Professor, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, University of Texas at Austin
Rosental Calmon Alves began his academic career in the United States in March 1996, after 27 years as a professional journalist, including seven years as a journalism professor in Brazil. He moved to Austin from Rio de Janeiro, where he was an executive editor and member of the board of directors of Jornal do Brasil, one of the most important Brazilian newspapers.
He was chosen in 1995 from approximately 200 candidates to be the first holder of the Knight Chair in International Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was later also awarded with the UNESCO Chair in Communication. In 2002, professor Alves founded the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, thanks to a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
As an outreach program of UT Austin’s Moody College of Communication’s School of Journalism and Media, the center has offered a variety of programs to help journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean to improve the quality of journalism in their countries. The impact of the Knight Center became global in 2012, when it started offering massive online courses for journalists. A decade later, the courses had reached almost 300,000 people from 200 countries and territories. The Knight Center also hosts a global annual conference, the International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ), organized by professor Alves since 1999.
For more than a decade, Alves was a foreign correspondent based in Spain, Argentina, Mexico and the United States for Jornal do Brasil. In 1991, he created an online, real-time finance news service for Rio de Janeiro’s stock market brokers, the first of its kind in Brazil. And in 1995, he managed the launch of Jornal do Brasil’s online edition, making it the first Brazilian newspaper available on the internet.
At the University of Texas at Austin, Rosental has three basic areas for teaching and research: international reporting (emphasizing the work of foreign correspondents), journalism in Latin America (especially the struggle for a free press in the hemisphere), and media innovation and entrepreneurship. He created the first class on online journalism at UT in the 1997-98 academic year. Alves has been a frequent speaker in conferences, conducted workshops in several countries to train journalists and journalism professors and worked as a consultant to help media companies around the world with their digital strategies.
Alves is a member of boards of directors or advisory councils of several national and international organizations, including: The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University; the Maria Moors Cabot Awards at Columbia University; Gabo Foundation created by Gabriel García Márquez, in Colombia; The Texas Tribune; Jornal Nexo, Agência Pública and Agência Mural, in Brazil; Ciper (Center for Investigative Journalism), in Chile; and PorCausa, in Spain.
A working journalist since 1968, when he was 16, Alves received a B.A. in journalism from the Rio de Janeiro Federal University in 1977. He was the first Brazilian awarded a Nieman Fellowship to spend an academic year (1987-88) at Harvard University. He taught journalism at Fluminense Federal University and at Gama Filho University in Rio de Janeiro, beginning as a lecturer in 1973, when he was 21.