Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CPJ Releases its 2009 Prison Census: Freelance journalists under fire

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Committee to Protect Journalists today released a series of reports on journalists in prison around the globe. One finding reflects changes in the media industry in recent years: freelancers now make up nearly 45% of all journalists jailed worldwide. CPJ found a total of 136 reporters, editors, and photojournalists behind bars on Dec. 1, compared with 125 a year earlier. The worldwide increase was fueled by a massive crackdown in Iran, where 23 journalists are now in jail. China, Cuba, Eritrea and Burma round out the top five nations of jailed journalists.

To see CPJ’s report “Freelance journalists under fire,” click here. CPJ’s web site also features a video report at http://cpj.org/reports/2009/12/video-behind-bars-not-alone-cpj-prison-census.php and graphic depictions of the census at http://cpj.org/imprisoned/2009.php.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

McCormick Scholars Talk Shop with ABC Chicago Boss

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The newest class of McCormick Scholars convened yesterday for a tour of the Chicago Tribune newsroom and Tribune Interactive, followed by a House of Blues dinner with Emily Barr, president and general manager of ABC Chicago.

Scholars, Barr, Medill faculty (Mike Smith, Janice Castro) and McCormick Journalism staff exchanged thoughts and ideas on how to break into today's media job market (good attitude, strong work ethic), and chatted about the economic challenges facing newsrooms.

Scholars present included:

  • Alice Walton (Medill): From California, worked at an LA news agency, completing the new "experienced professional track" at Medill.
  • Michael Louis Vinson (Medill): From Atlanta, was recently marketing director at Steppenwolf; wants to create his own arts-oriented media company.
  • Ming Zhuang (Medill): From China, has specialized in hard news and has Washington bureau experience.
  • Bridget Jones (Kellogg): From Chicago, worked at Kannon Consulting and AOL, summer internship with a broadcast company in Switzerland.*
  • Taryn Goldman (Kellogg)" from New York, worked at NBC on hulu.com, summer internship with Amazon Kindle in Seattle.
  • Marissa Mitchell (Medill): From Atlanta, broadcast experience in Atlanta, wants to start her own video production company in Chicago.
  • Annie Boyd (Medill): From Texas, broadcast experience in Dallas, wants to own her own television company.
  • Sachpreet Chandhoke (Medill): from Toronto, was a consultant for McKinsey; plans to enroll in Kellogg after Medill.
  • Tanveer I. Ali (Medill): From Detroit, has reporting experience at the Hartford Courant; wants to run his own newspaper.
The Scholars Program was created by the Foundation in 2005 in recognition of the McCormick Foundation's 50th anniversary. During the 10-year life of the program, graduate school scholarships will be awarded to 20 Kellogg media management students and 60 Medill students.

Visit the Medill Financial Aid Web site for more information on the program.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Specialized Reporting Institute Recap: Census 2010 Boot Camp for Journalists

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The University of Michigan last month hosted a McCormick Foundation Specialized Reporting Institute: Census 2010 Boot Camp for Journalists.

The McCormick Foundation's goal with the three-day U of M workshop was to inform and prepare journalists to cover next year's Census. The participants were offered resources and opportunities to learn what impact an accurate Census can have on governance and civic engagement, and the important role that journalism plays in uncovering the resulting issues and stories.

The 25 journalists represented a diverse audience, including freelance writers and reporters and editors from NPR, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Chicago Tribune's Red Eye, The Seattle Times and the Miami Herald. For more details, view the agenda, materials and photo album from the boot camp. 

The McCormick Foundation launched the Specialized Reporting Institute series in 2006 as a platform to assist journalists in their coverage of timely, sophisticated topics of interest to news audiences. We are currently reviewing applications for new workshops and will announce the 2010 series in January. To learn more about the Specialized Reporting Institutes, please visit our Web site.

Above: Robert Groves and Barbara Bryant, current and former Census Bureau directors

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Do Nonprofits Need Newspapers?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In the current issue of the Carnegie Reporter , Foundation critic Pablo Eisenberg explores—and offers a solution to—the decline of accountability in the nonprofit sector due to the continuing demise of investigative journalism. 

Eisenberg writes that investigative journalism has helped keep nonprofit organizations publicly accountable, tempering their problems and excesses through the power and threat of information and exposure. He suggests that donors and foundations step in to save regional newspapers by converting them into nonprofit entities. "Their actions would infuse journalism with the energy, integrity, quality and stability that it so desperately needs." And, he says, it could insure the continuing oversight of nonprofits and foundations.

We were surprised that Eisenberg was surprised that "neither big individual donors nor major foundations have shown any interest in reviving American newspapers and quality journalism." 
Strengthening investigative reporting and quality journalism is one of the McCormick Journalism Program's priorities--and we invest more than $6.2 million annually in grants to non-profit organizations strengthening our free and democratic society through journalism.

