The Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism

Beginning fall 2019, The Media School at Indiana University will be home to the Michael I. Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism.

Funded by a $6 million gift from alumnus Michael Arnolt (BA’67, journalism), the center will teach and produce high-quality investigative journalism for the state of Indiana and beyond.

The center will conduct multimedia investigative reporting on issues of importance to the residents of Indiana, including matters that reach beyond the state’s borders. The center’s work will be available at no cost to local, regional and national news outlets and will seek to supplement their reporting at a time when many are losing newsroom staff.

Master of Science and undergraduate students will do the reporting, providing them with an opportunity to learn in a real-world setting. Initial funding will provide fellowships for up to four graduate students and scholarships for as many as 10 undergraduates. A director will lead the center and provide editorial guidance.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan center will operate under a charter that guarantees its editorial independence from The Media School and from Indiana University.

For more information, email the center at contact@arnoltcenter.org.

DIRECTOR

Kathleen M. Johnston

Kathleen Johnston, a 30-year veteran of investigative journalism and a Media School visiting professor of practice, will be the center’s founding director starting Aug. 1.

Johnston, an IU alumna, has worked at numerous national and local news organizations, from The Indianapolis News to CBS, the Birmingham Post-Herald to CNN. Her work spans a breadth of topics and media, but her primary focus is investigative reporting.

She has won numerous regional and national honors, including Emmy, Peabody and Murrow awards. In 2017, she received The Media School’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Read more about Johnston

CHARTER

MISSION

The Michael I. Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism is dedicated to educating students in investigative reporting techniques and creating provocative, original journalism for the public in Indiana and beyond. As a working newsroom, it strives to protect the vulnerable, expose wrongdoing, and act as a watchdog in Indiana and nationally.

WHO WE ARE

The Michael I. Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism (the “Center”) is an independent, not for profit, non-partisan entity. It was created with an initial donation of $6 million from Indiana University alumnus Michael I. Arnolt.

While the Center is a legal entity of Indiana University and The Media School, it operates independently of any editorial influence. Specifically, neither the University nor The Media School shall have prior review nor decision-making authority over work undertaken and/or produced by employees or students working at the Center. Content produced by the Center is the responsibility of the Director.

WHAT WE DO

The Center is tasked with producing high-quality investigative journalism with three main goals:

  1. Become an educational endeavor to train the next generation of investigative reporters.
  2. Function as a working newsroom that also serves as a laboratory in the latest techniques of investigative journalism.
  3. Preserve the enterprise of investigative journalism in Indiana and increase the frequency of high quality reporting in the state.

In addition to distributing work through its own platforms, the Center provides finished stories to media outlets free of charge for publication or broadcast.

As a teaching arm of The Media School, the Center offers fellowships to students who wish to pursue a career in investigative reporting. Graduate students accepted as Center fellows will follow a curriculum focused on the discipline of investigative journalism that also allows them to gain expertise in areas such as public policy, environmental issues, and business and finance. The Center will also award scholarships to upper-level undergraduate students interested in investigative reporting.

DIRECTOR

A Director will be appointed and hold a faculty rank deemed appropriate by the Dean of The Media School–in consultation with Media School faculty. The Director will, at the discretion of the Dean and faculty, be assigned to teach Media School courses relevant to the investigative journalism curriculum. Other employees of the Center, and students working at the Center, will work under the ultimate editorial direction of the Director.

ROLE OF THE DEAN AND THE MEDIA SCHOOL

The role of the Dean is to provide material and financial support for the Center. Beyond the initial endowments associated with the Center, the School agrees to use its development resources to seek and increase funding available to the Center. Additionally, the School agrees to provide space suitable to the Center’s needs. As the space needs of the Center evolve, the Center will work together with the School to find mutually agreeable solutions to space issues that arise.

The faculty of the School may provide advice to the Center as desired. The faculty support the articulation of the Center’s mission with the Journalism curriculum. The Director will work closely with Media School academic administrators to assure that educational objectives are being met. From time to time the Director will provide updates and reports to the faculty.

The Center will be reviewed under policies common to all Indiana University centers and institutes.

TRANSPARENCY and ETHICS

The Center is a non-partisan entity and operates under ethical principles that are conventional in the field of journalism. These include openness, transparency, and fairness. The Center follows the Code of Ethics defined by the Society of Professional Journalists. It espouses four key principles:

The Center strives for transparency in its operations and newsgathering. All Center grants and gifts will be acknowledged publicly. Stories that receive funding from specific sources will be identified as such.

This charter was finalized and approved by the Dean of the Media School on November 5, 2018.

Download a PDF of the charter.

AFFILIATED FACULTY

Joseph Coleman

Professor of practice Joseph Coleman covered Latin America, Europe and Asia for the Associated Press for 20 years and served as Tokyo bureau chief for five. Coleman had a hand in the coverage of the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, the genocide in Rwanda, the deaths of Mother Teresa and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and the deadly tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004.

Kelley Benham French

Professor of practice Kelley Benham French was a reporter and editor for 11 years at the Tampa Bay Times. She wrote the Pulitzer Prize-nominated series, “Never Let Go” and the book Juniper, both about the extremely premature birth of her daughter. She’s also edited three Pulitzer-nominated newspaper series.

Thomas French

Professor of practice and Riley Endowed Chair of Journalism Thomas French was a reporter at the Tampa Bay Times for 27 years, specializing in serial narratives. He won the Pulitzer Prize for “Angels & Demons,” a series that chronicled the murder of an Ohio woman and her two teenage daughters. He is author of four books: A Cry in the Night, South of Heaven, Zoo Story and Juniper.

Gerry Lanosga

Associate professor Gerry Lanosga studies the development of journalism as a profession, prize culture in journalism and journalism’s intersections with public policy through investigative reporting and the use of freedom of information laws. He worked nine years as an investigative producer at WTHR-TV and was a columnist for the Indianapolis Star and the Indianapolis News.

Elaine Monaghan

Professor of practice Elaine Monaghan was a foreign correspondent for Reuters, reporting from the former Soviet Union, Ireland, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. She is coauthor of On the Brink: An Insider’s Account of How the White House Compromised American Intelligence, a CIA memoir that was translated into several languages.

Anne Ryder

Senior lecturer Anne Ryder worked as a reporter and anchor for 30 years at WTHR-NBC, WTHI-CBS and WLFI-CBS. She’s reported from Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Albania, Italy and India. She’s earned five national Emmys and has interviewed both the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa one-on-one.

NEWS

Arnolt Center forms partnership with Gray Media Group
June 12, 2019

CNN investigative journalism veteran appointed founding Arnolt Center director
March 22, 2019

Media School receives $6 million gift for investigative journalism center
September 6, 2018