Grady public affairs journalism student named National Newspaper Association Foundation Fellow

Lauren McDonald, a junior journalism major with a public affairs emphasis, has been named a National Newspaper Association Foundation Fellow for 2015.

McDonald from Vidalia, Georgia, will attend the NNA conference in Washington, D.C., beginning March 18 and will report from Capitol Hill on immigration issues.

The NNA said the program, now entering its third year, seeks to develop news literacy skills in young journalists by looking at issues from a community newspaper perspective.  Carol Pierce, managing director of the NNA, explained that fellows tackle a national issue with implications in America’s hometowns. “They study with veteran community newspaper journalists to distinguish facts from spin, research an issue, interview key players, and produce a news or interpretive story for publication in hometown media,” Pierce wrote in published material about the program.

McDonald has interned with The Vidalia Advance in her hometown and is working with that newspaper to publish her work from the fellowship.  In addition to her internship, McDonald has worked as a reporter for The Red and Black.

“I am honored to represent Grady as an NNA Foundation Fellow,” McDonald said. “I look forward to visiting Washington, D.C., and making the most of this opportunity to report on such a significant issue.”

McDonald’s participation in the fellowship is sponsored by the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership at Grady College.

“The NNA has created a tremendous training opportunity for promising journalism students, and we’re delighted to be a sponsor,” said Keith Herndon, visiting professor of journalism and part of the Cox Institute faculty. “We are excited that Lauren will be reporting from Washington for her hometown newspaper and learning from industry leaders in community journalism.”

McDonald is Grady’s second participant in the program. Kelsey Kent, now a student at the University of Arkansas Law School, represented Grady as an NNA Foundation Fellow in 2013.

Date: March 17, 2015
Author:  Keith Herndon,
Contact:  Keith Herndon,