A University of South Carolina School of Journalism alumnus believes that these current tough economic times have taught us many things including the fact that we need journalists who are better trained in the fields of Business and FInance and Kenneth Baldwin is willing to put his money on it. A Columbia native and 1949 alumnus of the University, Baldwin has presented a $500-thousand gift to the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications to establish the Baldwin Business and Financial Journalism Endowment Fund. It is the school’s largest gift that is aimed at teaching and learning. A former business editor and executive with Landmark Coimmunications in Norfolk, Virginia, Baldwin says young jourmalists need to sharpen their understanding of reporting on Business and Financial matters.
“There is a real need for it. Reporters need to be equipped with all the skills that they can garner. They need the specialized training which may not have been part of the curriculum in years past.”The income generated from the endowment will provide students with training that will support research, student assistantships, and related programs.
USC College of JournalIsm Director Dr. Carol Pardun says the funds will allow the College more flexibility in the offerings and opportunities it presents to students and faculty year to year. “One year we might give scholarships to a group of students who are studying Business Journalism, one year we may have research opportunities for faculty to work with students, and we might create a course one year. The possiblilities are limitless.” Pardun says financial literacy is integral to an informed citizenry, especially in today’s uncertain times.
USC Dean of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies Charles Bierbauer is a former CNN senior White House correspondent. Bierbauer says when he thinks of the opportunities Baldwin’s gift will create for young Journalism students, he reflects on his early years in college. “When I was in college I had one course in Economics and when I was A White House correspondent I spent about a decade reporting on the federal budget year after year. time after time. So when you look back you say it would have helped me if I’d spent more time taking a look at areas related to business.”
Bierbauer says thanks to Baldwin’s generous gift a number of Journalism students at USC will have that opportunity.