The Donald W. Reynolds Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism focuses on ideas, experimentation and research. We engage media professionals, scholars and other citizens in programs aimed at strengthening journalism in the service of democracy. Here are a few of the ongoing programs that we support to achieve these goals. Watch here for more additions in the future.

Aerial Journalism

RJI Drone Journalism Program

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Aerial Journalism program examines the different facets of the aerial journalism area. The program aims to lead the way to help journalists understand and utilize the various technologies and issues surrounding drones to tell their stories.

Areas the program examines includes controlling drone traffic at news scenes; protecting First Amendment and airspace rights while using drones for news coverage; and creating a culture of safe, responsible drone operators in the media.

JDNA: Journalism Digital News Archive

The Journalism Digital News Archive (JDNA) initiative’s mission is to preserve news content originally produced in digital formats. Like other creators of “born-digital” content, news media have employed a series of evolving file formats and technical infrastructures, many of which are now — or may soon be — obsolete.

By exploring best practices to archive and access content and resources, including text, photos, video and interactive news apps, JDNA seeks novel approaches for developing scalable digital news preservation environments.

Potter Digital Ambassadors


After speaking with community newspapers around Missouri, Walter B. Potter Jr. worked with the Missouri School of Journalism’s Reynolds Journalism Institute to develop the Potter Digital Ambassador program.

The premise is simple: recruit students from the journalism school and send them to live and work for a small community newspaper for one week during their winter break.  

The digitally savvy young journalists, who are proficient in a range of media, will work with a news organization training their staff in digital tools and practices, and leave written routines that would sustain the initiatives they brought to the news organizations.

Trusting News

Follow along as we demystify trust in news and empower journalists to demonstrate credibility and actively earn trust.

Since 2016, the Trusting News staff has been working with newsrooms to learn how people decide what news to trust and help journalists implement trust-building strategies. Click on the links below to learn more about our strategies and how you can get involved.

Watchdog Writers Group

Watchdog Writers Group is a non-profit journalism institute that produces books and in-depth reporting, while also acting as a teaching lab to train the next generation of reporters.

The Group provides authors with the time and resources they need to produce ground-breaking investigative books on topics of vital public interest.