Schieffer School to add business journalism to its curriculum


    A $1.67 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation will allow the Schieffer School of Journalism and ten other schools to add a business journalism specialty course.

    TCU is one of the first four universities in the nation selected for the Reynolds Visiting Business Journalism Professor Program. Eventually, 11 universities will share in the $1.67 million grant to add the specialty to their journalism programs over the next five years. 

    The visiting professorship is a five-year program initiating a business journalism program at the selected schools.

    “We were impressed by the quality of TCU’s proposal and the intelligence of its long term plan for business journalism,” President of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism Andrew Leckey said.

    TCU will have a professor teach business journalism on-campus for one semester. The professor would begin fall of 2012, Director of the Schieffer School of Journalism John Lumpkin said.

    Students would have the opportunity to learn from an experienced business journalist. The professor would create relationships between local businesses and students. The center and TCU would choose from a pool of qualified professors, Leckey said.

    “[The chosen professor will] seed the program,” Lumpkin said.

    Student enrolled in the class would build portfolios with published stories and multimedia to prepare them for job searching, Lumpkin said.

    “It is one thing to learn the basics of the financial world, but to learn how you write about it or broadcast it or put it online is something entirely different,” Leckey said.

    The professor would be a positive resource for faculty and could stay longer if TCU and the professor agreed, Leckey said.

    Lumpkin and others filled out the application for the program early this year and was excited to be selected.

    New media platforms are multiplying and specialist reporting is a must for reporters. TCU offers public affairs reporting, sports reporting and would add business reporting to its course list, Lumpkin said. 

    The business journalism class will be part of the curriculum for five years after the first semester.

    Business journalism is a growth industry but if students are not offered courses in the field they would not consider pursuing it, Leckey said.

    The grant continues for five years and business journalism courses stay in the course rotation.

    The Schieffer School should be commended for the quality of its efforts, the school and its students, Leckey said.

    The story was edited Sept. 20 at 10 a.m. to clarify TCU and ten other universities will share in a $1.67 million grant for a business journalism professorship.