The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange is a community-supported initiative of the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University, the third largest university in Georgia. The Center tests new models aimed at providing high quality, ethically sound journalism to those who believe serious-minded information is vital to our democracy.
JJIE.org/Center for Sustainable Journalism
Leonard Witt holds the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University and was named an Eminent Scholar by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in May 2008.
In August 2008, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for Kennesaw State University. With $1.5 million in new funding from the Harnisch Foundation, he is the founder of the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University.
The Center’s mission is aimed at discovering innovative ways to produce financially sustainable, high quality and ethically sound journalism. The Center will produce applied research, build collaborations and advance innovative projects to test the viability of community-supported journalism. Witt’s scholarship centers around civic and citizen journalism represented by his First Monday peer-reviewed paper: “Constructing a Framework to Enable an Open Source Reinvention of Journalism.”
His annual SoCon, social media, social networking conference at Kennesaw State draws about 300 metro Atlantans representing marketing, blogging, new and traditional media, academia, public relations, human resources and executive ranks. He was a journalist for more than 25 years, including being editor of Sunday Magazine at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Monthly magazine. Before entering academia in 2002, he was the executive director of the Minnesota Public Radio Civic Journalism Initiative. He blogs at PJNet.org.
John Fleming, Editor, has been in journalism for nearly 20 years.
His first experience in a newsroom was as a boy working at his mother’s weekly, The Geneva Reaper, in south Alabama. A graduate of The University of Alabama and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Fleming went on to work as a foreign correspondent, a newspaper editor and an investigative reporter. While covering southern and west Africa for five years for a number of news outlets including Reuters, he reported on wars in Congo, Angola and Congo-Brazzaville, the rise of the anti-apartheid government and civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, the U.N. intervention in Mozambique, the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, ethnic warfare in Burundi, political repression in Zimbabwe, guerilla warfare in northern Uganda and Sudan as well as the oil and diamond trade throughout the region.
Later, while at The Anniston (Ala.) Star he worked as editorial page editor and then editor at large. There he directed an aggressive editorial team that covered state, national and international politics and economics while playing a crucial role in advancing the needs of a local community deeply in need.
His most recent work, in collaboration with colleagues from other news outlets, has been with the Civil Rights Cold Case Project, a groundbreaking investigative journalism project involving print, radio and documentary film. The Cold Case Project has examined many murders from the Civil Rights era that have in the past received little or no coverage from the press or interest from law enforcement.
Ryan Schill is the deputy editor and an award-winning journalist. In 2012 he wrote a comics journalism piece about the ongoing U.S. immigration debate, published in partnership with Cartoon Movement. His 2011 story about a case of misdiagnosed child abuse won first place in the non-deadline writing category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards for Excellence in Journalism. Ryan is completing his MA in professional writing at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, and has a BS in media studies. His research interests include experimental journalism forms, journalism ethics and philosophy, theories of literary journalism and the intersections of social justice and journalism. Ryan was included in the 2012 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.