But editors and professors recognize that the best way to understand the future of journalism lies in learning from and working with students.

And so, Mercer University is starting a $5.6 million project to collaborate with the Macon Newspaper and Georgia Public Radio.

via The New York Times:

Reporters and editors for the 186-year-old paper The Telegraph and the radio station will work out of the campus’s new journalism center, alongside students whom the university expects will do legwork for newspaper and public radio reports, with guidance from their professors and working journalists. 

It’s a plan born in part of desperation. Like many newspapers, The Telegraph has lost circulation and advertising revenue in the last decade, and the public radio station was forced to trim down to one staff member during the recession. 

William D. Underwood, Mercer’s president, expects that by applying what he calls a medical residency model to journalism, all of these players may give the struggling industry a chance to stay alive.

Bonus: This report [PDF] from the New America Foundation entitled “Shaping 21st Century Journalism: Leveraging a ‘Teaching Hospital Model’ in Journalism Education”

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