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JEM Junior Selected for Carnegie-Knight News21 Program

Sophie GrosserodeJEM junior Sophie Grosserode was selected to participate in the highly competitive 2019 Carnegie-Knight News21 Program.   She will join top journalism students from 19 universities to conduct a major investigation into disaster recovery in the US.  Their work will culminate in a series of multimedia articles exploring many angles to the story.

Grosserode, an award-winning student journalist, has written stories for the Maryville Daily Times and for 91.9 FM WUOT. Her radio story about the challenges of summer heat for the homeless won the Tennessee Associated Press Best Show & First Place Radio Investigation in 2017. The story can be heard here: She also participated in CCI’s 2018 Global Scholars Program in Sydney, Australia and completed an internship as part of the program.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provides core support for the News21 program. Individual fellows are supported by their universities as well as a variety of foundations, news organizations, and individual donors. Grosserode’s participation in News21 is made possible through a generous gift from CCI Board of Visitors Chair John T. Williams (BS/JEM ’71) and his wife, Patty (IS ’86), of Kingsport, Tennessee.

News21 is headquartered at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It was established by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to demonstrate that college journalism students can produce innovative, in-depth multimedia projects on a national scale.

Carnegie-Knight News21 Executive Editor Jacquee Petchel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, will lead journalism students as they examine how local and federal governments allocate the funds to communities affected by disasters.

“We have seen a continual barrage of weather-related disasters, from hurricanes and wildfires to tornadoes and snowstorms, take their toll on communities across the country,” Petchel said. “What we’ll be investigating is how federal and local governments have handled the billions and billions of dollars spent on disaster recovery, as well as how communities across the country have fared over the years — decades after the fact.”

Following the seminar, students move into paid summer fellowships, during which they work out of a newsroom at the Cronkite School and travel across the country to report and produce their stories. The students’ stories and multimedia will be posted on the project’s own destination website. Portions of previous investigations have been published by major news organizations including The Washington Post, NBC News, the Center for Public Integrity and USA Today, as well as many non-profit news websites.

News21 projects have included investigations into voting rights, post-9/11 veterans, marijuana laws, guns in America, drinking-water safety and hate crimes, among other topics. The projects have won numerous awards, including five EPPY Awards from Editor  & Publisher magazine, two Student Edward R. Murrow Awards, and a host of honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hearst Awards Program, considered the Pulitzer Prizes of collegiate journalism.

Previous CCI fellows include: Andrew Capps (BS/JEM ’18), Bliss Zechman (BS/JEM ’17), Taylor Gilmore (BS/JEM ’16), Rilwan Balogun (BS/JEM ’15), and Jackie DelPilar (BS/JEM ’14).