First University-Based Investigative Journalism Center

I consider this the first momentous day in collegemediatopia in 2009: Boston University just announced the launch of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR)The press release bills it as the “[n]ation’s first university-based, non-profit center to probe local/regional issues.”  It partners a who’s who of Boston-area media organizations with BU journalism faculty and the j-students in their stead.

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https://i1.wp.com/cdn.necn.com/shows/necirbu_logo-h100.jpg?resize=341%2C100

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Stock PR quote from BU’s College of Communications Dean:

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This comes at a critical moment in American journalism when investigative journalism has become a luxury rather than a necessity in too many newsrooms. Just as medical schools serve the dual purpose of training physicians while serving the health needs of patients, we believe that Boston University’s journalism program can train reporters while serving the community’s civic health.

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Check out a brief news report about NECIR here:

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NECIR News Report

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My first impression: Bravo.  I love the initiative and the student media empowerment.  Student journalists are more than capable of handling long-form journalism and investigative-style pieces.  With the right guidance, I have no doubt the stories BU j-students create in the near future will make a serious local and regional impact.

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The early news reports and PR statement leave it unclear exactly how the center will operate.  Will students be the primary reporters or  function more as assistants to the pros?  And how are the professional media outlets such as The Boston Globe, Boston.com, New England Cable News, and WBUR-FM involved exactly?  Will their staffs chip in to help when called upon or simply serve as the platforms to present students’ work?  And how do the journos at these outlets feel about all this, considering they might now be considered more dispensable than ever (compared to the cheaper student work edited upfront by the BU journalism faculty)?

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3 Responses to “First University-Based Investigative Journalism Center”
  1. All good questions. Check out our website for most of the answers. If you have more questions, feel free to contact us.

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