Merrill Brown to lead News21, Carnegie/Knight effort

Former MSNBC.com honcho Merrill Brown, author of the recent Carnegie Report on the future of news, will play a key role in the rollout of the Carnegie/Knight effort to improve journalism education–and hopefully news presentation and production–as an outgrowth of that initiative.

Brown will become the national director of News 21, aka News for the 21st Century, a significant piece of the effort specifically focused on what he describes as “coordinating efforts at four of the universities to produce important journalism, creating new ways to deliver and present it and launching an Internet site to serve as the platform for the project.”

Brown’s presumed bosses will be the deans at the four J-schools involved:

  • Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University
  • Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Loren Ghiglione, dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University
  • Geoffrey Cowan, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California
  • Alex S. Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University

Funding comes from the Carnegie and Knight foundations, which are kicking in $4.1 million for the first two years of operation.