The Center for Sustainable Journalism receives grant to launch juvenile justice news bureau at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

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The Tow Foundation awards $255,000 to establish New York bureau KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 26, 2013)…

Georgia (Jan 29, 2013)The Tow Foundation awards $255,000 to establish New York bureau

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 26, 2013) — The Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University has taken an innovative approach to covering juvenile justice issues by opening a university-based news and information bureau in metropolitan New York. The bureau is housed at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and is funded by a three-year, $255,000 grant from The Tow Foundation, located in New Canaan, Conn.

 Starting this month, CUNY journalism students, led by journalist and adjunct professor Daryl Khan, began producing in-depth stories related to juvenile justice for publication at The Center’s online Juvenile Justice Information Exchange ( and in the print and online editions of Youth Today, its recently acquired publication for youth service administrators, government officials, policy makers and funders. The New York Metro Bureau will further the mission of the Center, founded in 2009, to develop financially sustainable approaches to producing high-quality and ethically sound journalism.

 “We are grateful to The Tow Foundation, whose generous contribution will help us demonstrate that via solid journalism, the unheard voices of the disenfranchised can be amplified and all people can have a voice in their community,” said Leonard Witt, executive director of the Center for Sustainable Journalism and Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair of Communication at Kennesaw State.  “The stories produced in this project will help the general public, advocates, policymakers and lawmakers better understand the issues impacting the lives of youth involved in juvenile justice systems and how those systems can be changed for the better.”

 The Tow Foundation funding will cover the cost of operating the New York Metro Bureau at CUNY during the first year. Continued funding in the second and third years will be “conditional and contingent” upon the Center’s ability to generate additional funding and create two more university-affiliated youth justice bureaus.

The New York Metro Bureau at CUNY is part of a larger proposed project called the Juvenile Justice J-School Collaborative, which seeks to create five news and information bureaus at cooperating universities around the country, Witt explained.

“Expanding the Collaborative provides a unique opportunity to broaden the conversation about juvenile justice nationally while providing more university students with hands-on journalism experience and an education in juvenile justice issues,” he said.

The bureau concept relies on partnerships with journalism programs and professors who will report and write in-depth stories while also mentoring students who will file their own stories. Khan, a Brooklyn-based journalist who concentrates on criminal justice issues, has written for The New York Times, Newsday and the Boston Globe.


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 countries.

The Tow Foundation, a family foundation located in Connecticut, structures grants that provide leverage to the recipients, making possible things that are far greater than what could be achieved alone. Investments focus on support of innovative programs in the areas of groundbreaking medical research, cultural institutions, higher education and vulnerable children and families, with a concentrated initiative on juvenile justice reform.  For more information, visit




A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit