The Peyton Anderson Foundation awarded $1 million on July 29 to the University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism to help fund a newsroom in Phase II building of The Lofts. The newsroom, which occupies about half of the ground floor, will be named the Peyton Anderson Newsroom in honor of the Foundation’s founder.
“The trustees are especially pleased to be working alongside the Knight Foundation to support the establishment of the new Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University,” Karen Lambert, president of the Peyton Anderson Foundation said. “The decision of the University to name the Center’s newsroom for Peyton Anderson seems a fitting tribute to Mr. Anderson, who was the face of journalism for many years in this region and whose generosity will continue to make Macon and institutions within Macon, such as Mercer University, stronger for years to come.”
The Peyton Anderson Newsroom will be primarily used for Macon’s newspaper, The Telegraph. The Telegraph’s staff began moving into the newsroom August 14.
The Center for Collaborative Journalism is a partnership between Mercer’s Journalism and Media Studies Departments, The Telegraph and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB). The Center for Collaborative Journalism employs a model similar to a teaching hospital. Student journalists and media studies majors will work and study along side professionals from GPB and The Telegraph.
Within the Peyton Anderson Newsroom, journalism and media studies students from Mercer will experience a real-world newsgathering. The money from the Peyton Anderson Foundation will be used to give students and professionals access to a high-tech working environment.
Once established, the Center for Collaborative Journalism will reach out to engage the community in an unprecedented public forum. A pilot program of the center will be a thorough student-led coverage of the Macon Miracle and its effects on the community.
The Center’s facility will also include classrooms and offices for Mercer’s Journalism and Media Studies Department. Journalism and Media Studies students have first pick for housing in the level above the center.
“Even with all of the communication tools available, there is no substitute for face-to-face collaboration,” Tim Regan-Porter, the center’s director, said “Having students work and study in a daily newsroom fosters an energy, creative spirit and real-world knowledge acquisition that we believe will benefit students, The Telegraph, GPB and the community.”
The $1 million from the Peyton Anderson Foundation is being awarded in addition to the $4.6 million the University received from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“We are deeply grateful to the trustees of the Peyton Anderson Foundation for funding the Center’s Peyton Anderson Newsroom, a key component of this nationally significant initiative in journalism education and community engagement,” Mercer President William D. Underwood said. “These two foundations have made it possible to launch the Center in new facilities designed to take full advantage of this unique partnership.”