A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study last year estimated that some 1,800 local newspapers across the United States have closed. Elsewhere, polls show trust in all news media is eroding.
These were a few reasons cited by UNC alum Walter Hussman Jr. and his family when they made a $25 million donation to the UNC School of Journalism, which will be named after Hussman.
"I believe that by adopting these core values, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's journalism school can be the leader and serve as an example for other journalism schools in America to follow," said Hussman, the chairman of WEHCO Media Inc., which owns newspapers, magazines and cable television systems in six states. "This is a key reason why we enthusiastically support the school and the University. This is a first, but important step, in renewing the public's trust in our profession and the news media."
The donation is the largest single gift ever to the school, which becomes the fifth named school at the university.