CSC Journalism Instructor Part Of Multi-Part Series On The Future Of Journalism

By Tena L. Cook, CSC Marketing Coordinator

Chadron State College journalism instructor and student newspaper advisor Mike Kennedy is featured in a series of stories in the monthly publication of the National Newspaper Association on preparing future journalists 

Kennedy, a veteran newspaperman before joining the CSC faculty in 2006, is one of 7 journalism teachers from around the country featured in the series in Publisher’s Auxiliary. The July edition introduces each of the 7 with the series running into 2022.

Other representatives of higher education in the series teach journalism at Boston University, Brigham Young University, Georgia Southern University, the University of Illinois, Stony Brook University in Port Washington, New York, and the University of Washington Seattle. The July installment of the series, which will stretch into 2022, included an introduction of each of the professors.

Dean of Liberal Arts Dr. Jim Margetts said Kennedy’s inclusion on the panel indicates how respected he is among his peers.

“Seeing Chadron State College’s name mentioned alongside the other panelists’ institutions will possibly prompt readers to find out more about who we are and what a strong communication program we have here,” Margetts said.

Kennedy said he is humbled and honored to be among his fellow panelists.

“Each has shared encouraging views about the future of our journalism profession and each has provided invaluable insight into their respective programs,” Kennedy said.

The series grew out of a conversation the co-creator of the series, Tonda Rush, had during a meeting of the University of Kansas William Allen White Foundation Trustees.

“As I listened to professors discussing their challenges and outlooks for journalism, it struck me that there was a sizeable knowledge gap between the journalism academy and the newspaper business. Most of our members have little direct awareness of the challenges facing journalism schools, but they do know that the nature of journalism school grads they see in the job market has changed,” said Rush, who is the NNA’s Director of Public Policy.

Rush and Carol Pierce, NNA’s Director of Washington Programs, have developed a conversation with what they call a carefully-selected group of professors to pose questions on the minds of newspaper publishers and editors. 

Kennedy was recommended by Matt Adelman, president of the NNA Foundation, who told Rush he had hired several interns from the CSC program.

Rush, who worked in Scottsbluff previously, said she was aware of CSC’s positive reputation.

“We wanted Mike [on the panel] because we thought he had a good sense of the hands-on training that journalists need to go into the job market. We were looking for people who care about the future of newspapers which is more difficult to find in the academic world than you might imagine. So far, our panel has proven to be spot-on. We have an excellent discussion going on,” Rush said.

Rush said she and Price appreciate Kennedy’s emphasis on teaching news gathering, adding that they “find him to be principled and practical, happy to promote the best features of his program, and optimistic about the graduates he plans to send into the newspaper world.”

“We need hard-nosed reporters who care about their communities and can be effective newsgatherers,” Rush said. “He understands the values that motivate good journalists yet is realistic about the challenges ahead as the business model that has funded journalism for two centuries is fundamentally changing.”

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