JMS receives $300,000 donation

by Hutton Marshall

Former San Diego Union-Tribune owner Platinum Equity, an equity firm based in Beverly Hills, recently donated $300,000 to San Diego State’s School of Journalism & Media Studies. The donation will not only fund the creation of the Platinum Project in digital news literacy, it will also help support instruction in digital and social media.

The Platinum Project addresses the growing need for digital literacy in the changing age of journalism. Social media has become a must-have tool for modern-day journalists.

“Digital media literacy is essential for college students, and audiences in general, to become intelligent consumers of online information, and, ultimately, informed citizens,” Diane L. Borden, director of the School of Journalism & Media Studies, said in an article published on SDSU DigiMedia’s website.

The donation will also allow the school to offer fellowships to a select number of graduate students who will assist professors in teaching the digital media instruction course.

The curriculum contemporary journalism students encounter contrasts sharply with what journalism students of the past were taught during undergraduate studies. Journalism junior Amy Williams sees the future of journalism straying away from newspapers in the traditional sense.

“News is no longer delivered to everybody’s doorstep; it’s delivered through a multitude of platforms that are constantly changing,” Williams said. “Students are taught digital and social media to be prepared for the evolution of the news industry.”

The donation comes just months after Platinum Equity’s decision to sell the Union-Tribune to San Diegan entrepreneur Doug Manchester, after buying the newspaper in May 2009.

The gift was made alongside four others; one of which was $25,000 to SDSU’s local broadcasting station, KPBS. Others to receive gifts were AVID Center, Junior Achievement and Classroom of the Future Foundation, as reported by SDSU NewsCenter.