A message from Director Brooke Kroeger

May 11, 2011

A message from Brooke Kroeger, Director, NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

May 11, 2011

Dear Students,

Indulge me for an announcement and a review of the past six years at the completion of my second and last term as the buck-stops-here designate for our academic mission at NYU Journalism. The time has come to pass that buck to Professor Perri Klass, M.D. Starting September 1, she succeeds me as chair of Journalism and director of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, an appointment I could not be more pleased or thrilled to endorse.

Just a word about the extraordinary Dr. Klass, who also just happens to be member of the NYU Medical School faculty, a pediatrician of national prominence, and a regular columnist for the New York Times. As a member of our faculty since 2006, she has enlivened our work with her prodigious talent, her energy, her wisdom, her humor, and her wide array of extracurricular interests, from opera to baseball to knitting. We could not be in better hands.

Dr. Klass will be ably assisted by some familiar faces in the department governance group: Associate Professor Stephen Solomon, who remains as Associate Director of the Institute; Associate Professor Charles Seife, who moves from Director of Undergraduate Studies to Director of Graduate Studies, replacing Dr. Klass, and Professor Pamela Newkirk, who becomes Director of Undergraduate Studies.

As for the six years just behind us, what a time this has been to serve you. We have moved headlong into an uncertain but endlessly exciting age for our field, staking our claim as a digital innovator and upholder of journalism’s most essential values.

To better prepare you, we redesigned our undergraduate curriculum and revamped our graduate construct. We significantly expanded our alumni, student advisement and career services operations and nearly doubled the size of our full-time faculty. Into the journalism professoriate we have brought Mohamad Bazzi, Ted Conover, Frankie Edozien, Dan Fagin, Meryl Gordon, Pete Hamill, Lee Hotz, Dr. Klass, James McBride, Yvonne Latty, Suketu Mehta, Katie Roiphe, Jason Samuels, and Charles Seife. Starting this fall, Jason Maloney and Clay Shirky join us, too.

We created new academic programs. For undergraduates, we instituted new tracks in Media Criticism and the brand new Computational and Digital Journalism. At the graduate level, we stopped dividing our students by medium in the usual j-school manner and reconfigured our offerings into ten small, customized subject-specific areas that embrace all media platforms. New to our graduate scheme are Studio 20, Literary Reportage, Reporting New York, Reporting the Nation, and Global and Joint Program Studies. They join Science, Health and Environmental Reporting; Business and Economic Reporting; Cultural Reporting and Criticism; News and Documentary and Magazine Writing, which have long been in place. To span the world more completely, “GloJo” extended its own world reach by adding new joint programs with Religious Studies, International Relations, Africana Studies, Russian & Slavic Studies, East Asian Studies and European & Mediterranean Studies to its existing joint programs with Near Eastern Studies, French Studies and Latin American Studies.

In 2008, the university’s designation of the department as an Institute positioned us to respond in more public ways to the field’s roiling changes and crises. Last year, at the initiative of Professor Stephen Solomon, we began sponsoring a $20,000 award to an independent journalist to report on an under-covered topic in the public interest. Prof. Mitch Stephens led our naming of the past decade’s ten most important works of journalism, Prof. Dan Fagin’s SHERP students started producing the heavily trafficked Scienceline, and GloJo students launched Latin American News Dispatch.

Our collaboration with the New York Times for The Local East Village has involved Professors Jay Rosen, Jason Samuels, Rich Jones and myself. This summer, we hold our first NYU Hyperlocal Newsroom Summer Academy, an exciting new program aimed at high school and college students both from NYU and well beyond. We have sponsored for the second time paid summer NYU-NYTimes.com internships at The Local, this year for graduate students selected in a nationwide competition. Also this summer, we host our first Hyperlocal Conclave for regional players in that sector. These elements all help make up the ecosystem of a news and information site for our community, The East Village, and an innovation lab for some crucial experimentation for the future of journalism in the hyperlocal space.

Also in this period, as in the years to come, NYU Journalism has been the venue for hundreds of high-profile events, panels and conferences and our traditional outreach efforts, such as the Urban Journalism Workshop, which resumes after a brief hiatus next summer. These opportunities bring the journalism happening just outside our doors into our galactic space at 20 Cooper Square, which was fortuitously inaugurated in 2007.

For those who might wonder, I’ll be on sabbatical for the year, working on helping to grow The Local East Village into the innovative self-supporting platform we intend it to be, and on overseeing our Hyperlocal Newsroom Summer Academy. I’ll also be finishing up an open-source digital archive of 150 years of significant undercover reporting projects in time for the release next spring of my book, Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception. Professor Bazzi will stand in as GloJo director but I’ll still be assisting him behind the scenes. I’ll be back on the schedule to teach Honors and perhaps a new graduate class in fall of 2012.

To those who are graduating this year and next, and to those who are with us for just a while more, please accept my deepest thanks for all you do to make this place so remarkable — along with my warmest wishes.

Brooke Kroeger