MIT's Knight Science Journalism Fellowships program has been awarded a $407,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to pursue two new initiatives to increase the quality and quantity of science writing in American news media.
One will be a biannual series of intensive, one-week workshops for journalists in specific areas of science and technology. Instructors will be drawn largely from the MIT faculty.
The first Deep Science Fellowship, as the new program is called, is to be on genes, genomics and genetic technology. Twelve science writers will be chosen to attend. Later sessions will be on computers and electronic technology, neuroscience and global environmental change. Some topics may repeat as demand dictates.
The Knight Fellowships' second new initiative is an annual, three-day seminar for an invited group of high-level executives in the news media. The goal is to raise their awareness of long-range trends in science and engineering that will require more sophisticated news coverage in the near future.
The Knight Fellowship program, be-gun 16 years ago at MIT as the Vann-evar Bush Fellowships, is funded primarily by an John S. and James L. Knight Foundation endowment.
Established in 1950, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation makes national grants in journalism, education and arts and culture. Its fourth program, community initiatives, is concentrated in 26 communities where the Knight brothers published newspapers. The foundation, however, has no affiliation with Knight Ridder.
A version of this article appeared in the March 31, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 24).