Scripps Howard Foundation Names director for Semester in Washington program

Mon, June 09, 2003 by Judy Clabes

CINCINNATI – Scripps Howard Foundation has named scholar, educator and professional journalist Jody Beck to head its "Semester in Washington" reporting laboratory for college journalism students.Beck, 53, became director of the "Semester in Washington" program effective June 2.She succeeds Martha Wilson, who led the program since 1999. Beck has 24 years experience as a broadcast television and newspaper journalist. She’s been a lecturer at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism since 2001."The Semester in Washington program exists to provide journalism students with a realistic setting where they can learn firsthand what it's like to be a professional journalist working in our nation's capital," said Judith G. Clabes, president and CEO of the Foundation. "The key to the program's success is finding the person with the right credentials and background to serve as mentor and teacher. Jody Beck fits that profile and I'm confident that her appointment will strengthen what already has been a successful academic program.""Semester in Washington" was created by the Foundation in 1998. The program offers students from selected colleges and universities hands-on reporting and editing experience during three full semester sessions and one inter-session. At least three international students participate through a partnership with the International Center for Journalists. The student journalists report for the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire ( and take freelance assignments. Their stories are made available to news organizations around the country.Students work out of an office adjacent to the Scripps Howard News Service Washington bureau. Housing is provided by the Foundation and each student receives a stipend to cover other living expenses while in Washington.As director of “Semester in Washington,” Beck 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. As a lecturer at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Beck taught print and broadcast reporting classes and was editor of Suburban Newsline, an online publication for the work of mid-level print reporting students. Before becoming a lecturer at Maryland, she served as a member of the university's adjunct faculty. From 1999 to 2001 Beck also served as adjunct faculty at Catholic University of America, The American University, Northern Virginia Community College and Montgomery College. Before becoming an educator, Beck worked 16 years as a metro editor and assignment manager for WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. At WRC, she was responsible for coordinating daily news coverage plans with the station’s managing editor. She came to WRC from The Washington Star, where she began her career as a professional journalist shortly after she graduated from college. Beck started at the Star in 1973, taking dictation and serving as a freelance writer. Two years later she was reporting for the newspaper's metro staff. She also served as an assistant metro editor and copy editor before the newspaper ceased publication in 1981.Beck has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes.

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