Two recent DCU journalism graduates, Rosanna Cooney and Catherine Devine have been awarded fellowships on the 2018 Veronica Guerin News21 programme at Arizona State University. Rosanna Cooney graduated from the Masters in Journalism and Catherine Devine graduated from the BA in Journalism.
They will join journalism students from North American universities to conduct a major investigation into hate crimes in the U.S. as part of the Carnegie-Knight News21 multimedia reporting initiative.
The students are participating in a spring semester seminar in which they are conducting research, interviewing experts and beginning their reporting. The seminar is taught in person and via video conference by Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post and Cronkite’s Weil Family Professor of Journalism, and News21 Executive Editor Jacquee Petchel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former senior editor for investigations and enterprise at the Houston Chronicle.
“We chose hate crimes and hate incidents as this year’s timely News21 topic because of the apparent increase throughout the country of such acts – from bullying and vandalism to assaults and murders – involving racial, religious, nationality, gender and sexual orientation bias,” Downie said. “With nearly 40 student journalists participating in the project, we are doing research and reporting in all 50 states. They are looking for patterns of hate incidents and hate group activities and the response of law enforcement and governments.”
Following the seminar, students move into paid summer fellowships, during which they work out of a newsroom at the Cronkite School and travel across the country to report and produce their stories.
“We will be able to do what many newsrooms cannot, which is to deploy dozens of student journalists to investigate the culture of hate and related acts of violence in every state in the nation,” Petchel said. “Not only do recent attacks on people of different races and religions call for it, it is the right thing to do in the name of public service journalism.”
Over the past eight years, Carnegie-Knight News21 projects have included investigations into voting rights, post-9/11 veterans, marijuana laws and guns in America, among other topics. The projects have won numerous awards, including four EPPY Awards from Editor & Publisher magazine, the Student Edward R. Murrow Award for video excellence, and a host of honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hearst Awards Program, considered the Pulitzer Prizes of collegiate journalism.
Headquartered at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, News21 was established by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to demonstrate that college journalism students can produce innovative, in-depth multimedia projects on a national scale.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provides core support for the News21 program. Individual fellows are supported by their universities as well as a variety of foundations, news organizations and philanthropists.