WUNC and UNC journalism school expand education policy reporting with $110,000 grant

With a $110,000 grant from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, WUNC has hired Reema Khrais, a 2012 UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication graduate, as the first post-graduate journalism fellow dedicated to in-depth radio reporting on under-covered education issues.

The 2-year Fletcher Fellowship for Education Policy Reporting is for recent graduates of the UNC journalism school and serves as an innovative model for advanced journalism training to develop thoughtful reporters for the community.

Khrais accepted and began the fellowship at WUNC after a thorough and successful national search in fall 2013. She reports quick turn-around spot news, interviews, reporter debriefs and well-researched feature reports with a concentration on statewide PreK-12 education policy.

”Listeners have been telling us that Education is hands down one of the most important issues for our community“ said Connie Walker, WUNC’s President and General Manager. “It’s also an incredibly rich topic for a journalist to explore. This new partnership allows us to expand our news service to better serve those needs.”

UNC J-school faculty members will serve as mentors, providing guidance on strategy and content of the reporting, developing multimedia content and negotiating with other media outlets to become partners in distributing the content.

“This program establishes a model for journalism education that links theory with practice. The fellow’s training is enhanced through hands-on, supervised experience at a professional news organization, and the university is able to directly serve the community in the form of thoughtful reporting on a critically under-covered issue,” said Susan King, dean of the UNC journalism school.

“Fletcher Foundation is excited to fund this fellowship, meeting North Carolina’s need for more education reporting and training the next generation of high-quality journalists for the state,“ said Damon Circosta, Executive Director of Fletcher Foundation. “Education is one of the most pressing issues facing our state. It is critical that we have in-depth reporting to inform our public dialogue and policy-making efforts.”

To follow Khrais’ reporting, visit wunc.org/people/reema-khrais. For press inquiries, please contact wunc@wunc.org.

About North Carolina Public Radio® – WUNC

WUNC is a news and information station, a service of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, broadcasting on terrestrial radio at 91.5 FM in the Chapel Hill/Raleigh/Durham/ Greensboro/High Point area, on 88.9 FM Manteo, serving the North East outer banks and coastal communities, on 91.9 FM in the Welcome/Lexington area, and on 90.9 FM from Rocky Mount serving portions of “Down East” North Carolina and Sandhills. The station also streams 24/7 online in mp3, Windows Media and Real Audio.

WUNC is one of the most listened-to radio stations in North Carolina. It serves a large and diverse audience of more than 320,000 people in more than 42 counties across the state. Nearly 1 in 5 residents (18.4%) in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill market tune in to WUNC at least once a week. In addition, WUNC is one of the country’s leading public radio stations. Its productions have been recognized with accolades by The Associated Press, The Columbia/DuPont Awards, the National Association of Black Journalists, The Edward R. Murrow Awards, Public Radio News Directors, Inc., and the Public Radio Program Directors Association Awards. For more information, visit wunc.org

About A.J. Fletcher Foundation

The mission of Fletcher Foundation is to support nonprofit organizations in their endeavors to enrich the lives and well-being of people in North Carolina.  To achieve this, AJF partners with nonprofit organizations that recognize and solve social and civic problems and provides resources to advance big, bold ideas.  For more information, visit www.ajf.org.