AUSTIN, Texas—The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at The University of Texas at Austin has been created through a $2 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The Knight Center will strengthen the efforts of Latin American and Caribbean journalists in developing standards and practices essential to ensuring freedom of the press. The center will identify and assist journalists to create institutions dedicated to defense of press freedom and high standards of professional journalism, organizing permanent initiatives that will contribute to sustained democratic processes in the region.
The Knight Center will pursue its goals through four major initiatives:
- professional training programs for journalists;
- support of institutions that promote high standards of journalism in Latin America;
- creation of an international forum to develop solutions to key problems facing Latin American journalists; and
- development of a major, multilingual resource on the Internet.
Rosental Alves is the center’s director. A prominent Latin American journalist and noted international correspondent, Alves has announced the center’s first program, a conference entitled “Investigative Journalism: Ethics, Techniques, Dangers” that will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 30-31, 2002.
“The considerable resources of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas will be based not only upon the College of Communication’s substantial faculty expertise, but also upon the wealth of other scholarly work under way on campus relating to Latin America,” said Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “The creation of the center supports one of my major goals for the university, which is to solidify our position as a leading center of expertise on Latin America by expanding our ties there.”
Hodding Carter III, president and CEO of the Knight Foundation, said that foundation staff and trustees found the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas to be “an excellent opportunity to support and expand sound journalistic practices throughout the region.”
“This four-year project will allow the creation of a system of permanent and self-sustained activity in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Ellen Wartella, dean of the College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. “The University’s Knight Chair in Journalism has already initiated work in that direction. The establishment of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas will allow us to expand our outreach.”
“Latin America and the Caribbean are regions where democracy is always under construction, and the press has been the vanguard of that movement,” said Rosental Alves, Knight Chair in International Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin. “The ultimate goal of this project is to elevate the standards of the journalistic craft in the region to better serve the civil societies in their efforts to consolidate democracy.”
Established in 1950, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.