The essay, Why Nonprofits Need Newspapers, is published by Carnegie Corporation of New York, a foundation with a long record of supporting journalism initiatives.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

2009 New Media Women Entrepreneurs Summit

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We were delighted to see more than 80 women convene on Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, at J-Lab's 2009 New Media Women Entrepreneurs Summit, funded by the McCormick Foundation, to exchange ideas, best practices and tips on creating successful community news sites. Thirteen of the past grant award winners had a chance to show off their sites, talk about challenges and opportunities, and field questions from the audience--journalists, creative writers, producers, media specialists and social media mavens. Topics covered included: Covering communities with startup hyperlocal sites, training citizen journalists, launching niche sites, building partnerships and sustaining operations.

A few highlights:

  • 5 Tips on Training Citizen Journalists from Twin Cities Daily Planet editor Mary Turck: 1) Start with the basics: 5 W's: who, what, where, when and why; 2) Show, not tell; 3) Understand the power of positive feedback; 4) Dole out rewards and swag (ideally with your logo) 5) Stay constantly connected with writers via e-mail.
  • Lisa Williams, keynote and NMWE of the year, talked about the importance of putting personality into your site. Williams, the founder of placeblogger.com, gave some inspiring advice and talked about how she got her start. See her presentation here (really funny). William's advice to the crowd: "Don't do anything for free that you wouldn't do for free indefinitely." 
  • Courtney Lowery, editor at NewWest.net shared advice about what it takes to keep a non-profit news site running, and how passion and sweat equity helped her get where she is today. NewWest.net's business model is unique in that it generates revenue conferences and offers CE credits to attendees, which really boosts attendance. 
  •  J-Lab announced the findings of its latest McCormick-funded research on New Entrepreneurs: New Perspectives on News. Read more about the new forms of journalism, characterized by a shift in objectivity and a drive for community conversation.
Thanks to all the savvy bloggers who have compiled live twitter feeds and summarized great tips and takeaways from the event . Here's what we've seen so far (and please let us know if you have more to add to the list): 

  • Knight Digital Media Center's Michelle McLellan's compendium of Good Ideas from the summit in her Leadership 3.0 blog. 
  • Greg Linch's live blog coverage.

Have a great new media business idea, or know somebody who does? We encourage you to apply or nominate somebody for the award. Read more about the initiative at http://www.newmediawomen.org/. The deadline is April 12, 2010.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

14th Annual Free Speech and Open Government Assembly

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The McCormick Foundation co-sponsored the First Amendment Coalition 's Oct. 24 free speech conference at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Ethnic journalists, students, lawyers and community activists were among the 90 attendees. 

"For journalists and soon-to-be journalists looking for professional training, we had multiple sessions focused on practical guidance, giving journalists ideas for stories, information that can yield good stories, and a basic understanding of the factual context for reporting, at the local and community level, on selected, controversial issues," says Peter Scheer, executive director of FAC.

Workshops offered tips on how to cover public education reform and local law enforcement, as well as legal tools for enterprise reporting on city and county government. 

Multi-lingual panelists (Spanish, Vietnamese and English) discussed leveraging Freedom of Information (FOI) laws and specific uses of online tools to obtain government records. 

"[The tools for reporting on local government panel was] an excellent panel that dealt with some of the problems journalists face when they get stonewalled by city government while covering daily beats," Riya Bhattacharjee, staff writer at The Berkeley Daily Planet.

"Attorney James Chadwick, L.A. Times staff writer Jack Leonard and San Jose Mercury News Managing Editor Bert Robinson did an incredible job explaining the nuts and bolts of the Freedom of Information Act, the California Public Records Act and the Brown Act, all of which offer a lifeline to any reporter who would otherwise be completely shut out of ways to get hold of important government records," Bhattacharjee says.

Training sessions included a demonstration of MAPLight.org, a legislative database for use by California journalists to analyze special interests' influence on bills, votes.  

Panel discussions  focused on  journalists' use of social media and new business models for news reporting.   

Featured speakers included Alex Jones (pictured above), author of "Losing the News," and Alexandra Berzon, 2009 Pulitzer winner.
     View and download the event program for more information.

    Read the full story

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    McCormick Fellows Forum 2009: Comfort Cams + Broke-A** Brides?!

    Tuesday, November 03, 2009

    A record-breaking number of McCormick Fellows - 55 of the initiative’s 95 minority media execs from across the country - gathered in Chicago last week for the Fellowship’s annual Fall Forum. In its 11th year, the program allows minority news execs to attend some of the industry’s leading management training and also provides a platform for sharing their views on critical issues facing the news industry. Highlights from this year’s program included:

    • A talk on use of social media led by Fellow Javier Morgado of NBC News
    • A discussion on the state of diversity initiatives in the news industry led by Fellow Larry Olmstead of Leading Edge Associates
    • A brainstorming session where Fellows explored new online tools and used them to develop concepts for niche news and information sites, led by Sybril Bennett of Belmont University

    This last session led to some winning - and hilarious - concepts:
    • A Web site for family members to monitor elderly relatives by viewing Comfort Cam.
    • A site for newbies in a community to connect with a church that matches their faith.
    • And yes, a site for wedding planners on a budget… called Broke-Ass Brides!

