The Media School at Indiana University has announced a $6 million gift from alumnus Michael I. Arnolt to launch an independent investigative journalism center.
Expected to open its doors in the fall of 2019, the Michael I. Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism will be editorially independent of the university and will focus its activities on multimedia investigative reporting of issues of importance to the residents of Indiana, including issues that reach beyond the state's borders. In addition, the center's work will be made available at no cost to local, regional, and national news outlets, many of which are seeking to supplement their reporting at a time when they are being forced to cut newsroom staff.
Arnolt, who earned a BA degree in journalism from the university in 1967, spent the first five and a half years of his professional career as a reporter for the Indiana-based Elkhart Truth. He later transitioned to private business and co-founded Graston Technique, a physical therapy method adopted by clinicians, outpatient clinics, advanced degree teaching programs, and more than four hundred and fifty amateur and professional sports organizations across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Despite the career change, he maintained his passion for and belief in the responsibility of journalists to uphold the watchdog function of the news media.
"We are all immensely grateful to Michael Arnolt for this gift," said IU Bloomington provost and executive vice president Lauren Robel. "Investigative journalism is critical to a healthy democracy and healthy civil society. We need to ensure that we continue to give future journalists the education and the tools to work in our communities so we can be better-informed, better-equipped citizens."