John S. and James L. Knight Foundation


Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism


Evaluator and Learning Expert


The Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism is a joint effort between the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication, and the University of California at Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

The goal of this collaboration is to increase journalism excellence, promote diversity, and use new media for quality journalism. The method used to achieve this goal is primarily to provide journalists with short, intensive seminars to keep them abreast of current developments in their areas, faciliate the transition to new media (web-based reporting), and expand the reach of current training efforts through the web broadcasting and virtual classrooms, as well as the multiplier effect (conference participants teaching their peers when they return to their newsrooms).

Conference topics include education, affordable housing, bio-terrorism, business, among others. Subtopics within education, for example, included: No Child Left Behind, Vouchers, Finance, and Equity.

Prominent speakers and experts in the field have been recruited, including the Secretary of Education Rod Paige.

Workshops focus on new media skills such as storyboarding, weblogs, webpage development. Specific related skill sets are developed including using the videocamera, editing video, and reporting in front of a camera. In addition, web page development is facilitated with software training, includiing Dreamweaver, Flash, iMovie, and Final Cut Pro. Issues confronting the industry are also explored ranging from the economic viabilty of online newspapers to the future of wi-fi (free wireless internet use).

Dr. Fetterman has been contracted as a learning expert to help them implement their conferences, seminars, and workshops using evaluation as a formative feedback tool or mechanism. In addition, he is helping them reflect on their efforts as they attempt to transform their face-to-face conferences and seminars into online training seminars. He also provides educational technology technical assistance as needed.

The conferences and workshop reports and online surveys require a password to access and are only available for the clients at this time. However, a brief video of the highlights of one conference is available upon request. It provides a glimpse into the speakers' and participants' excitement and engagement.

Director Vikki Porter congratulating conference participant

upon completion of the training.