Mizzou J-School to open Documentary Journalism program

Feb 11, 2014

Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin at the gift announcement
Credit Samantha Granes Bezic / KBIA

  MU has just received a $6.7million gift from Lifetime’s “Project Runway” producer, Jonathan Murray, which would allow the University to open a Documentary Journalism program in 2015.

The University of Missouri announced on Tuesday that a $6.7million gift would be directed to the creation of a Documentary Journalism program for the journalism school. The gift comes from former MU journalism school graduate and chairman at Bunim/Murray Productions, Jonathan Murray.

Murray had his start in multiple local news broadcast stations before he transitioned into the world of reality television by creating MTV’s hit series “The Real World”. Alongside reality television, Murray shares a passion for documentaries. “What I love about documentaries is that [they] make you think about things in a way you didn’t think of before”. In the past few years, Murray’s company has helped fund and produce three documentaries: Autism: The Musical (2007), Billionaire (2009), and Valentine Road (2013).

The $6.7million gift will be allocated to build a groundbreaking Documentary Journalism program that lives up to Mizzou’s journalism standards. Chair of the Broadcast Journalism Department, Kent Collins, expects the program to begin in August of 2015 and has no doubt that it will make an excellent addition to the University. Murray joins in on Collins’ enthusiasm and says that he has high hopes for the program. “My hope is that someday I will walk into a theater and see a documentary that will blow my mind and that it was made by an MU Journalism graduate. I’ve already got a sense from talking to some of the students that there is a real interest in documentary.”

Facebook/Twitter: Creator of “The Real World” donates $6.7million to Mizzou for Documentary Journalism Program.