AHF awarded grant for journalism program series

The Federation of State Humanities Councils has awarded Alabama Humanities Foundation with a $30,000 grant as part of a continuing series of programs across the country focusing on the role of journalism and the humanities in a democratic society.

It marks the second time AHF has earned this grant, a national initiative/partnership between the Mellon Foundation and the Federation.

AHF will provide humanities-based training for youth and adult community members interested in exploring the practice of solutions journalism in rural Alabama places. While providing solutions journalism training, the workshop will address the humanities’ traditional role in the training of journalists and in the development over time of the field of journalism.

The project will take place over the course of 18 months in 2020-2021 and will center around a three-day workshop experience to take place June 24 – 26, 2020, at Auburn University’s Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities.

The project will have public outcomes in the forms of participant-led forums held in the participants’ communities in Fall 2020/Winter 2021, as well as reporting on the project via statewide newspapers and blogs. Pulitzer Prize winners will serve as faculty in the training and as presenters in public forums.

Nan Fairley of the Auburn University School of Communication and Journalism will serve as lead scholar.

In addition to the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University, The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences and the David Mathews Center, partners include members of the PACERS Rural Newspaper Network, part of the work of a multidecade Alabama cooperative of small rural public schools and their communities.

Democracy and the Informed Citizen seeks to strengthen media literacy through community conversations and other public programs with journalists, scholars and local and national organizations.

“The councils are uniquely equipped to bring journalists into meaningful conversation with the communities they serve, to help citizens distinguish trustworthy from unreliable news and to explore the historic role that journalism and the humanities have played in informing Americans,” according to Esther Mackintosh, president of FSHC.