Foundation launches "Semester in Washington" study program

Tue, October 06, 1998 by Judy Clabes

CINCINNATI, Ohio – Scripps Howard Foundation will launch a special studies program in January that will give college-level journalism students practical, on-the-job experience working in a Washington, D.C., news bureau. The Foundation also announced today that Charlotte Grimes, a visiting assistant professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, has been named director of the “Semester in Washington” program.Grimes, 49, has been a national correspondent and columnist on leave from the Washington bureau of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She resigned from the newspaper this month to join the Foundation’s Washington program. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for journalism students to gain first hand experience in the most important news center in the country and perhaps the world,” said Judith G. Clabes, president and CEO of the Foundation. “We’re extremely fortunate that Charlotte Grimes will be heading up the program. Her unparalleled depth of knowledge, talent and experience will be invaluable to the college journalists who are selected to participate.”“Semester in Washington” will be offered in three sessions – fall, winter/spring and summer - to 15 students per year, five students per session. The first session will be Jan. 18-April 23. Dates for the other 1999 sessions will be announced.Students will come from selected colleges and universities.Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and the Indiana University School of Journalism – Scripps Howard Foundation’s major partners – have first option to send one student each per session. Other schools will have the option of sending students on a rotating basis.The University of Tennessee, the University of Florida and Hampton University will join O.U. and I.U. in sending students to the first session. “This new initiative demonstrates how important our partnership is in ensuring that young journalists gain superb professional training,” said Daniel Riffe, interim director of O.U.’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. “We are excited about the opportunity to make the innovative ‘Semester in Washington’ program a valuable experience for our students.”As director of “Semester in Washington,” Ms. Grimes will be working directly with the students, giving them story assignments, working with them on story development and finding outlets for their work. She also will present a weekly “Press and Politics” seminar. Students will work out of an office adjacent to the Scripps Howard News Service Washington bureau. Housing will be provided by the Foundation. Students will each receive a $1,000 scholarship provided through their universities.“The program will enrich students with real-world skills in their craft, with opportunities to learn from some of the country’s best journalists, and with in-depth experience in Washington’s living laboratory of the press and politics,” Grimes said. “Our goal is to help the next generation of journalists inherit the best traditions and practices of a free press in a democratic society.” Besides her position at Syracuse, Grimes was a Fellow at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy in the spring of 1998. She also was Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University from September 1996 to February 1997.Her assignments as correspondent and columnist for the Post-Dispatch included covering Congress, presidential campaigns, national politics, international trade and health care policy. She has received several state, local and national awards for investigative reporting and feature writing and has been nominated several times for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. She joined the Post-Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter and was assigned to the Washington bureau in 1985.Grimes is a graduate of East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., where she received a bachelor’s degree in sociology, with a minor in journalism.Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarship, internships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes.