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OHIO Kiplinger Program refocuses training, accepting applications for 2022 class

Published: October 25, 2021 Author: Staff reports

The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio University will embark on a new avenue of education for its annual fellowship when it hosts its new class in April 2022.

The program, located within the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and Scripps College of Communication, will transition from teaching digital media skills to focusing on the reporting of the most pressing issues of our time. 

Starting with the 2022 class, each year Kiplinger will welcome a distinct group of journalists from specialized fields of reporting as its fellows. Utilizing top trainers and experts in the field, it will prepare the journalists to more fully understand these topics to enhance their coverage. The first fellowship will focus on climate change. In coming years, the fellowship will address social justice, global pandemics, wealth inequities and poverty, human trafficking and opioid abuse.

“The refocus of Kiplinger’s training is our way of recognizing the reality that certain areas of coverage carry significant impact on human life, from the local level to important global relevance,” Kiplinger Executive Director Kevin Z. Smith said. “Many of these areas lack the requisite level of attention on a regular basis to create a fully informed public.”

Applications for the 2022 class of Kiplinger fellows are open to journalists with at least five years of professional experience. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2021.

For the last 12 years, Kiplinger focused its training on digital media skills, both in its fellowship and its workshops. Smith said because of the mounting loss of journalists, coupled with the national competition to train digitally, it didn’t make sense for Kiplinger to continue focusing on that area.

“Digital media skills are essential and are ever-changing, and we’ll continue those efforts in our workshops around the world, but it was time to rethink the fellowship into something that more competently addresses these areas of reporting that need attention,” he said.

Smith said he envisions 12 fellows to be selected each year with top journalists already covering that topic to serve as trainers.

“The goal is to have the leading journalists already covering climate change or social justice to come to campus to train fellows who need to ramp up their reporting skills so that we develop a broader spectrum of specialized reporting. Additionally, our plan is to invite a few leading experts in those fields to come to campus where they will share expertise,” Smith said. “Imagine having a leading climatologist on campus to share their knowledge.”

The Kiplinger Program was created in 1972 with generous donations from the Kiplinger family in memory of their publications’ founder and leader Willard M. Kiplinger, a 1912 journalism graduate of Ohio State University. Over the years Kiplinger has trained more than 1,000 mid-career professional journalists with its fellowship and its alumni are in the most prestigious media outlets in the world as winners of Pulitzers, Hearsts, Emmys, Scripps, Peabodys, Polks and Sigma Delta Chi awards.

The program was at Ohio State from 1972-2019 before transitioning to Ohio University

The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism uses its yearly fellowship to explore the most pressing topics of the times. Focusing on paramount issues, the program explores global, national and local impacts and trains journalists to take on the challenges of improved reporting in these areas.