Leonard Witt holds the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication at Kennesaw State University and was named an Eminent Scholar by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in May 2008. In August 2008, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for Kennesaw State University.
With $1.5 million in funding from the Harnisch Foundation, he founded the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University in 2010.
The Center’s mission is aimed at discovering innovative ways to produce financially sustainable, high quality and ethically sound journalism. The Center produces applied research, builds collaborations and advances innovative projects to test the viability of niche, nonprofit journalism.
In keeping with that mandate, the Center now publishes the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE.org) and Youth Today. With a combined 1.25 million page views annually, they cover youth justice and youth development issues on a daily, persistent basis with professional journalists.
The Center also works closely with university faculty and students and now employs about 20 of students doing journalism, social media and advertising and circulation sales.
Witt was a journalist for more than 25 years, including being editor of Sunday Magazine at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Monthly magazine. Before entering academia in 2002, he was the executive director of the Minnesota Public Radio Civic Journalism Initiative.