    In our continuing series on journalists "reinventing" themselves, we caught up with McCormick Fellow Alli Joseph to ask her about her new company Seventh Generation Stories… (click here)

    For more on the Fellows initiative, visit the program’s Web site .

    Read the full story

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    "Call Me When You Win a Pulitzer..."

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    On Tuesday, Oct. 19 the News Literacy Project (NLP) launched its McCormick-funded work in Chicago Public Schools with a keynote speech by veteran journalist Clarence Page to more than 200 elementary students at the Marquette School on the city’s south west side. DC-based NLP, which brings seasoned journalists into middle schools and high schools to help give students the critical thinking skills to sort fact from fiction in the digital age, is coordinating its work in Chicago in partnership with LISC (the Local Initiatives Support Corporation) to incorporate its model in five public schools. Inaugural speakers included McCormick’s President and CEO David Hiller, NLP Executive Director Alan Miller and Chicago LISC Senior Program Director Andrew Mooney.

    Page spoke to a full auditorium, then took questions from seven students who crowded on stage with questions. Below is an edited version of the Q&A exchange between Page and Marquette students.

    What was your most dangerous assignment?
    It was when I was covering Soweto in South Africa. We drove our Land Rover out to a small town to talk with some freedom fighters. They told us – ‘Oh, they mine that road at night. You might want to return on the same road – and take the lane you came in on!’

    Why did you decide to write a book?
    I write a column two times per week. But it’s never enough space to put all my thoughts in!

    What is the difference between fact and truth?
    Do you guys know the writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway? They were fiction writers, but began as newspaper reporters. Fitzgerald once said that the difference between them is that nonfiction deals with facts while novelists write truths. Did you get that? It’s like the Bible – it has lots of facts about Moses and Jesus, but also lots of truths. Like the golden rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We columnists write truths. That’s why we write short!

    Is writing a column hard?
    I’ve been writing columns since high school. It’s just as hard now as when I started. Nothing concentrates the mind like a good deadline. It’s a beautiful thing to put on paper what you have in your head. Do you know what I mean? And it’s great when people tell you afterwards thanks for writing this or that.

    Best part of working for the Chicago Tribune?
    Probably the vacation!
    Have you seen Tribune Tower? It’s one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. Especially when it’s all lit up at night.

    Have you ever interviewed a teen celebrity?
    Years ago I interviewed Michael Jackson. He was a teen at the time. In the end, celebrities are people.

    I’m from southern Ohio. My mother wanted me to be a doctor. Always seemed sort of disappointed. But one day my parents came to Chicago. Saw me on TV. I saw that look in her eyes that I hadn’t seen since I was six. Went into a grocery store, and the guy behind the counter said ‘Aren’t you Clarence Page?’ My mom jumped in and said ‘Yes, and he’s my son!’

    Page ended by talking about the nurturing he received as a high school student working on the school paper in Middletown, Ohio. His journalism adviser, Mrs. Kendall, often encouraged him to continue in the field. One day years later, just after being awarded a Pulitzer Prize for commentary, he happened to thumb through his old high school senior year book. There was an inscription from Mrs. Kendall that he’d forgotten. She’d written: "Call me when you win a Pulitzer." He did just that. Today they’re friends on Facebook.

    For more information on NLP, visit http://www.newsliteracyproject.org/.

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    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    McCormick Foundation Freedom of Speech Public Service Announcement Winners Announced

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    The McCormick Foundation journalism program congratulates the winners of the 2009 Freedom of Speech public service announcement (PSA) competition for college communications students. The student-produced PSAs are 30 seconds each and address "What freedom of speech means to me." 

    The NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) and the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) recognized the first place winners at the NAB headquarters in Washington D.C. on Oct. 14, 2009. During the luncheon, titled "Freedom of Speech in the Digital Media Arena," the winning students received scholarships in the amounts of $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place. 

    The winners are:

    Television Category
    1st Place: Chris Newell, Biola University 
    2nd Place: Monique L. Pelletier, New England School of Communications
    3rd Place: Michelle Wood, The Art Institute of Atlanta

    Radio Category
    1st Place: Stuart Mouritzen, USC
    2nd Place: Theresa Rozwadowski, Central Michigan University
    3rd place: Melodie Turori and Rob Croft, Biola University
    The luncheon also featured a panel of broadcasters and journalists. Participants included:
    • Blanquita Walsh Cullum, governor, United States Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)
    • Russell C. Hodge, founder, executive producer, 3 Roads Communications, Inc.
    • Paul Rodriguez, managing director of media, Burson-Marsteller
    • Kevin Z. Smith, president, Society of Professional Journalists, assistant professor of Journalism, Fairmont State University
    Timing of the awards is in recognition of National Freedom of Speech Week, October  20-26. NAB and McCormick Foundation encourage stations to air these spots, available for download at the NAB Web site .

