The Center for Politics and Governance (CPG) at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin announced today a strategic partnership with the Texas Tribune, a new non-profit, nonpartisan public media organization headquartered in Austin, Texas.
The CPG and the Tribune will collaborate on a number of projects, including a lecture series, events and student internships.
"This is an exciting opportunity for the LBJ School and the university, as this partnership will bring together two organizations committed to improving the public debate during one of the most transformative movements in public communication," said Admiral B. R. Inman, interim dean of the LBJ School. "Digital communication has revolutionized how we learn about world events and how policymakers hear from constituents around the globe. The partnership will bring together two organizations committed to improving the quality of the public debate."
Evan Smith, chief executive officer and editor-in-chief of the Tribune, has been named a Center for Politics and Governance Fellow and has been invited by the LBJ School to teach beginning in the spring 2010 semester. Plans call for Smith to teach a course on the evolution and impact of new media, which will explore the changing role of the media in covering public policy.
"I have immense respect for the LBJ School and this partnership perfectly aligns with what we are trying to do at the Tribune," Smith said. "Our mission is to promote civic engagement and informed discourse, so aligning with this fine institution is exactly on point. "
Smith will also host the center's Perspectives series, which brings elected officials, authors and policy makers to the university to discuss important policy issues and their experiences in developing and implementing those policies.
"We are thrilled to partner with the Texas Tribune as we share a commitment to improving the public discourse on important issues of politics and governance," said Veronica Vargas Stidvent, CPG director. "This is a natural partnership that will further our mission to help our students become effective leaders of the 21st century."
The Center for Politics and Governance is the nexus of the theoretical and practical in the teaching of politics and political leadership. The center teaches not simply how to master the existing system, but to make it function more effectively to achieve better results. The center's mission is to prepare emerging leaders to be more effective by merging theoretical knowledge and practical applications of politics and governance.
Scheduled to begin in fall 2009, the Texas Tribune is a non-profit, nonpartisan public media organization whose mission is to promote civic engagement and discourse on the public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide interest. Based in the Texas capital, the Tribune will publish original news reporting online and host conferences and similar on-the-record, open-to-the-public events. Individual, corporate and foundation philanthropy will provide much of its operating budget. Other revenue sources will include content syndication and multi-platform brand extensions.