CNN donates $500,000 to SMPA fund for environmental journalism

Media Credit: File Photo by Eric Lee

The fund will provide resources for a new professorship that focuses on environmental journalism.

CNN donated half a million dollars to the School of Media and Public Affairs, contributing to a fund within the school to promote environmental journalism, officials announced Sunday.

The Ted Turner Endowed Fund, named after CNN founder Ted Turner, has raised a total of $2.5 million from more than 200 donors including the initial donation from CNN, a University release states. The group behind the fund is seeking to raise a total of $6 million to provide for a new professorship focused on environmental journalism and an annual event jointly hosted by SMPA and CNN, which will focus on environmental issues, according to the release.

The SMPA professorship, which will be called the Ted Turner Professor of Environmental Media, will be given to a journalist, filmmaker or author with experience covering environmental issues, the release states.

“There could be no better way to honor Ted than by teaching and inspiring young people,” Frank Sesno, the director of strategic initiatives at SMPA, said in the release. “This initiative will increase public understanding of environmental issues, create a permanent public presence highlighting Ted’s legacy, invest in journalism and benefit students for generations to come.”

Officials said the fund’s focus on environmental issues was inspired by Turner’s passion for the environment and because of student interest in environmental activism.

Donors to the fund include CNN President Jeff Zucker, alumna and Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash and The Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer, according to the release.

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