Thursday, March 29, 2012

April 2 Deadline: Last Call for Why News Matters Applications

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Why News Matters application deadline of April 2 is fast approaching. If the three informational sessions we held are any indication, there will be scores of excellent ideas. More than 100 organizations participated in the informational sessions, while others connected with us later online.

If you’ve missed the informational sessions, we’ve posted our March 9 Why News Matters overview webinar for online viewing. Very soon, we’ll add recordings of our two news literacy guest presenters, Dean Miller of the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University, and Geanne Rosenberg of Baruch College.  In the meantime, feel free to browse the presentation slides from our March 27 informational session below:
Download Geanne Rosenberg's presentation
Download the Why News Matters overview presentation 

And we have taken Why News Matters on the road.  Since developing the concept in January, the Journalism Program staff has been talking with universities, news organizations, libraries, community groups, jobs training programs, educators, civic organizations, arts groups, media literacy organizations, digital folks, entrepreneurs and independent journalists. We’ve truly enjoyed these conversations and your thoughtful ideas and questions about shaping a long-term strategy and approach to news literacy in Chicago.

To help you prepare your application, we’ve compiled a few additional frequently asked questions from our recent informational sessions:

Many of you have asked us to elaborate on our evaluation process and requirements. We’re pleased to share our evaluation logic model to give you a better sense of our program goals and framework and how your ideas might align. We plan to develop more detailed evaluation metrics from our work with Why News Matters grantees.

How can news literacy be incorporated into an area like work-force training? 
News literacy is intertwined with media, digital and other literacies. We feel there are synergies with these disciplines in citizenship, workforce development and workforce reentry programs. McCormick, for example, funds digital navigators at the Chicago Public Libraries. Much of this traffic comes from older people looking for jobs. Another example: Financial literacy teachers better connect with students by illustrating curriculum with relevant current economic events. We want to know your ideas on how news literacy skills align with other learning skills.

You say you want to engage the community. What’s your take on the role of journalism in advocacy and community organizing? 
We are exploring this question now more than ever in the past. That said, we are firm believers in pure journalism skills.  We’re certainly looking at  different ways that people learn and engage, but the focus has to be on informing and stimulating citizen action through a news literacy lens.

Do I have to create a separate user name and log-in for every application I submit? 
You may submit multiple applications using the same username and password. Each application you submit will be assigned a unique identification number to help you keep track of your applications. See below:

At any time, you can access and work on your application(s) by logging into your grant application account by logging-in from You can toggle between Submitted Applications and In Progress Applications by clicking on the “Show” drop down menu on the top right hand corner.

Remember: To apply, fill out this brief application form on our online application system. Note: If you are a new user to our online application system, you'll need to enter your e-mail address and create a password. If you already are registered with us, you can use your existing McCormick Grant Request log-in and password. (Current grantees: This is the same log-in and password you used to complete your year-end grant reports).

Please submit your applications by the end of business day April 2.

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