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Ignore the second half of the above headline. Don't know what got into me. What's important here is the opportunity to spend an academic year at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism saving the business.
“RJI is looking for solutions for the future of journalism. If you have an idea that you think can transform journalism’s role in society, we want to hear about it,” says the institute's executive director, Pam Johnson.
I pass along her invitation because the local journalists I meet who are most passionately committed to leading journalism through its dark night of the soul are facing an uphill slog. Serious institutional support and a step back from the slam-bang media atmosphere of Chicago might be just what they need. Some quiet time in Columbia, Missouri, meditating along the banks of the Hinkson sounds pretty good — though that might just be the Mizzou alumnus in me talking.
"Take the best idea that you always wanted to develop. Make sure it has the potential to sustain the values, principles and purposes of journalism. Proposals which link technology and journalism are especially sought.... Make sure it will benefit by the opportunities to research and experiment that the nation’s oldest — and one of the largest — journalism schools can provide."
Boil the idea down to no more than three pages and send it in with your resume. (Trust journalists to know how to make something simple. It's what we do.) RJI, which intends to name four visiting fellows for the next academic year (plus two fellows from the Mizzou J-school faculty), says it's reviewing proposals on a "rolling basis." That must mean it hasn't found four yet that measure up. The only deadline is ASAP.
Here's a look at the past fellows and their projects. Journalism remains unreinvented, so they've left plenty of work to do.