Josh Benson Will Report and Produce Multimedia Projects for Major National Media
By Caroline Murray
Columbia, Mo. (Feb. 3, 2015) — Master’s student Josh Benson will represent the Missouri School of Journalism in the prestigious News21 program for 2015.
Benson is one of 20 students from 18 universities selected for the program, which gives talented journalism students the opportunity to report and produce in-depth, multimedia projects for major national media. He will receive a summer fellowship of $7,500 and additional money to travel to be part of the News21 reporting team.
“I’m looking forward to working face-to-face with some extraordinary journalism students and professors,” Benson said. “It will be an honor to represent Mizzou.”
The topic for this year’s program will be the ongoing debate and changing attitudes about the regulation of marijuana.
“The News21 program has an outstanding track record of tackling national issues and showing the power of young students when they’re guided by veteran journalists,” said Lynda Kraxberger, associate dean for undergraduate studies. “This year’s group will be taking on an area of great interest that has yet to be fully explored at a national level: marijuana deregulation.”
Benson, who is studying investigative reporting, was chosen by the selection committee because of his strong skills in his area of study, as well as in computer-assisted reporting. His work on a three-part series for the Columbia Missourian about commercial dog breeding impressed the selection committee. Members of the committee included Associate Professor David Herzog, Associate Professor Mark Horvit and Assistant Professor Amy Simons.
News21 is a program of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It is helping to reshape the news industry and change the way journalism is taught in the U.S. Since 2006, more than 500 top journalism students from across the country have participated in News21. Their work has appeared in major national publications, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, the Center for Public Integrity and NBC.com. News21 is headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.