The Bernard L. Schwartz Center for Media, Public Policy and Education, a new initiative devoted primarily to studying America’s embattled newsgathering traditions and investigating solutions for their survival, has been announced by James Hennessy, Ph.D., dean of Fordham’s Graduate School of Education (GSE), at which the center is based.

“We are very excited, and deeply grateful, that the creation of the center has been made possible by a gift from the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Foundation,” Hennessy said. “We’re looking forward to hosting some very interesting events and initiatives here at GSE through its auspices in the future, thanks to the generous support of Mr. Schwartz and his family.”

The center has already hosted seminars and sponsored publications on new business models for newspapers, media audience research, and effective non-profit management strategies, and will enter into a partnership with the Juilliard School in the fall of 2010 to offer a course called “Understanding the Profession: The Performing Arts in the 21st Century.”

Reflecting both its broad mandate and the wide-ranging interests of former public television executive William F. Baker, Ph.D., the Claudio Acquaviva S.J. Chair and Journalist in Residence at GSE, the center will work to advance a wide range of projects.

Drawing on Baker’s twenty plus years of public media experience, both with New York’s WNET and at the national level, the Schwartz Center will research and promote the potential role of public broadcasting in preserving the professional gathering and reporting of news.

Business Ethics in the 21st Century, an ongoing series of nationally televised PBS specials devoted to promoting an ethical business community, as well as Baker’s most recent book on management, Leading with Kindness, are other projects of note.

The Center will also aid in the production of the forthcoming theatrical motion picture Sacred: The Children of Abraham, which explores the deep and abiding connections at the heart of the world’s three great monotheistic faiths: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

The center will advance its agenda under the guidance of Baker, who was president of Westinghouse Television, where he launched the career of Oprah Winfrey and the decade-long number one television program PM Magazine. At WNET, Baker started Charlie Rose on the way to stardom and was the most successful fundraiser in the station’s history. Baker is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of seven Emmy Awards, and an inductee of the National Academy of Management Hall of Fame.  He is the author of three books, including the inside history of American Television Down the Tube.