University of South Carolina

New graduate fellowship for business journalists

By Megan Sexton, msexton@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-1421

A new fellowship that will allow a business journalist to earn a doctorate degree is being offered by the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications, thanks to a $500,000 gift from a Carolina alumnus.

The Baldwin Business and Financial Graduate Fellowship for Business Journalists is valued at more than $70,000 per year for up to five years, beginning in Fall 2014. The fellowship will last for five years if the journalist starts the program with a bachelor’s degree, and three years if the person starts with a master’s. At completion, the Baldwin Fellow will graduate with a doctorate in mass communications and will be prepared for a tenure-track assistant professor position.

Ken BaldwinThe teaching fellowship also will allow the professional who is chosen to impart his or her knowledge of the craft to students with an interest in business journalism.

Carol Pardun, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, said the gift allows Carolina to position its students for the future.

“This gift allows us to make a long-lasting impact on business journalism education. By investing in a business journalist’s education now, we will be able to impact the field for decades to come,” Pardun said. “We all know about the seismic shifts in the media industry. Even in the midst of this uncertainty, we know that journalists will continue to inform the public. Reporting on businesses, housing, stocks, employment numbers, etc., is going to become even more important for all of us.”

The fellowship is being funded by a gift from Kenneth W. Baldwin Jr., a Columbia native and 1949 USC alumnus. This is Baldwin’s second large gift to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. In 2009, he gave a $500,000 gift to establish the Baldwin Business and Financial Journalism Endowment Fund to support teaching, research and other activities.

Baldwin, a former business editor and executive at Norfolk, Va.-based Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC (formerly Landmark Communications), said he believes in the importance of bringing in accomplished journalists to share their knowledge and experience with students.

“All sorts of things pop up every day it seems, dealing with business and finance and scandals. We need to be more diligent in pursuing the kind of news that protects people’s money and investments,” Baldwin said. “The idea is to have people who do know about this come in and give more advanced training to bright young people in the program so they will be prepared to do the work that’s out there waiting to be done.”

To qualify for the fellowship, an applicant must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, must be an accomplished business journalist and must meet the university’s standards for acceptance into graduate studies. Teaching experience is desired but not required.

For more information about applying for the fellowship, contact Erik Collins, erik.collins@sc.edu, (803) 777-4105.

About Kenneth W. Baldwin Jr.

  • Baldwin's Columbia roots are linked to the University of South Carolina. He lived on Greene Street near campus and attended University High School on Sumter Street, now the site of Wardlaw College.
  • He graduated from University High in 1943 at age 17, and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in the hope of becoming a pilot during World War II. He was called up at 18, but the war ended before he could train.
  • While at USC, Baldwin majored in journalism and joined The Gamecock student newspaper staff. He covered news and sports, wrote columns and was the paper's managing editor. He also was a member of the Blue Key National Honor Society, a leadership organization.
  • Following his Carolina graduation in 1949, Baldwin focused on reporting. He wrote news and advertising copy for WACA in Camden, S.C., worked for The Associated Press, was sports editor for the Greenwood Index-Journal, covered sports at The Columbia Record and worked in sports, news and programming for WCOS-AM-FM-TV in Columbia. Baldwin moved to Norfolk in 1956, working in sports and news before becoming business editor at Landmark's afternoon newspaper.
  • His career shifted in 1963 with a new management position of assistant personnel director at Landmark. In 1966, he established a personnel and public relations department for the Greensboro (N.C.) Daily News and Record, a property Landmark acquired the previous year.
  • Baldwin retired from Norfolk, Va.,-based Landmark Communications, a privately held media company that owns newspapers, TV stations, Internet businesses, specialty publications and until recently, The Weather Channel.   

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Posted: 06/06/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 06/12/13 @ 9:27 AM | Permalink