By Beverly Blake:
Like many communities across America, Macon, Georgia is facing a future that could lack the news and information we must have to make important, local decisions. So what do we do? Do we sit back and simply hope it doesn’t happen? In our case, Knight is partnering with our great friends at Mercer University, Georgia Public Broadcasting/GPB Media, and The Telegraph, our daily McClatchy paper, to create the future we seek - to build what we believe will be a new model of journalism education rooted squarely in building community.
The Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University brings together these three strong, public spirited organizations to benefit the people of Macon and to help us see ourselves not only as we are, but as we can be. Through a shared newsroom, the students will work alongside professional journalists to focus more on the critical issues of our community and specific changes to make our situation better. They will adapt, create and test new-media technologies for greater reach and audience engagement. And they will spread the conversation to the community and invite participation by the members of our community.
The center is an example of what can happen when you have forward thinking people who truly care about the future of the place they call home. We care about Macon and Middle Georgia, and want to train 21st century journalists not only to report on the news, but to be responsive to the communities in which they live, work and make their futures.
I’m proud of Macon, and want it to grow and thrive. A vibrant information ecosystem will assure that. We are launching an aspirational, exciting experiment that we hope can make that happen - for Macon and communities all across America.
The Telegraph covered the launch of the center and its role in the collaboration in an article titled "Mercer, GPB and Telegraph form novel partnership."
Watch video of today's announcement about the launch of The Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University: