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Knight Center researchers win National Science Foundation grant

Knight Center research director Bruno Takahashi and center affiliate Manuel Chavez have won a $404,873 grant from the National Science Foundation for the project “Infrastructure Collapse and its Effects on News Practices During Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.”

Student interviewing on radio

Nieves interviewing a radio host at WKAQ-Univisión Radio during preliminary fieldwork in December 2017.

This two-year project will examine media content before, during and after Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico in September 2017. The researchers will also investigate the ways audiences sought and used the limited information provided by the news media.

Takahashi and Chavez will collaborate with Yadira Nieves, a professor at the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico and a recent MSU Ph.D. graduate, Professor Luis Rosario Albert of the Universidad del Turabo and Professor Federico Subervi of the University of Leeds.

The project will build on preliminary research conducted by Nieves, Takahashi and Chavez examining radio practices in Puerto Rico during the disaster. They conducted in-depth interviews in December 2017 with funds from a Quick Response Grant awarded by the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Student scholarships available to attend Society of Environmental Journalists conference

Michigan State University students can apply for scholarships to attend the Oct. 3-7 Society of Environmental Journalists national conference in Flint. The support is offered by the Cooperative Institute of Great Lakes Research.
Students at the nine universities that make up the cooperative are eligible:

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Knight Center director publishes new book on international journalism

Global JRN coversmallerEric Freedman is a co-editor of a new book on challenges facing international journalism. Critical Perspectives on Journalistic Beliefs: Global Perspectives was just published by Routledge.

It provides case studies, many incorporating in-depth interviews and surveys, that examine such issues as journalists’ attitudes toward their contributions to society; the impact of industry and technological changes; culture and minority issues in the newsroom and profession; the impact of censorship and self-censorship; and coping with psychological pressures and physical safety dilemmas.

The book also highlights journalists’ challenges in national and multinational contexts. International scholars, conducting research within a wide range of authoritarian, semi-democratic and democratic systems, examined journalistic practices in the Arab World, Australia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Samoa, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States.

Freedman’s co-editors are Robyn S. Goodman, a professor of Communication Studies at Alfred University, and Elanie Steyn, an associate professor and head of Journalism in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. Goodman earned her Ph.D. at MSU’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences.

Upcoming environmental journalism courses

Here’s the Knight Center lineup of environmental journalism courses for summer and fall 2018 and spring 2019. They’re open to undergrads and grad students in all majors.

Summer 2018

Environmental Advocacy Communications, JRN 472, Section 731, online, 3 credits:
This course will introduce students to environmental advocacy and examine real-world environmental advocacy communications campaigns – including components such as media outreach, action alerts, social media engagement, and the intersection of online/offline activism. Students will get hands-on experience creating a communications plan for an environmental campaign.  No prerequisites.  Instructor: Katie Coleman,

Fall 2018

Environmental Reporting: Crossing Borders, JRN 472, 3 credits
Reporting on US-Canadian transborder environmental issues and events, for great lakes echo, a regional environmental news site with student stories that are reposted worldwide.  Students should be eligible to enter Canada.  Open to all majors.  Prerequisites waived by contacting instructor.  Instructor: Eric Freedman,

Spring 2019

Environmental Reporting: The Great Outdoors, JRN 472, 3 credits
Reporting on rivers, lakes, forests, wildlife, public lands and other environmental issues for Great Lakes Echo, a regional environmental news site with stories that are reposted worldwide.  Open to all majors.  Prerequisites waived by contacting instructor. Instructor: Dave Poulson: