editors, The Seattle Times;
  • Kim Murphy, northwest bureau chief, Los Angeles Times;
  • John Goodlad and other staff from the IEI and CER;
  • Ramon Cortines, former chief school administrator in Pasadena, San Jose, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles;
  • Joanne McGlynn, instructor, Concord, New Hampshire High School.

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7. What do participants get out of the Fellows Program?

The answer will, of course, vary from Fellow to Fellow and will depend significantly on what the Fellow seeks to get from the session. Based on previous sessions, we believe that among common outcomes, participating journalists will have:

  • some new ideas about how to enhance the quality of their work;
  • a feeling of professional accomplishment from having contributed to improving communications between journalists and educators concerning reporting on educational issues;
  • a relationship with a group of professional journalists that will be useful in future work; and
  • an increased knowledge of useful sources concerning educational issues.

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8. Is it ethical for journalists to participate in this program when the costs are paid for by the Knight Foundation?

There is no expectation that any participating Fellow will write about the IEI or any of the organizations funding the program. This is a professional growth opportunity for journalists, not a promotional program. Cliff Rowe has written a thoughtful examination of this question that appears in the April 2001 issue of Quill.

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9. What are the requirements placed on those selected to participate in the program?

Fellows are expected to participate in the following ways:

  • Attend and actively participate in three seminars.
  • Between the seminars, join in e-mail exchanges with each other and with IEI facilitators.
  • During the seminars, share current work related to the themes of the sessions. (For example, during sessions that focus on journalist access to schools, journalists will share recent stories in which access was a major problem—or in which access was handled well by the schools thereby improving the reporting.)
  • Read and critique background papers developed by IEI staff as we try to grasp lessons learned from the seminars and other interactions with Fellows.
  • Read background books and articles provided in advance of the seminars.

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10. Who has participated in the program in past and current years?

Journalist Fellows who participated in the 2003-2004 program :

  • Bobby Anderson, The Daily Oklahoman (Norman, OK)
  • Jason Begay, The Oregonian-Clark County (Portland, OR)
  • Kathryn Baron, KQED Public Radio (San Francisco, CA)
  • Pamela Brice, Shoreline/Lake Forest Park Enterprise (Lynnwood, WA)
  • Joe Copeland, Seattle Post Intelligencer (Seattle, WA)
  • Jenni Dillon, Peninsula Clarion (Kenai, AK)
  • Fannie Flono, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC)
  • Beth Ford, KPBS-FM (San Diego, CA)
  • Mary Lane Gallagher, Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, WA)
  • Marmian Grimes, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Fairbanks, AK)
  • Amy Hetzner, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Erin Aubry Kaplan, LA Weekly (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Sue Kiesewetter, Cincinnati Enquirer (Fairfield, OH)
  • John Mooney, Newark Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)
  • Steve Picket, KTVT-CBS (Dallas, TX)
  • CeCe Todd, East Valley Tribune (Mesa, AZ)
  • Jennifer Vogel, KEPR-TV (Pasco, WA)
  • Nadine Wimmer, KSL-TV (Salt Lake City, UT)

Those who have completed earlier programs include:

  • Debby Abe, Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
  • Peg Achterman, television news photographer, KING TV (Seattle, WA)
  • Leigh Allan, metro columnist, Dayton Daily News
  • Deborah Bach, education reporter, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • Jennifer Best, former reporter, Santa Maria Times (Santa Maria, CA)
  • Howard Blume, education reporter and associate editor, LA Weekly (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Clifton Chestnut, staff writer, The Oregonian
  • Peter Bogdanoff, president, Bellevue Education Association (Bellevue, WA)
  • Ann Doss Helms, education reporter, The Charlotte Observer
  • Chris Broderick, editor, The Oregonian (Portland, OR)
  • Jerry Burris, Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, HI)
  • Debbie Cafazzo, reporter, Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
  • Noel Cisneros, reporter, KRON-TV (San Francisco, CA)
  • Donna Colbert, teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Rory Devine, reporter, KNSD-TV (San Diego, CA)
  • Keith Eldridge, reporter, KOMO-TV (Seattle, WA)
  • Robin Farmer, special projects team reporter, Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • Jennifer Garrison, news photographer, KPIX-TV (San Francisco, CA)
  • Susan Gembrowski, education reporter, San Diego Union Tribune (San Diego, CA)
  • Dolores Gibbons, superintendent, Renton School District (Renton, WA)
  • Bill Graves, The Oregonian (Portland, OR)
  • Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Craig Groshart, editorial page editor, Eastside Journal (Bellevue, WA)
  • Catherine Hawley, Eastside Journal (Bellevue, WA)
  • Gerry Hadden, reporter, National Public Radio (Mexico)
  • Debera Harrell, education reporter, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA)
  • Jeff Hirsch, WKRC-TV (CBS) (Ohio)
  • Angie Kaipust, education reporter, Omaha World-Herald
  • Kristen King, education reporter, The Virginian-Pilot
  • Vivian King, education reporter, WTMJ-TV (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Christina LaRussa, former reporter, The Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA)
  • Lillian Leopold, Public Information Officer, Sweetwater Union High School District (Chula Vista, CA)
  • Kristina Lord, reporter, Tri-City Herald (Tri-Cities, WA)
  • Jessica Luce, Yakima Herald-Republic (Yakima, WA)
  • Ruth Ann McKenna, superintendent, New Haven Unified School District (Union City, CA)
  • Alicia Manley Lawver, reporter, The Olympian (Olympia, WA)
  • Alan Miller, editorial writer, San Diego Union-Tribune
  • Tamra Miller, former television anchor, KEPR-TV (Pasco, WA)
  • Nancy Mitchell, education reporter, Denver Rocky Mountain News
  • Renee Moilanen, education reporter, Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA)
  • Jennifer Niessen, KPLU-National Public Radio (Seattle, WA)
  • Kim Nowacki, education reporter, The Argus Observer (Ontario, OR)
  • Janet Okoben, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Colleen Pohlig, Seattle Times (Seattle, WA)
  • John Ray, assistant news director, KOIN-TV (Portland, OR)
  • Darren Reynolds, assistant program director, KOMO Radio (Seattle, WA)
  • Ross Reynolds, KUOW-National Public Radio (Seattle, WA)
  • Margaret Ritsch, publications director, Education Writers Association
  • Kara Rhodes, education reporter, Erie Times-News
  • Joetta Sack, staff writer, Education Week
  • Doug Smith, education writer, Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Claudia Smith Brinson, The State (South Carolina)
  • Alison St. John, former reporter, National Public Radio (San Diego, CA)
  • Billie Stanton, Denver Post (Denver, CO)
  • Sharon Stevens, KSDK-TV (NBC) (Missouri)
  • Jill Stewart, New Times (California)
  • Ted Taylor, The Bulletin (Bend, Oregon)
  • Susan Thomson, St. Louis Dispatch (St. Louis, MO)
  • Lindsay Tice, education reporter, Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME)
  • Nicolette Toussaint, communications director, Alliant International University (San Francisco, CA)
  • Joanne Williams, anchor/education reporter, WITI-TV (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Linda Woo, education reporter, South County Journal (Kent, WA)

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