    Did your station air these spots? Let us know what you think. 

    Read the full story

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Medill Students at Center of Cook County Prosecutor Flap

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    In 2003, students working with the Innocence Project at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism began investigating the case of Anthony McKinney, a man they believed wrongly convicted for a 1978 shooting death. By 2006, they had turned up enough evidence to successfully petition Cook County Circuit Court for a new hearing for McKinney.

    But now the Cook County state's attorney's office wants more than what the students have turned over so far. They've subpoenaed students' grades, off-the-record notes, unpublished memos and even e-mails among themselves and the Innocence Project founder, Medill Professor David Protess. Protess says that it isn't "the state's business to know the state of mind" of his students, and says the office should be more concerned with the wrongful conviction.

    However, the prosecutors claim that they need this information in order to determine witnesses' credibility and "other essential issues." They also argue that Protess and his students and not journalists and not protected by the Illinois Reporter's Privilege Act, which protects journalists' sources.

    Medill dean John Lavine begs to differ: "They took reporting to the nth degree."

    Read the whole story here.

    Read the full story

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Announcement: Technology Mini-Grants for Media Work with Chicago Youth

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Roosevelt University’s Department of Communication is pleased to announce the creation of a McCormick Foundation-funded Chicago 2010 Youth Media Technology Fund. The goal of this experimental fund is to help educators and nonprofit youth programs gain access to the technology they need to further their journalistic work with young people. This initiative grows out of Roosevelt’s long-time commitment to Chicago-area scholastic journalism and the McCormick Foundation Journalism Program’s commitment to youth media and news literacy work both inside and outside of schools. Specifics of the fund are:
    • Mini-grants will be for technology that furthers educators’ use of media for reporting (news gathering, interviewing, documentary, community exploration, etc) with young people in the city of Chicago. Grants can be for digital cameras, video cameras, audio equipment, software, computers and other items that further that work.
    • Potential applicants are educators who incorporate media production in their classrooms or in their youth programs (say to produce audio podcasts on community issues or a video on the environment).
    • Grant amounts will range from:

      • $500 maximum for educators who incorporate media in their work at the middle school level (grades 5 to 8)
      • $1,000 maximum for educators who incorporate media in their work with youth in nonprofit programs
      • $2,000 maximum for educators who incorporate media in their work with youth in high schools

    • Applications consist of three simple questions:

      • Who are you and where do you work? (Your name, name and location of school along with grade level you teach, name of nonprofit where you work, your contact information)
      • How do you incorporate media in your work with youth? (Describe your work with youth and how it is furthered by incorporating media, a description or anecdote of any past journalistic work that you and your students have produced, plus a sentence about your philosophy around utilizing media in education)
      • What do you need to purchase and how will it help further your work with youth? (Describe your goals moving forward and very specifically what it is you hope to purchase to help make that possible, including equipment costs)

    • The advisory committee will make a decision on awarding individual grants based on the stated need and compelling nature of the application. The advisory board may follow up with further questions.
    • Upon notification from the Foundation, and before a grant is awarded, the school principal or nonprofit executive director must sign a form approving of this award.
    • Technology purchased through this program will be for the use of the applicant but will become the property of the school or nonprofit where applicants work.

    Please share this notice with anyone you think might be interested in this opportunity. Deadline for the first round of grant applications is Dec. 15, 2009. Please submit all proposals electronically. To inquire about the program or submit a proposal, contact Linda Jones at Roosevelt University at ljones@roosevelt.edu

    If you know of teachers and/or nonprofit educators who should be aware of this opportunity please forward the attached PDF/Flyer   to them.

    Note to Chicago Youth Voices Network members: Please do not submit an application at this time. For details, contact jliao@mccormickfoundation.org.

    Read the full story

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    SEJ's 19th Annual Convergence in Madison

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    (Photo by Madeline Bodin)
    This past weekend the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) held its annual convention, this time in Madison, Wisc. (Next year – Missoula, Mont., followed by Miami in 2011.) As usual, the program was packed with compelling and practical panels, and also featured Al Gore, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, author Wendell Berry, and Andy Revkin of the New York Times among others. Attendance was strong — seems the niche journalism groups are doing well in that category – with approximately 750 registered, 350 SEJ members and working journalists, plus daily passes. There was even a session with Aldo Leopold’s kids (well, aged 89 and 92). See this link for SEJ blog posts, twitter streams and audio on the conference.

