Alfred Friendly Press Partners and the Missouri School of Journalism formalized a partnership that brings together the world’s oldest and most prestigious journalism school with a journalism fellowship program that’s trained more than 300 reporters, editors and broadcasters from 82 countries over a span of four decades and is unique in its duration and reach.
Missouri School of Journalism Dean David Kurpius and Alfred Friendly Foundation President Randall Smith announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding during a luncheon held for the Class of 2016 Fellows at the Stueve Siegel Hanson law firm in Kansas City.
The purpose of the MOU is to continue to develop and expand a framework of cooperation between the independent foundation and the university to develop mutually beneficial programs.
“The connection here is one that needs to continue to grow and blossom,” Kurpius said at the event. “I hope that we can really move forward and create more opportunities for great Fellows to get great training at the world’s first journalism school to go out and build the network and go back home and change the world.”
Missouri journalism faculty members have been training Fellows for years, and in January 2014 the Alfred Friendly Foundation moved the fellowship program from Washington, D.C., to the “j-school” campus in Columbia, Missouri. The office is in the Reynolds Journalism Institute, which engages media professionals and scholars in programs aimed at strengthening journalism in the service of democracy. RJI generates and tests new techniques and new thinking that promise to improve journalism.
Alfred Friendly Foundation Chairman Jonathan Friendly, whose parents established the fellowship program in 1984, said during the event that the partnership with the Missouri School of Journalism coincides with an expansion of the fellowship program’s scope.
“We’ve changed very deeply our goal,” Friendly said. “We decided we’re not just training individual journalists to be excellent, which we are doing; we’re going to lift up journalism around the world. It’s a larger aspiration. We cannot have that aspiration without Randy Smith and without the Missouri School of Journalism. It is the combination of those forces that makes me so deeply optimistic.”