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Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: August 18, 2011

After launching the first social media fellowship program for journalists in the nation this year, the Kiplinger Program of Public Affairs Journalism has also moved to a new campus home.  The long-standing university program, which allows mid-career journalists to learn the new skills and approaches they need in a digital age, is now based in University Communications and will be located at WOSU.

“We’ve had a strong partnership with University Communications over the years, and are excited about the program’s new direction and home,” said Kiplinger Director Debra Jasper. “We have so much in common with WOSU, and share its strong commitment to journalism and innovative approaches.”

The move comes as the Kiplinger Program completes its shift from a six-month academic fellowship program to a shorter-term executive leadership program that helps journalists learn new digital skills and tools. Jasper said the 2011 fellowship class, for example, learned how to leverage Facebook, tweet strategically, better understand search engine optimization, and take advantage of emerging news models.

The shift to the new format attracted a world-class field of journalists this spring, from top newsrooms such as CNN, Washington Post, Kyiv Post, 60 Minutes, NPR, Frontline, El Tiempo, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today.

The three-month fellowship brings journalists to campus for seven intensive days of digital media sessions, and then provides coaching, webinars and other training to reporters once they return to their newsrooms. Fellows can also nominate an editor to attend a shorter-version of the fellowship.

“The Kiplinger Program is one of the most advanced digital media programs for journalists in the country,” Tom Katzenmeyer, senior vice president of University Communications said. “We’re thrilled to be collaborating closely with them, and of course WOSU’s journalism focus makes it an ideal place for the program to be housed.” Katzenmeyer also noted that University Communications had worked closely with the program on two previous national conferences for journalists—one on alternative energy and another on climate change.

Knight Kiplinger, trustee of the Kiplinger Foundation and editor in chief of The Kiplinger Letter and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, said the deep demand for the Kiplinger Program’s new offerings show that the program’s move toward shorter-term fellowships was the right one. Nearly 600 journalists from 56 countries applied to take part in the 2011 class. “Newsrooms today are making a rapid transition to social media reporting and journalists need to get up speed quickly,” he said. “The Kiplinger Program helps them stay relevant in a digital age.”

The new approaches are very much in line with the program’s rich history of journalism innovation. The Kiplinger Program was created on Ohio State’s campus in 1973 by Austin Kiplinger in honor of his father, W.M. Kiplinger, one of the university’s first journalism graduates in 1912.

W.M. pioneered a new kind of journalism when he became publisher of The Kiplinger Letter and later Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. He has been described by his son as “a dedicated journalist, a muckraker and an inspiration to young journalists… a very original thinker.”