    We met a number of talented journalists who (unfortunately) left long-time jobs earlier this year, but (fortunately) are being imaginative about ‘reinventing’ themselves. See veteran reporters Emilia Askari, Laura Frank and Robert McClure talk about what they’re up to these days at the McCormick YouTube channel.

    Links at:

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    Friday, October 9, 2009

    Call for 2010 Specialized Reporting Institute Applications

    Friday, October 09, 2009

    The McCormick Foundation (MF) invites non-profit 501(c)3 organizations to submit letters of inquiry (LOI) to conduct a McCormick Foundation Specialized Reporting Institute (SRI). These intensive journalism workshops provide subject-specific expertise and practical reporting training in timely, specialized topics of importance to media consumers. Some topics are initiated and solicited by the Foundation. However, the Journalism Program welcomes unsolicited letters of inquiry for topics that may be of interest to working journalists.

    The growing appetite for specialized training on emerging news issues is in recognition of widespread newsroom layoffs and deep cutbacks in media training budgets.  At the same time, many of the hot button issues are complicated and sophisticated. The projects aim to equip reporters and editors with the kind of specialized information they need to cover sophisticated, timely stories. Please see the list of previous SRIs (right click to open in a new tab and download) for sample agendas and programs.

    The goal is to arm participants with an expanded source network, valuable reference materials and a list of solid story ideas. The MF institutes will offer participants the opportunity to meet like-minded colleagues, provide “grounding” for generalists to tackle timely emerging issues and rekindle enthusiasm for veteran beat reporters.  We're especially interested in engaging community and ethnic reporters in the SRIs, as well as in projects that incorporate new tools and technology to share the resources and information that come out of the events.

    Typically, Specialized Reporting Institutes:
    • Receive grants of $35,000-$50,000.
    • Are organized and administered by a managing partner. The selected grantee is responsible for planning and administering the program from start to finish.
    • Are titled, “McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute: XXXXX (Topic)”
    • Last two to three days  
    • Convene 15-20 working journalists from all media types, particularly from mid-size markets.
    • Require participants to submit an application consisting of a resume, supervisor nomination letter, three work samples and a short essay for consideration.
    • Cover all or most of journalists’ travel, lodging and tuition costs.
    • Feature speaking and discussion sessions and a practical/simulated reporting component or reporting field trip, if applicable.
    • Feature a diverse faculty of topic experts and professionals and journalists who excel in covering the topic.
    • Encourage participants to generate stories and ideas based on the workshop. They also are encouraged to host a brown bag or newsroom training session for colleagues.
    • Are located at the managing partner’s city or at an appropriate travel-friendly location relevant to the topic.
    • Reflect diversity in participants, news organizations and faculty.
    • Are supported primarily by MF.
    • Have a four month to six month planning cycle.
    • Are evaluated both during the institute and three months to six months later.

    Letter of Inquiry (LOI) Guidelines
    To apply for funding to serve as a managing partner for a McCormick Foundation Specialized Reporting Institute in 2010, please fill out the application cover sheet (right click to open in a new tab and download) and submit an LOI of no more than two pages that describes:
    • The topic, its timeliness and the need for specialized education for journalists
    • The organization’s qualifications to organize and host the event
    • Potential programming ideas, sessions and faculty
    • Proposed cost and tentative budget

    The deadline for consideration is November 13, 2009. You will receive a confirmation that we have received your application. The Journalism Program will contact the organization if it needs more information. Please send LOIs electronically to:

    Alexandra Altman
    Consultant, Journalism Program
    McCormick Foundation
    205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 4300
    Chicago, IL 60601

    Photo credit: Lindsey Drakert 

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    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    'Big Brother' Watching Bloggers?

    Wednesday, October 07, 2009

    Well, not exactly what you may be thinking. The "Internet police" aren't coming after you for writing about your next-door neighbor.

    But on October 5, the Federal Trade Commission voted 4-0 to require bloggers to disclose any payments or free merchandise they receive from a company in exchange for reviewing its products. The actual form of disclosure is not regulated, but must be "clear and concise" according to the guidelines.

    The new rule is scheduled to take effect December 1, and before bloggers become too nervous about additional scrutiny, Rich Cleland, the assistant director of the FTC's advertising practices division, says that violations are more likely to draw penalties for the advertiser than the blogger, unless the blogger fails to disclose payments or freebies consistently.

    For more information, you can read the story here.

    Read the full story

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    National Security Journalism Fellowships

    Tuesday, October 06, 2009

    The Medill National Security Journalism Initiative (NSJI) at Northwestern University is inviting applications for three research fellowships. The goal of the six-month fellowships is to produce actionable research on topics of national security, defense and civil liberties that will inform journalistic practice and increase public engagement in these important topics.

    The fellowships aim to raise the level of knowledge and expanding resources available to journalists, policy makers and the public concerning issues of national security. The type of research considered could be:
    + A project to raise awareness of civil liberties by examining possible reactions to a terrorist attack;
    + A program to give the public tools to track "real" costs of the fight against terrorism especially in the Department of Homeland Security;
    + A study to expose less familiar vulnerabilities in national security;
    + Creation of a forum for journalists and the public to share information on regional security issues and their impact on national security; or
    + Research to help track military disengagement from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Fellows will be selected on the quality of their proposals; a demonstrated interest in print, broadcast or online journalism; and a proven ability to complete detailed projects. However, applicants who have worked in other fields, including academic, non-governmental, technological and military service, are welcome. We prefer fellows to be in residence for most of their fellowship. Fellows also will mentor students and interact with educators and journalists through classes, Web-based learning and professional conferences.

    Other specifics:
    The fellowships each include a $45,000 stipend plus benefits for six months.
    Some travel allowance and research costs are available.
    Office space, computer, printer and telephone are provided.
    The first fellowship will begin in the first half of 2010 and the other two start in 2011.

    Applicants must submit the following postmarked by Dec 1, 2009 (note: deadline has been extended). A complete application includes:
    1. A one-page summary of the proposed project and brief explanation of the need it would fill
    2. Applicant’s resume/curriculum vitae

    Applicants will receive a follow-up contact confirming receipt of the application.

    In a two-step process, invitations will be sent to selected candidates by Feb. 1 asking for more details and letters of recommendation.

    Please mail the required material to:
    Timothy J. McNulty
    Co-director, National Security Journalism Initiative
    Medill School of Journalism
    Northwestern University
    1845 Sheridan Road
    Evanston IL 60208

    Read the full story

    Friday, October 2, 2009

    This Week @ McCormick Journalism (Sept. 28 to Oct. 2, 2009)

    Friday, October 02, 2009

    President Barack Obama proclaimed October National Information Literacy Month. The Journalism Program's work in news literacy dovetails with Obama's message: "Every day, we are inundated with vast amounts of information. A 24-hour news cycle and thousands of global television and radio networks, coupled with an immense array of online resources, have challenged our long-held perceptions of information management. Rather than merely possessing data, we must also learn the skills necessary to acquire, collate, and evaluate information for any situation. This new type of literacy also requires competency with communication technologies, including computers and mobile devices that can help in our day-to-day decisionmaking."

    This week's events and news articles about our grantees highlight "the need for all Americans to be adept in the skills necessary to effectively navigate the Information Age."

    Journalism Program Events
    McCormick co-sponsored the UC Berkeley Media Technology Summit , an invitation-only conference presented by the Graduate School of Journalism and Haas School of Business. Senior media and technology executives seeking to identify future strategies for their businesses met at Google’s headquarters campus in Mountain View, Calif.  The conference blended insights into the technologies, consumer behavior and advertising systems that affect media businesses with the enduring values of journalism.

    Grantees in The News
    The News Literacy Project, one of our key partners in  news literacy curriculum produced a new video, “Students As Teachers,” showcasing the work of students at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md.  In collaboration with LISC later this month, the News Literacy Project will begin introducing its curriculum into middle schools in Chicago with a MF grant.

    Tuning In
    McCormick staff attended "Climate Change Policy and Low-Income Communities: Minimizing the Pain, Maximizing the Gain," sponsored by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. Rebecca Stanfield, senior energy advocate of the Midwest Office of the Natural Resources Defense Council discussed the principles of the cap-and-trade program. The Center for Investigative Reporting, will use a MF grant to focus on complex cap and trade market and its effects of climate change policy.

    Read the full story

    “The Military and the Media: Where Do We Go From Here?”

    Friday, October 02, 2009

    On September 23rd and 24th, the McCormick Foundation hosted its 10th annual conference on the state of military-media relations at Cantigny, the home of late foundation benefactor and former Chicago Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick. 

    This year’s conference, entitled “The Military and the Media: Where Do We Go From Here?” drew representatives from print, broadcast and digital media as well as flag-rank military officers in both public affairs and operations from all branches of service.  The discussions covered topics such as the importance of foreign media in communicating the U.S. mission to Arab audiences, the economy’s impact on the coverage of war by traditional news media outlets, and the emergence of new and “social” media (such as blogs) as destination sites for those seeking information.

    A report from the conference will be completed and released in early 2010. 

    Read the full story

    Friday, September 25, 2009

    This Week @ McCormick Journalism: Military and Media Convene, TrueStar Shines

    Friday, September 25, 2009

    It's been a big week  for the Journalism Program. We announced a series of approvals of grants for more than $3.8 million over two years in the Journalism Program's new grantmaking categories of Content, Audience and Rights. Here's a recap of this week's conferences and news articles about our grantees.
    Journalism Program Events
    • More than 20 members of the military and media gathered at Cantigny this week for a conference on the "Current State of Military-Media Relations: Where Do We Go From Here?" Sessions included panels on Information Practices in Irregular Warfare and the Impact on Military Media Relations and Military Media Relations in an era of declining media power, resources and audiences. Much of the debate centered on the use of new media tools and technologies in the coverage of warfare. Since 1992, the Foundation has hosted a series of conferences (this was the 10th) at Cantigny that bring together journalists focused on national security with military top brass to discuss best practices and challenges. These off-the-record conferences on timely topics are a well-regarded contribution to coverage of national security. Stay tuned for the conference report, or view the 2006 conference report. Conference attendees can keep in touch with participants through our Ning site.
    • Specialized Reporting Institute: The Energy Solutions Conference hosted by Ohio State University concluded this week. Conference presentations and resources will be posted soon on the event's Ning site.

    Grantees in the News
    Other news/opportunities
    • Youth Media:YO! Youth Outlook and WireTap magazine is hosting its Eighth Youth Media Blog-a-Thon: Yes We Care! Young People Weigh in on the Health Care Debate. Details on how to participate. 
    • Clarion-Ledger reporter Jerry Mitchell wins prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. One of two dozen new MacArthur fellows, Mitchell plans to use the $500,000 grant to work on unsolved civil rights-era crimes and complete a book. Larry K. Whitaker, president and publisher of The Clarion-Ledger, was quoted in the paper, "I speak for the entire Clarion-Ledger family when I say that Jerry's latest honor solidifies his position as one of the nation's top journalists. This is an incredible accomplishment that is a result of Jerry's dogged reporting and his refusal to give up on cases others considered unsolvable. We couldn't be prouder of this outstanding achievement."
    Please e-mail us if you have news or announcements to share about your projects. We look forward to hearing from you.

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    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    McCormick Foundation Invests $3.8 Million into Journalism Content, Audience and Rights Initiatives

    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    McCormick's Journalism Program is pleased to announce approval of a series of grants supporting news and information throughout the U.S. at the Foundation's September, 2009, board meeting. The 26 grants, totaling $3,835,000 over two years, fall into the Journalism Program's new grantmaking categories of Content, Audience and Rights.

    "This package of journalism initiatives signals a new strategic direction for the McCormick Foundation's Journalism Program," said Clark Bell, program director. "We now frame the Foundation's support to news media around three critical areas: Content, Audience and Rights. The audience category addresses the public's information needs and how news organizations can better interact with their audiences. At the core of the new strategy is the emerging area of News Literacy - enhancing the ability of young people to analyze information and decipher what is and isn't reliable."

    The grants include:


    *    Center for Investigative Reporting ($75,000 over 1 year for reporting on carbon trading)
    *    Center for Media and Security ($200,000 over 2 years for military-media outreach briefings)
    *    Center for Public Integrity ($75,000 over 1 year for consortium on investigative reporting)
    *    Community Renewal Society ($75,000 over 1 year for the Chicago Reporter)
    *    TCC Group ($400,000 over 2 years for the Challenge Fund for Journalism)


    *    American University ($200,000 over 2 years for J-LAB's New Media Women Entrepreneurs)
    *    Asian American Journalists Association ($200,000 over 2 years for an audience-building project)
    *    Associated Press Managing Editors Foundation ($75,000 over 1 year for NewsTrain workshops for college faculty)
    *    Free Spirit Media ($200,000 over 2 years for broadcast journalism for Chicago youth)
    *    LA Youth ($140,000 over 2 years for youth journalism)
    *    Minnesota Public Radio ($75,000 over 1 year for social network journalism program)
    *    National Association of Hispanic Journalists ($100,000 over 1 year for audience-building project)
    *    National Museum of Mexican Art ($150,000 over 2 years for RadioArte youth radio program)
    *    Pacific News Service ($100,000 over 1 year for New America Media's work with journalism schools and media partnerships)
    *    Northwestern University's Media Management Center ($275,000 over 1 year for general support and Fellows initiative)
    *    Poynter Institute ($150,000 over 2 years for the News Literacy Project's work in Chicago Public Schools)
    *    Radio & Television News Directors Foundation ($150,000 over 2 years for Camp STN and news literacy work with youth)
    *    Roosevelt University ($210,000 over 18 months for a Chicago-area youth media technology fund)
    *    StonyBrook Foundation ($100,000 over 1 year for high school and college news literacy curriculum)
    *    Street Level Youth Media ($120,000 over 2 years for the Sounding Point program training)
    *    USC's Knight Digital Media Center ($100,000 over 1 year for a transforming news organizations now project)
    *    Young Chicago Authors ($85,000 over 1 year for general support and a citywide youth media festival)

    *    Committee to Protect Journalists ($150,000 over 2 years for press freedom work in U.S., Cuba and Mexico)
    *    Illinois First Amendment Center ($100,000 over 1 year for Youth First Amendment Program)
    *    Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press ($200,000 over 2 years for McCormick Legal Fellowship)
    *    Student Press Law Center ($130,000 over 2 years for McCormick Publications Fellowship)

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    Monday, September 21, 2009

    An inside look at the the 2016 Summer Olympics bid

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Caption: SRI participants interview Richard Pound at the Cliff Dwellers club overlooking downtown Chicago.

    Participants of the McCormick Foundation’s Specialized Reporting Institute's (SRI) three-day journalist symposium, "An Inside Look at Chicago's Bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics," left with a better understanding of how the Chicago 2016 bid works and the tools and resources to better report about the bid and the Games, should Chicago win the bid. DePaul University's College of Communication hosted the panels in its new building at 14 E. Jackson from Sept 13-15:

    Twitter as Journalism: DePaul's Twitter expert Craig Kanalley talked about his BreakingTweets.com

    The Economic Impact of the Olympic Games. Panelists included Bill Rosen, president of Leo Burnett's ARC Worldwide; Charlie Besser, CEO of Intersport, Inc.; Misty Johanson, professor at DePaul's School of Hospitality Leadership; and Rita Athas, executive director of World Business Chicago.

    Technology of 2016: What can we expect?
    : Panelists included Jim Corno Jr, president of Comcast SportsNet Chicago; Jimmy de Castro, media industry pioneer of Content Factory and MusicToGo; Mitch Rosen, program director of WSCR-AM The Score radio; and Tracy Schmidt, ChicagoNow.

    Paralympics: The OTHER Games
    : Speakers included Charlie Huebner, Chief of Paralympics for the USOC; Linda Mastandrea, Chicago2016's Paralympic director and Paralympian gold medal winner; Karen Tamley, commissioner of Chicago's Office for People with Disabilities; and Dr. Joel Press, founder of the Spine and Sports Rehabilitation Center in Chicago.

    What's Next?: Panelists included Lori Healey, President of Chicago2016; Andy Shaw, executive director of the Better Government Association; Dr. Carson Cunningham, professor of Olympic history at DePaul University; and Phil Hersh, Chicago Tribune Olympic reporter.

    speakers included:

    Bob Lang, from Kennesaw State University, who was in charge of Georgia Tech's Olympic Village security during the 1996 Atlanta Games.

    Dick Pound from the IOC spoke during dinner at Cliff Dwellers Monday night. With the latest announcement that President Obama was not planning on attending the Oct. 2 meeting in Copenhagen where the host city will be announced, the question on everyone's mind was how this would affect Chicago's chances.

    Group site visits included: Chicago Architecture Foundation's Boat Tour of the Chicago River, and a Bus Tour of the Washington Park site where the Olympic Stadium would be built and Michael Reese Hospital where the Olympic Village would be constructed. Journalists talked with Chicago Alderman Manny Flores, Washington Park Advisory Council President Cecilia Butler, and John McCarron from the Local Initiatives Support Coalition.

    --Compiled by Lindsey Drakert, DePaul University journalism student

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    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    Specialized Reporting Institute: McCormick Energy Solutions Conference Online: Starts Sunday

    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    Join us online for the
    McCormick Energy Solutions Conference to take place this weekend.

    The three-day conference will focus on how we will power our future—examining energy alternatives as well as the impact of proposed energy legislation. The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, one of the nation's longest-running journalism fellowship programs and a leader in the digital media field, is co-hosting this conference with the McCormick Foundation, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Battelle and Ohio State's Institute for Energy and the Environment.
    A select group of journalists and experts will gather on September 20-22 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and you can take part through the Web.

    Here’s how:
    Tune into live video online at http://mccormickenergyconference.ning.com to hear the latest from these top experts:
    • Don McConnell, President of Energy Technology at Battelle, the world's largest nonprofit research and development organization (9/20 at 3:00 pm )
    • Dr. Marilyn Brown, Georgia Tech, formerly of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (9/21 at 8:30 am)
    • Dr. Steven Koonin, Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy (9/21 at 4:00 pm)
    • Richard Sandor, "father of carbon trading" and founder of the Chicago Climate Exchange (9/21 at 12:30 pm)
    • Steve Yurkovich, Center for Automotive Research, Ohio State University (9/22 at 8:30 am)
    • Connie Schultz, Columnist, Cleveland Plain Dealer (9/22 at 12:30 pm)
    There are four ways to participate online:
    1. Watch live streaming and ask questions via chat
    2. Follow updates on Twitter at twitter.com/kipworkshop and add your thoughts to the conversation by including #KipNRG in your tweets
    3. Check out the livestreaming, videos, pics and comments on the conference Ning site
    4. Fan us (McCormick Energy Solutions) on Facebook for conference highlights
    Questions? Email us at McCormickEnergyConference@gmail.com.

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