Investigative reporter David Armstrong wins 2016 Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship from AOJ Foundation
St. Petersburg, Fla. (June 28, 2016) - David G. Armstrong, a Georgia State University professor who trains student journalists in investigative reporting as director of the Georgia News Lab, is the recipient of the 2016 Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship, the Association of Opinion Journalists Foundation announced today.The $1,000 award, given in recognition of an educator's outstanding efforts to encourage students of color in the field of journalism, will be officially presented Sept. 13 at the American Society of News Editors annual convention in Philadelphia. A merger of AOJ and ASNE, approved by the AOJ board on May 15, is expected to be completed later this year.
The Bingham fellowship brings to the ASNE convention an outstanding faculty member who has shown great initiative in mentoring college students.
"We're proud to honor David for his work with the News Lab," said David D. Haynes, president of AOJ and editorial page editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He is exactly the sort of person the Barry Bingham Fellowship was meant to recognize.
Armstrong was nominated by Ken Foskett, senior editor/investigations at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He wrote, "With support from Cox, our parent company, the News Lab was started two years ago at Georgia State to train young journalists in investigative reporting and improve diversity within the ranks of investigative reporting, which tends to be dominated by white males. The program draws students from Atlanta's historically black universities (Clark Atlanta, Spelman and Morehouse), as well as Georgia's large public universities – UGA, Kennesaw State and GSU.
"Students of color comprise more than half the class, and this is entirely due to the relationships David Armstrong has built and the recruiting he does each year. I've also seen firsthand the time and energy David puts into the training and career development of his students.
"Those efforts have paid off, both in terms of recognition for the program and job offers/internships for students. The Online News Association has awarded the News Lab $100,000 in challenge grant funding, and this year the program won a $50,000 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. The program has won smaller grants from the Gannett Foundation and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.
"Last year, five News Lab students won an SPJ award for investigative reporting in the student category and all four graduating seniors from the program's first year landed jobs with news outlets (CNN, WAFF-TV, Norfolk Daily Press, and the Washington Post's Talent Network). This summer, four students earned summer internships at the AJC and WSB-TV in Atlanta, while one of the two graduate students landed a full-time job with Atlanta's alternative weekly."
About the Association of Opinion Journalists
The Association of Opinion Journalists, with nearly 200 members nationwide, was founded in 1947 as The National Conference of Editorial Writers and renamed AOJ in 2012. AOJ is dedicated to advancing the craft of opinion journalism through education, professional development, exploration of issues of public importance and vigorous advocacy within journalism organizations. It is based at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida.