Monday, June 28, 2010

Young Chicago Authors Kick off the Summer with Open House

Monday, June 28, 2010

Young Chicago Authors (YCA) hosted an open house reception and student spoken word poetry performance last Thursday night at their revamped studio space in Wicker Park.

Board President Sylvia Ewing updated community members, partners and funders on the latest programming at YCA, including a new program where young people will be challenged to speak up and “say somethin’ “ about their school, city and country by texting in their responses to a prompt, such as “Why do store clerks stare at me when I go up to the Northside" or “Why is my school’s graduating class so much smaller than others?”

YCA will be kicking off the summer with its Say What magazine writing program and a new open space called WordPlay for teens to share their writing an poetry to peers and the public. 

Coming this fall… Young Chicago Authors will also be hosting the first, city-wide youth media festival, showcasing the media produced by Chicago youth. Stay tuned for more details. 

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Calling all Chicago-area high school teachers!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

RTDNF's High School Broadcast Journalism Organization (HSBJ) is still accepting registration for their Camp STN at Columbia College on August 16-19, 2010. The four-day training video journalism sessions are free and teachers even receive a $50 daily stipend. RTDNF is also arranging for all teachers to receive 36 hours of CEU credits. If you'd like to attend this hands on workshop, please submit your registration here.

At the workshop teachers will learn the basics of:
  • Shooting video
  • Conducting interviews
  • Writing scripts
  • Editing video
  • Putting together a news show
  • Posting your news show online
  • Teaching your students all of these skills – plus News Literacy, how to tell if it is true

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Find Sources for Oil Spill Reporting

Friday, June 04, 2010

Trying to find out more information about the Gulf oil spill? Joe Davis of the Society of Environmental Journalists is compiling a tracking blog of sources for journalists about the oil spill, taking a specific look at the access issues reporters have experienced. Mapping out a timeline, Davis has been posting breaking news stories and press releases since May. The Daily Glob blog also presents a list of sources journalists can use, including news media outlets, government websites, congressional hearings, commercial responses, research and experts, and mapping and infographics. Davis started posting at a Twitter account @DailyGlob today. Turn to the SEJ blog for information about reporting this environmental crisis. Get back to us with the stories you have posted, too.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Climate Change Training

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fifteen regional broadcast meteorologists attended Climate Change Science for Broadcast Meteorologists and Weathercasters, a conference at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, May 14-15, 2010. Hosted by the Yale Project on Climate Change (YPCC), a center that has an established online forum that fosters scientists and journalists to discuss climate change, the full-day workshop set out to equip veteran broadcast meteorologists with the latest scientific information regarding climate change.

YPCC has identified the powerful opportunity meteorologists have to inform the public of climate science. Yet many meteorologists lack formal scientific training, which prevents them from discussing important science issues such as climate change. As broadcast journalists, these meteorologists should serve the purpose of delivering information to their audience, looking clearly at the facts around climate change from a scientific point of view.

The workshop included a faculty consisting of world-class climate scientists and TV meteorologists with extensive first-hand experience in studying and communicating on climate change science. It gave the conference participants a head-full of information exploring climate science so that the next time a meteorologist has viewers asking about it, they can give an educated answer.

This is the second workshop the McCormick Foundation has funded for YPCC.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Thank You for Submitting Your Ideas

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thank you to all of those who submitted a letter of inquiry (LOI) this May. We received many stellar, forward-thinking projects. Some of the exciting trends that we’ve seen this year include:

•    Investigative projects around topics such as racial profiling, clean energy and carbon cap trading;
•   Organizing innovation camps in various cities, bringing together journalists, IT experts and community-based groups;
•    Photographic initiatives to document ways in which America is changing;
•    Creation of databases to help reporters in various fields, and cross-outlet coverage of issues such as homelessness;
•    Creation of phone applications to help reporters cover various issues, as well as initiatives harness mobile phones for citizen reporters;
•    Fellowships for reporters to help improve their coverage of environmental issues, how families are changing, and other issues;
•    Various initiatives to help feed young people’s curiosity around world issues;
•    Initiatives to help everyday people – as well as ‘news junkies’ – to rate the news they read online;
•    After-school programs encouraging young people to write about the world of sports;
•    Awards contest to stimulate IT programmers to create Apps to further a city’s efforts at transparency;
•    Surveys to determine in what ways reporters of all stripes – mainstream, ethnic media, weekly, writers and photographers alike – are prevented from accessing information, data and people they need to carry out their work  

With our new guidelines, we’ll be able to move forward on some. Others – despite how outstanding they are and how much we’ve learned from their sheer creativity – we won’t be able to partner around at this time. We encourage everyone to continue innovating in the name of journalism.

To learn more about our grantmaking process click here.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Case to Limit Investigative Reporting?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

As we watch the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continue to unfold, it reminds us of another situation more apparent to our line of duty.  Last Thursday, New York Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ordered documentary producer and director Joe Berlinger to turn over to Chevron more than 600 hours of raw footage used to create a film titled Crude: The Real Price of Oil. If Berlinger’s appeal is rejected, this decision could put a chill on the First Amendment rights of documentary filmmakers and investigative journalists. As discussed by the Huffington Post’s Bill Moyers and Michael Winship article “Chevron’s ‘Crude’ Attempt to Suppress Free Speech,” this violation would limit the legal protection a journalist and their sources would receive in court.

As the Independent Documentary Association asserts, "This case offers a clear and compelling argument for more vigorous federal shield laws to protect journalists and their work, better federal laws to protect confidential sources, and stronger standards to prevent entities from piercing the journalists' privilege. We urge the higher courts to overturn this ruling to help ensure the safety and protection of journalists and their subjects, and to promote a free and vital press in our nation and around the world."

As part of the journalism community, what do you think about this situation?

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Director's Notes: Caution

Monday, May 10, 2010

  • Banned.  The Pentagon banned four reporters from covering future military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after they published the name of an Army interrogator who was a witness at a hearing there this week. Two attendees of last year's McCormick Foundation Military-Media Conference were involved in the story.  McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Nancy A. Youssef wrote the May 7 story about the messy situation involving reporters from McClatchy's Miami Herald and three Canadian news organizations. Conference participant Col. David Lapan, the director of Defense Press Operations at the Pentagon, said the ban affects only the individual reporters and that their organizations would be allowed to send other reporters to future hearings. "We have been covering Guantanamo for years and we've always played by the rules--and we did in this case as well," said Mindy Marques, managing editor of the Miami Herald. The issue at hand is that the witness had  been previously publically identified. “That reporters are being punished for disclosing information that has been publicly available for years is nothing short of absurd,” said Jameel Jaffer, the deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union.  McCormick Foundation grantee Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, called the drastic bans part of “a long history of lack of access for journalists covering military tribunals and other events at Guantanamo Bay.” What do you think about the reason these reporters are being banned? 
  • Downside of Facebook Journalism.  The hazard of "hurry-up" Web journalism reporting took center stage this week. When the identity of the alleged, would-be Times Square bomber was surfacing, the Huffington Post was quick to publish a photo of the wrong Faisal Shahzad, taken from a Facebook page. The case of mistaken identity was eventually corrected. As an article in the Christian Science Monitor warns, “Facebook journalism is a tricky science, and it almost certainly should never involve the publication of photographs of a person whom you think might be an alleged terrorist, and then again, might just be a normal dude. That's the kind of thing that can put someone in danger.”   
  • How far are Journalists protected? Bloomberg Businessweek reports that The First Amendment Coalition and six media organizations are asking to see the affidavit filed by investigators who obtained a warrant to search the home of a technology blog editor at Gizmodo.com. The  April blog post revealed secret information about an Apple prototype iPhone, based on a allegedly stolen product they bought  from a college student who said he found it in a bar. “A warrant is a very intrusive device, especially for a journalist,” Peter Scheer, an attorney and executive director of the San Rafael, California-based media group, said. “Affidavits are supposed to be public records and the public has a legitimate interest in seeing that the process used to get the warrant was fair.” A Superior Court Judge in Redwood City, Calif. refused to consider the request.  The warrant violates California’s newsroom search act. Is this pushing the boundary of a journalist's right to report?  
  • Quote of the Week: “Democracies die behind closed doors  . . . When government begins closing doors  . . .  it selectively controls information rightfully belonging to the people.  Selective information is misinformation. The Framers of the First Amendment . . . did not trust any government to separate the true from the false for us . . . They protected the people against secret government.” -Judge Damon J. Keith,  (Detroit Free Press v. Ashcroft, 2002)

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Resources

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Below are some journalism-related resources you might find useful. We’ve categorized them by specifically by our areas of support—content, audience, rights—to help you better understand our priorities.  If you have a resource that you’d like to share that fits under these categories, please send us an email with more information. 



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Technical Assistance

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

  • http://idealware.org/ provides thoroughly researched, impartial and accessible resources about software to help nonprofits make smart software decisions.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Director's Notes: Serious Business

Monday, May 03, 2010


  • Dangers of Embedding. Crackerjack Washington Post columnist David Ignatius has taken advantage of traveling with the U.S. military to cover wars.  "I've spent weeks at a time visiting U.S. units in the field, hopping C-130s and Blackhawk helicopters and Humvees.  As a result, I have seem more of Iraq and Afghanistan than I possibly could have otherwise, and I think my readers have benefited.  But, embedding comes at a price.  We are observing these wars from just one perspective, not seeing them whole."  Ignatius then expands his theory to include coverage of politics.


If you are interested in learning more about the roots of embedding in recent wars and conflicts, check out our series of Military-Media Conference reports.

  • None of Your Business. That was the headline on a recent Chicago Tribune editorial lambasting the Illinois General Assembly as it was pressing ahead with more exemptions on access to public employees' performance evaluations.  The legislative assault on the state's new-and-improved Freedom of Information Act began in January when teacher evaluations were exempted from FOIA, in exchange for union support on a bill that was suppose to help Illinois qualify for the Obama administration's Race to the Top program.  Now, there is more in store.
  • Speaking of the President, the White House press corps is in a tizzy over its increasingly hostile relations with the administration.  A detailed report on Politico leaves you wondering whether Team Obama is on the same page as the President on open government and transparency issues.  For example, "a routine press query can draw a string of vitriolic emails.  A negative story can draw a profane high-decibel phone call--or worse.  Some reporters feel like they've been frozen out after crossing the White House."  Politico quoted press secretary Robert Gibbs as saying, "This is the most transparent administration in the history of our country."  Peals of laughter broke out in the briefing room.
  • Quote of the Week: "I'm having issues with fully embracing the Twittersphere, because I just don't have the time.  This, to me, is the biggest problem for Twitter---and the entire world that's growing up around it---because in the name of abbreviating communications, it actually makes it more time-consuming to pass along an idea."  -Media Analyst Terry Heaton (thepomoblog.com)

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Chicago Youth Media Educators: Apply for a Technology Mini Grant

Monday, April 26, 2010

Are you teaching news gathering, interviewing, documentary or community exploration?

Do you want to incorporate media production in your classrooms to produce video or audio podcasts on community issues?

Do you lack the digital cameras, video cameras, audio equipment, software, or computers for your students to take it to the next level?


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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Director's Notes: Journalism Studies and Results

Sunday, April 25, 2010







 
  • Sunny in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is a city with enormous talent and assets that need to be better leveraged to achieve a well-informed electorate, an accountable leadership and a robust sense of place that acknowledges the New Philadelphia while attending to the Old.  A recent J-Lab study commissioned by the William Penn Foundation measures the state of media and explores a networked journalism collaborative in Philadelphia. 
  • Stuck in the Mud. The newsroom diversity movement is stalled. The percentage of minorities working in newsrooms dipped slightly to 13.26 percent last year. The American Society of News Editors said daily newspapers lost another 5,200 jobs in 2009, bringing the total loss of journalists since 2007 to 13,500.  Since 2001, U.S. newsrooms have lost more than 25 percent of their full-time staff positions, bringing the total to 41,500 working journalists. Minorities represented 16 percent of the journalists hired for their first full-time newsrooms job in 2009, the same as a year earlier. Many questions remain on how many journalists of color work for online only news outlets or have launched news media startups. Only a quarter of the online only news organizations contacted by ASNE returned the survey.
  • Quote of the Week: "Positive change cannot happen in school reform, the immigration system, in international affairs, nuclear proliferation, or the understanding of Islam...unless vibrant news media engage the American public about the issues." -Susan King/Carnegie Corp.


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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Univ. of Kansas Launches New Online Military-Media Journal

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the Univ. of Kansas recently launched the Military-Media Issues electronic journal. As a follow-up and supplement to a McCormick-funded Military and the Media workshop at Fort Leavenworth and a Military and the Media course at the School of Journalism, the website complies information to help bridge the gap between the media and military and to build stronger relationships between these two institutions. The site features stories from the workshop and provides a forum for officers, journalism students and journalists to post news and blog about their experiences.


The site also features an article by Journalism Program director Clark Bell on military-media issues, titled "Building on a tradition of service," which describes McCormick Foundation's commitment to the military and the media.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Update: NUF SAID Releases Youth Survey

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicago Youth Voices Network's NUF SAID student project released their online survey on Friday, April 9. The youth-created surveys will take the pulse on how young people in Chicago are dealing with the challenges of the economic recovery. To complete the survey click here.

All survey respondents will be registered to win a Flip Cam. So, youth of Chicago, get ready to take the survey and make your voice heard!

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Director's Notes: Basics and Changes

Monday, April 19, 2010

  1. Meeting deadlines, which today means 24/7 with a focus on immediacy and interaction.
  2. Watchdog journalism, which is a commitment to holding accountable officials and organizations that have an impact on the lives of local residents.
  3. Grassroots, which focuses on inclusion by providing an inter-active content platform for diverse audiences.
  4. Data, which provides the audience with local and regional information.  The data is high utility, meaning it's easy to find and use.
  • Uncle Sam Subsidy Skeptics. News executives have questions galore about the prospect of government financing for media companies. Many of those surveyed by Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (in partnership with the American Society of News Editors and the Radio Television Digital News Association) sense change for the better in their newsrooms today.  However, major concerns were expressed by the 353 responding news execs. For example, fewer than half are confident their operations will survive another 10 years unless there are significant new revenues streams.  But there is major resistance to handouts from the government or from groups that engage in advocacy.
  • Quote of the Week: "The best use of a journal is to print the largest practical amount of important truth, truth which tends to make mankind wiser, and thus happier." -Horace Greeley

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Beyondmedia Presents EXTRAVABANDZA!

Friday, April 16, 2010

This past Sunday, Beyondmedia Education held their EXTRAVABANDZA fundraiser (a pre-cursor to its annual gala in October) at Red Line Tap in Rogers Park. The evening featured four talented bands donating their talents for Beyondmedia’s media-driven, non-profit efforts, as well as a live auction and a raffle.

Here, Executive Director Salome Chasnoff offers a heartfelt message:

SALOME'S WELCOME
video

The evening was emceed by Madsen Minax and Simon Fisher, who, outside Beyondmedia’s offices, also comprise the folk music duo Actor Slash Model and have produced a film through Beyondmedia about transgendered and gender-variant musicians across the country which will premiere at DePaul University on May 8.

Shaboom, a women’s drumming troupe, kicked off EXTRAVABANDZA with some synchronized drumming:

SHABOOM
video

Here, Madsen and Simon explain the auction bidding process:

HOW IT WORKS
video

The auction prizes included a free social media consultation session, homemade gourmet cupcakes, dogwalking services, and even juggling lessons from Beyondmedia Development Director Ronit Belazel:

RONIT SHOWS OFF HER MOTOR SKILLS
video

But it wouldn’t have been an EXTRAVABANDZA without the bands! The evening’s lineup included The Nuisance, The Polymer Twins, 8-Inch Betsy and Transcendental Splitters.

Here is 8-Inch Betsy, who will be touring the East Coast next month (turn your speakers down for this one—it’s powerful):

8 INCH BETSY ("UH OH")
video

The evening was a howling success (pun intended!), raising over $2,700 for Beyondmedia’s programs. Congratulations, gang!

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Reminder: Submit your LOI by May 1

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just a reminder that if you’re planning to submit a letter of inquiry (LOI) to McCormick Foundation’s Journalism Program for 2011 funding, the deadline is May 1, 2010. (Note that this deadline does not apply to funding requests of $50,000 or under—those can be submitted on May 1 or any time later in the year.)

Who should apply by May 1, 2010?
•    Organizations applying for 2011 funding in excess of $50,000.
•    Organizations whose funding will run out in calendar year 2010 (even if your request is for $50,000 or less)

What do I need to do to apply? 
Please download the new application cover sheet and e-mail the application electronically to asmith@mccormickfoundation.org along with a two to three-page LOI. We will notify you by June 20, 2010 if we have additional questions or would like you to submit a full proposal.

Please note that our funding priorities have changed. Beginning in 2010, the Journalism Program has restructured grantmaking around Content, Audience and Rights. You can read more about the new program strategy on our Web site.

We’ve also prepared a short, two-minute instructional video on what to include in your letter of inquiry. You can find it here. Please contact us if you have any questions.


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Monday, April 12, 2010

NewsTrain comes to Chicago

Monday, April 12, 2010


Want to learn new media skills from the top journalists?

The Associated Press Managing Editors' (APME) NewsTrain came to The Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Illinois, on March 26-27. The two-day, traveling, training workshops are designed to help editors become more effective in their newsrooms by keeping abreast the latest technology trends.

This particular NewsTrain event awarded McCormick Educator scholarships to 20 Chicago-based journalism educators who are fostering the next generation of journalists.

The workshops featured two tracks: “The Nimble Leader” and “The Evolving Journalist” and featured courses on:
  • News Ethics and Values – Breaking News Without Breaking Trust / Mitch Pugh
  • The Skeptical Editor / Kathy Schenck
  • Creating a Constructive Culture / Bob Zaltsberg
  • Content Planning for Multiple Media and Multiple Deadlines / Jane Hirt
  • Your Data Strategy – What info to collect and what you can do with it / Derek Willis
  • Alternative distribution – Putting links, RSS and social networking to work / Mark Briggs
  • Covering communities in new ways / Mark Briggs
  • Knowing Your Audiences / Mark Briggs

Derek Willis, Web developer at The New York Times, led a workshop about data strategy that was particularly timely, given the proliferation of free and nominal-cost tools available today for enhancing reporting. Willis passed on some words of wisdom when designing user-friendly interfaces that "appeals to Bart Simpson's simplicity and Lisa Simpson's depth and curiosity."

Read more about data strategy on Willis’ handouts.

We hope that you can attend the next NewsTrain in Nashville, Tennessee from Sept. 23-24, 2010. Click here to get more information on how you can attend. Journalism educators can click here to apply for a McCormick Award that will pay for your workshop expenses up to $400.

Check out the photos posted to McCormick Journalism Facebook Page.

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Director's Notes: How do you view your news?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fluff and Bull. The average citizen hardly knows what to believe anymore, according to Salon.com's Gene Lyons. "Due to the parlous state of professional journalism; the Internet; cable TV 'news' networks and talk radio shouters; and the ceaseless din of the right-wing noise machine, the public is daily confronted with make-believe new, doctored quotes, fake history and phony data."  Meanwhile, MSNBC smugmaster Keith Olbermann personifies the bad news "that certain media figures are choosing to mimic such partisan tomfoolery on the left." Although skepticism used to be considered a journalistic virtue, the oft-derided mainstream media still hasn't figured out how to deal with this avalanche of mis- and disinformation, Lyons said.

Transparency Techies. Transparency has gained currency in social networking circles through such public accountability sites as Data.gov and Recovery.gov. The Washington Post's Mike Musgrove says "in the same way that social networking and apps have changed so much else on the planet, such technologies are being scrutinized for use in building stronger democracies."  One attendee at the recent TransparencyCamp at George Washington University said "there's no reason why keeping tabs on your member of Congress shouldn't be as easy as seeing what your friends are posting on a Facebook wall."

Disturbing Demand. Advertising Age reports that USA Today's website has started running thousands of pieces of original travel editorial from the Demand Media content farm. These types of revenue sharing partnerships are becoming more alluring to news organizations trying to slash their content costs. Media analyst Ken Doctor said the waves of buyouts and layoffs haven't done enough to overcome reductions in revenue. Content farms are showing there's another way to do it, Doctor said.  However, Demand Media's Dave Panos begs to differ. He believes the term content farm has a negative connotation that paints a picture of a nameless, faceless organization that churns out low-quality, thoughtless editorial product.  "We think our studio bears a greater resemblance to larger, distinctive content-creation companies like Reuters."  What do you think?

Quote of the Week: "Writing good editorials is chiefly telling the people what they think, not what you think."- Arthur Brisbane

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Viral Video: Careful, This Stuff's Powerful

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

For the past four years, the Sunshine Press, which operates the non-profit website WikiLeaks, has caused quite a stir among governments—both U.S. and international—by posting documents and information provided or “leaked” to it by anonymous sources close to those governments. As an example of just how seriously governments take WikiLeaks, a March 2008 U.S. cyber counterintelligence report posted on the site on March 15, 2010 details U.S. Intelligence’s plans to destroy WikiLeaks, citing that there is no way to determine whether sensitive or classified information is shared that might damage national security. WikiLeaks has persevered, although not without its share of censure (it’s been blocked by the governments of China, Zimbabwe, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam and Israel, for example).

But on April 5, it posted what is probably the most sensational material in its tenure: a classified 18-minute video leaked by an anonymous Pentagon source that allegedly shows the Apache helicopter killing of two Reuters employees and their rescuers outside of Baghdad in 2007, which it posted under the URL “CollateralMurder.com.” For the past three years, Reuters had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain this video and related materials from the Pentagon through the Freedom of Information Act.

WikiLeaks sent two reporters to Baghdad to research the story and interview the families of the victims and, according to founder Julian Assange, broke the code that encrypted the video. Within 24 hours of its posting, it had garnered over 1.3 million hits on YouTube. Critics of the video, including a helicopter pilot involved in the mission, state that the video is misleading in its portrayal of a malicious act rather than the result of confusion on the ground. But the mushroom effect of this video points up the immediacy of digital media and its powerful reach.

WikiLeaks is currently in the process of soliciting funds to cover the costs of releasing another video showing civilian killings in Afghanistan. The organization has operated on a budget of about $600,000 per year, and states that it has currently raised just over half of that for 2010. It claims to have thousands of pages of documents that it cannot share with the world due to limited capacity, but its method of digital sharing appears to be a cost-effective one: even $10 can cover the cost of releasing a document to 10,000 people.

As Assange puts it, “In terms of journalism efficiency, I think we discovered a lot with a small amount of resources.”

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Director's Notes: New Journalists

Monday, April 05, 2010


  • Who is a Journalist? What is Journalism?: The answer to this digital age question remains cloudy. What do you think? Traditionalists are convinced that journalism is a profession, an admirable one at that. A journalist is something you are and journalism is a way to make a living. However, the proliferation of web sites, blogs and news outlets fed by citizens, has turned journalism into something you do. Anybody can do it, and most people have. The photography business already have gone through this rigmarole. While there are still some gifted photographers who earn a living from their skills and marketing abilities, technological advances have made it convenient and cost-effective for anybody to snap away. What makes a casual photographer a camera buff? When does a buff become a serious lensman?
  • According to a new study released by PR Week and PR Newswire, 52 percent of bloggers consider themselves journalists. Last year, only one in three bloggers held that opinion. Meanwhile, TechCrunch reports that only 20 percent of bloggers obtain the majority of their incomes from their blogs. In addition, less than 40 percent of print magazine and newspaper journalists surveyed use blogs or social networks for research purposes.
  • Gotham Confronts the Dilemma: New York City is proposing new rules for issuing press passes to members of the media, including bloggers. The credentialing system would reflect changes to the media industry and, for the first time, expressly incorporate online-only media. "This is a press credentialing system for the online age that can serve as a model for governments around the country," said Administrative Law Division Chief Gabriel Taussig. "The rules were drafted in a collaborative process with input from numerous interested participants, together with extensive research and a public listening session with members from all segments of the media." The link will fill you in on the details.
  • Quote of the Week: "Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it." -John Hersey

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2010 High School Media Awards Announcement

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Take a moment to check out the McCormick Foundation 2010 High School Media Awards announcements. The winners were announced March 18, 2010 at the 18th Annual Scholastic Press Association's Chicago conference. Thirteen Chicago high schools participated in this year’s conference. The competition highlights some of the best Chicagoland high school newspapers, news websites, articles, photos, drawings and graphics.

Congratulations to all the participants for putting forth their best work!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Director's Notes: Critics of Journalism

Monday, March 29, 2010


  • A View from the Far East: Japanese journalist Kayo Matsushita offered his views of journalism education in the United States by emphasizing "there is a firmly rooted notion of journalism as the basis of democracy. Matsushita's thoughtful commentary, which appeared in the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's second largest newspaper, uprooted "digital," entrepreneurship" and "collaboration" as the buzzwords of 21st Century American journalism education.
  • Among schools cited in the piece are Arizona State University, the University of California/Berkeley, Northwestern University, American University, Boston University, Columbia University and Florida International University.
  • These schools, the report said, are "working to develop, through real-world training, the leaders of a diversifying media industry...while raising a new type of journalists, are even managing to create new jobs. The American journalism schools are only just beginning to take on an unprecedented and exciting role in the future of the media."
  • Church-State Trap: Media economist Robert G. Picard says efforts to professionalize journalism began early in the 20th Century as a response to the hyper commercialization of newspapers and the anything goes approach to news." But in his recent Shoptalk column in Editor and Publisher, Picard said editorial staffers must not embrace the business side, or perish. "If journalists continue to deny responsibility for the operation and survival of their news enterprises, it will be impossible to create sustainable news organizations for the future."
  • Quote of the Week: "In America, the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever." -Oscar Wilde

Read the full story

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

McCormick Foundation Awards $50,000 Grant To Youth Media Los Angeles Collaborative

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The McCormick Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Youth News Service L.A. Bureau to support the Youth Media Los Angeles Collaborative (YMLAC).

“We are excited and honored to receive this prestigious grant,” said Linda Bowen, project manager of the YMLAC and assistant professor of journalism at California State University, Northridge.

The YMLAC is a citywide group of youth media organizations and individuals dedicated to training young people in producing journalism across multimedia platforms. Initially, the collaborative will coordinate the various youth journalism and media programs and organizations throughout the greater Los Angeles region and create an online database of youth media and student journalism programs.

“The idea is to create a networking foundation and Web-based interactive resource that can bring these diverse groups and individuals together to help young people become and stay interested in journalism,” Bowen added. “Fostering civic engagement and news media literacy are critical project components.”

Ultimately, the collaborative will connect youth media producers and young journalists to a broad network of mentors – from university students, educators and professional journalists to non-profit agency trainers and members of advocacy and literacy organizations. Eventually, professionals and students could be geographically matched.

“McCormick-funded research shows that students who study journalism do better
academically,” said Clark Bell, McCormick Foundation Journalism Program director. “By
fostering collaboration among student media organizations, we can expand the network of
journalism opportunities for Los Angeles youth.”

The YMLAC is intended to serve as a model for organizations throughout the country seeking to improve the state of journalism by sharing resources, cultivating journalism skills and promoting First Amendment rights.

The McCormick Foundation’s Journalism Program invests in projects that enhance content, build news audiences and protect the rights of journalists. The Chicago-based Foundation believes nothing is more critical to the vitality of a democracy than a free, vigorous and diverse news media, providing citizens the information they need to make reasoned decisions. This mission furthers the Foundation's overall commitment to children, communities.

CONTACT:
Linda Bowen
Office: (818) 677-3238
Email: linda.s.bowen@csun.edu

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Director's Notes: Learning More About Journalism

Monday, March 22, 2010

  • Reinvention Trends. The Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual "State of the News Media" spots six major trend lines for reinventing the news media:
(1) The unbundling of news seems increasingly central to the future of journalism.
(2) The future of new and old media are tied together.
(3) There is a mistaken notion that news media are shrinking.
(4) Technology is further shifting power to newsmakers, including their ability to control the initial account of the events.
(5) News organizations must define their relationship to the growing ranks of self-interested information providers.
(6) When it comes to audience numbers online, traditional media content still prevails, which means the cutbacks in old media heavily impact what the public is learning through the new.
  • In response, PoynterOnline's Bill Mitchell wonders "just what sort of commercial and editorial reinvention will it take to close the gap between the shrinking capacity of legacy news operations to deliver the news we need and the still halting initiatives of start-ups hoping to take their place."  
  • Suggested Read. Former McCormick Foundation board member Jack Fuller will explore how journalism lost its way in a new book scheduled for release in May.  The University of Chicago Press says "What is Happening to News: The Information Explosion and the Crisis in Journalism" locates the surprising sources of change where no one has thought to look before.  Fuller traces journalism's ragged retreat from its great traditions to a collision between a revolutionary new information age and a human brain that is still wired for the threats faced by our prehistoric ancestors. In addition to offering "unprecedented insight," the UCPress publicity machine says Fuller's book tells "how journalists can adapt to this new environment while still providing the information necessary to a functioning democracy.
  • Quote of the week.  "I hope we never live to see the day when a thing is as bad as some our newspapers make it." -Will Rogers

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spotlight on Jamie McIntyre’s Military-Media Blog: Line of Departure

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Part of McCormick Media Matters' mission is to share sources of information with journalists that help them develop a thorough coverage of issues, including national security issues. Jamie McIntyre hosts Military.com’s Media and National Policy Journal blog, “Line of Departure,” that reports on military-media topics. As a veteran reporter from CNN and a voice in McCormick’s 2009 Military-Media Conference, McIntyre covers media coverage of the military, Pentagon security and the overseas war. “We’re really seeing an information revolution that has completely changed the way we do things,” McIntyre said in the McCormick report about the changing information landscape journalists face.

Military-Media Conferences: Since 1992, the McCormick Foundation has hosted a series of conferences 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. The 10th Military-Media conference was held in September 2009.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Scholastic Press Association of Chicago-McCormick Foundation High School Media Awards

Monday, March 15, 2010


We’re looking forward to recognizing this year’s winning student journalists at tomorrow’s annual High School Media Awards. And for all those high school journalism advisers, we’ve prepared a list of resources below. We’re eager to hear what your needs are, so let us know how we can help.  

McCormick-Roosevelt Mini Tech Grants for Educators
Learn how to apply for a tech grant:

News Literacy
Learn about the the latest news literacy initiatives and resources.

Chicago Youth Voices Network
Stay up to date with CYVN’s youth polling and reporting project—NUF SAID.

McCormick Foundation Journalism Program
Stay in touch with the Journalism program in the following ways:

Other resources:
Youth Media Reporter

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Director's Notes: Foundations for News

Monday, March 15, 2010

  • Forever the Province. The American Journalism Review puffed up the Huffington Post Investigative Fund in its March issue.  The fund aims to create a new nonprofit business model and "to reinvent the way investigative journalism is done," according to Investigative Fund Executive Director Nick Penniman. Foundations shoulder a healthy percentage of the fund's operating budget.  Brant Houston of the University of Illinois notes that questions are bound to surface about the motivations of foundations that fund newsgathering.  "In the end, I think a lot of people are going to measure the importance and success of any of these ventures on the stories they produce, and the credibility of those stories," Houston said. 
  • Penniman believe it makes perfect sense for media groups to forge alliances with large foundations.  "Because investigative journalism is the most expensive and time-consuming, in my mind it will forever be the province of the nonprofit world."  He likens enterprise journalism to museums and educational and environmental causes.  "People have always understood that those things need to be funded through philanthropy," Penniman said.
  • Sexual Assault Study. Meanwhile, a recently released McCormick Foundation-funded investigation on campus assaults raises a provocative question about disclosure.  The national project on campus sexual assaults was managed by the Center for Public Integrity with feeds from regional nonprofit news organizations, including the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.  Phoenix.com questioned why the Boston University-based New England Center offered no data on BU.  More more on the brouhaha, click here
  • The final word goes to the Neiman Journalism Lab's Laura McGann, who came up with a set of three questions to distinguish the legitimacy of a nonprofit news organization:

1. Does the nonprofit create original news or commentary on a regular schedule?
2. Does it directly reach an audience (or does it fuel news outlets)?
3. Does it spend its money on and dedicate the bulk of its resources to journalism?

  • Quote of the week:  "Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault.  It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air." -Henry Anatole Grunwald

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Director's Notes: Reaction to the Shrinking Newsroom

Sunday, March 07, 2010



  • J-School Lifeline. Inside Higher Ed poses the provocative question of whether journalism school can save journalism in their article "J-Schools to the Rescue?" You know the scenario: While newsrooms are shrinking, J-schools are flourishing. The result is more explicit arrangements to have journalism students, who will work for course credit, fill the gaps left by the pros when the news outlets can no longer afford to pay. Inside Higher Ed focuses on the recently announced partnership between New York University and the New York Times, which slashed 200 newsroom jobs last year. The problem, according to Choire Sicha of The Awl, is that the skills picked up by the students while providing free content to the Times will not mean much when they graduate and go looking for salaried positions that no longer exist.
  • The McCormick Foundation got into the game in January 2009 by supporting Florida International University student feeds to the South Florida News Service, a content-sharing partnership among the Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post. Our grant was contingent on support by the three newspapers in the FIU project.
  • Peter Scheer, another MF grantee, speculated that journalism schools may be continuing to enroll students at high levels despite an anemic job market because news organizations need them to be producing young reporters who are professionally trained but cost less than their more experienced forebears.
  • Train Everyone to be a Journalist. Poynter Online columnist Al Tompkins has another idea to combat those shrinking newsrooms. "As we pare back our staffs, and as emergencies hit, you will find you need everyone in your building to help out in ways you never imagined."
  • Quote of the Week: "The best use of a journal is to print the largest practical amount of important truth, truth which tends to make makind wiser, and thus happier." -Horace Greeley

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

McCormick Journalism Tips To Preparing a Letter of Inquiry

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


In the first segment of a series of videos, McCormick Foundation Journalism Program's Aaron Smith explains the first step in applying for a grant, preparing a letter of inquiry.

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McCormick Journalism 2009 Grantee Map

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

We've created a map of our 2009 grantees and their McCormick-funded projects to help connect them to others who may be doing similar work and share the impact and contributions they've made. Navigate the map below for information on journalism projects, trainings, workshops and collaborations. 

To view a larger version of the map, click here.

View McCormick Journalism Grantees 2009 in a larger map

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Director's Notes: Changing News

Sunday, February 28, 2010



  • Best of the Lot. J-Lab Executive Director Jan Schaffer says that most successful citizen journalism projects "have developed a reputation for being not just good community news outlets, but also good community stewards." Schaffer, who manages the McCormick Foundation New Media Women Entrepreneurs awards competition, was in Los Angeles recently to address the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. "As I look at how the media ecosystem is evolving in communities large and small across the United States, I am more optimistic than pessimistic that citizens will get their information needs met. I also think that traditional journalists will play a smaller---albeit still important---role as the gatherers and disseminators of news." Schaffer lauded "the growing appetite" by philanthropic foundations for supporting community information needs. "Foundations once worried about funding projects that might compete with fragile news organizations. In the last two years, however, they have become so alarmed at the diminishing news coming from downsized local news outlets that they are seeking ways to intervene."
  • New Newsroom. AOL is building a newsroom of the future, according to Business Week. The AOL software model determines audience interest in particular stories and then gives journalists detailed data on the level of readership traffic and advertising revenue the articles generate. More than 500 full-time journalists now work for AOL. Business Week says 150 of them were added last year.
  • Blog folds. Connecticut Local Politics, a well regarded citizen blog site, has folded its tent. The New York Times speculates that the the political news and views publication died because "it became too much for the creator to handle and because it got sued twice---something a corporation can battle but few individuals can."
  • Quote of the Week. "I fear three newspapers more than a hundred thousand bayonets." -Napolean

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Training for the Expanding Ethnic Media Newsroom

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Want to learn more about how to work in an ethnic media newsroom? Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) is hosting a series of training workshops for ethnic media newsrooms in April. These Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshops will help journalists “sharpen their skills, learn new approaches and add depth to their reporting.” Award-winning journalists from around the country volunteer their time to provide training on topics such as the 2010 census, criminal justice, the economy, education, health care, immigration and local government. Hands-on spreadsheet software training also will be offered.

Upcoming Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshops:
April 9-10, 2010 in Los Angeles, Calif.
April 10-11, 2010 in Chicago, Ill.
April 16-17, 2010 in New York, N.Y.

For more information about the workshops and registration, click here.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Director's Notes: Ups and Downs of Journalism

Monday, February 22, 2010

  • Let News Be News. Jeff Jarvis, a digital media guru and MF grantee, believes Google News has taken "editors to school on content presentation in our new world." The BuzzMachine blogger says Google's open-sourced Living Stories is outmoded as the building block of news. The new order of journalism, Jarvis says, needs to reflect the transition from a product to a process. "It needs to gather updates and corrections on a story. It needs to put that story in context and history. It needs to link to other versions of the story from other stories."
  • Where is the hope? Where is the transparency? The White House continues to show that President Obama's chest-thumping rhetoric about transparency in government is about as hollow as his vow to throttle the explosion in legislative earmarks. The latest swipe at the press involved the President's recent private meeting with the Dalai Lama. As Poynter Institute ethicist Kelly McBride noted, it's hard for the Obama administration to square its pledges of openness with the efforts to control coverage of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. "Government controlled coverage is not acceptable in societies that promote freedom," said Associate Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll. "And that is why we do not distribute government handouts of events that we believe should be open to the press and therefore to the public at large."
  • ICFJ Award Opportunity. The International Center for Journalists, a MF grantee, is seeking nominations of professional or citizen journalists whose reporting has made a significant difference. The deadline for Knight International Journalism Fellowships nominations is April 2. The fellowships aim to produce tangible changes that improve the quality and free flow of news in the public interest around the world. Winners will be honored at ICFJ's Nov. 9 awards dinner.
  • Quote of the Week: "Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all." -Thomas Carlyle

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Challenge Fund for Journalism Awards 13 New Grants

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

NEW YORK – The Challenge Fund for Journalism (CFJ), a consortium of the Ford, McCormick, and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundations, today announced that 13 nonprofit journalism organizations working in youth media, ethnic media, and investigative reporting will receive $875,819 in grants.  The winners, listed below, are a broad mix of organizations from across the United States active in local and national news and information projects.

Piloted in 2004, CFJ was introduced amid extraordinary and difficult changes in the news media profession.  Not only have journalism organizations seen a significant decline in financial support from corporate and philanthropic sources, but also a severe contraction in the industry as a whole.  The current economic crisis has only exacerbated these difficulties, demonstrating more than ever the need to build the capacity of organizations to expand and diversify their financial base of support.

The Challenge Fund initiative addresses this need by providing a combination of grants and customized coaching, technical assistance, and peer networking opportunities to ensure that journalism groups have the leadership, infrastructure, and financial resources needed to increase their adaptability and promote long-term sustainability.  Grantees are chosen through a competitive process that utilizes criteria such as readiness for capacity building, commitment to organizational change, commitment to revenue diversification, and potential impact of CFJ on organizational development and sustainability.

In the first five cycles of the program, a total of 44 media organizations participated, generating almost $8 million for the field.  The current round, CFJ VI, has two groups of grantees:  Cohort 1 will receive two-year grants, complemented by technical assistance and participation in grantee networking and collaboration.  Cohort 2 will receive one-year grants only.  All of the awards are challenge grants and must be matched by the organization.  The new grantees met in New York City on January 21-22 to kick off the Challenge Fund for Journalism VI.


Cohort 1
Chicago Reporter
$75,000

Columbia Journalism Review
$100,819

Investigative Reporting Workshop
$75,000

Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism
$100,000

New York Community Media Alliance
$75,000

Street-Level Youth Media$100,000

Twin Cities Media Alliance
 $75,000

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
$75,000

Youth News Service – LA Youth
$100,000




Cohort 2
Asian American Journalists Association
$25,000

National Association of Black Journalists
$25,000

National Association of Hispanic Journalists
$25,000

Native American Journalists Association
$25,000
           

Calvin Sims, Program Officer, Media, Arts, and Culture, at the Ford Foundation noted that “The Challenge Fund for Journalism has been very successful in building essential organizational and fund development capacity among a broad range of journalism organizations.  Many of these groups are responsible for bringing diverse voices, perspectives, and stories into the media space.  CFJ not only serves to bolster the financial sustainability of these critical organizations, but also ultimately strengthens the entire journalism profession.”

“This innovative collaboration has been a rewarding experience for us,” said Clark Bell, the McCormick Foundation’s Journalism Program Director.  “As the journalism field continues to experience seismic shifts, the organizational and financial tools and resources this program provides is needed now more than ever.  By enhancing the ability of nonprofit journalism organizations to fundraise from a diverse range of sources and develop earned income strategies, CFJ VI will serve to sustain their bottom lines far into the future.”

Bob Ross, President and CEO of the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, further commented that “Participation in CFJ has proven transformational for many grantees, helping them make important organizational changes and implement innovative capacity-building and fund development strategies.  After CFJ, we have found that most organizations do not return to ‘business as usual’ but instead incorporate the new structures and frameworks learned into their organizational DNA.”


The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation (www.journalismfoundation.org) was founded in 1982 by Edith Kinney Gaylord to support local and national efforts to improve the quality of journalism practices among various media. The Foundation provides funding for projects that promote excellence and instill high ethical standards in journalism.

The Ford Foundation (www.fordfound.org) is an independent, nonprofit grantmaking organization.  For more than half a century it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.


The McCormick Foundation (www.mccormickfoundation.org) is a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening our free, democratic society by investing in children, communities and country. Through its grantmaking programs, Cantigny Park and Golf, museums, and civic outreach program the Foundation helps build a more active and engaged citizenry. It was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.

The New York office of TCC Group (www.tccgrp.com), a 30 year-old management consulting firm that works with funders and nonprofit organizations, manages The Challenge Fund for Journalism and provides technical assistance to the grantees.


Contact:  Alice Hill, TCC Group, 212-949-3186
ahill@tccgrp.com

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