Cox Center Receives Knight Contract to Develop Mid-career Program Evaluation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has given the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research a contract for $73,800 to help the Miami foundation develop an evaluation plan for the various mid-career training programs for journalists it funds.

The project, which began in July, involves an overview of the various Knight programs and what is known about their impact on the field, an assessment of the status of mid-career training for journalists generally, and a plan for evaluation of a select number of Knight funded journalism mid-career training programs.

Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker will head the project, which will be completed by the end of 2001. The Knight Foundation will decide at that time what, if any, evaluation it wishes to undertake of its various mid-career training programs.

The Knight Foundation's Dr. John Bare, Director of Program Development and Evaluation, is spearheading the work at the Knight Foundation.

"This is an important opportunity for the Cox Center," Dr. Becker said. "Mid-career training, albeit for journalists from outside the United States, is at the heart of the work of the Center, and learning more about the effectiveness of various types of training is helpful. In addition, several of the Knight-funded programs include foreign journalists in their activities."

The Knight Foundation training programs at universities around the country, including the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics And Business Journalism at Columbia University, John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists at Stanford University, and Knight Foundation Fellowship in Law for Journalists Program at Yale.

The Knight Foundation also funds the Knight International Press Fellowship Program operated by the International Center for Journalists in Washington. Knight International Press Fellows are American journalists who provide assistance to journalists abroad. The Cox Center conducted an evaluation of the ICFJ program in 1999.

The focus of the domestic evaluation will be on the consequences of the mid-career training for those who participate in them, for the media organizations where the journalists work, for journalistic practice generally, and for the public the media serve.