New Grants Target Youth Journalism

The McCormick Foundation Board of Directors recently approved more than $4 million in new Journalism grants. Of that, $1.97 million is earmarked for 2009 activities, and $2.1 million will be invested in subsequent years. The money will be granted to 22 organizations, many of them for high school and college journalism initiatives. Through the Journalism program's grantees, the McCormick Foundation reinforces Robert R. McCormick's passionate belief in the First Amendment and life-long commitment to promoting and protecting a free press in our democratic society.

"These grants support our focus on innovation, integration and invigoration of the news media," said Clark Bell, Journalism program director, McCormick Foundation. "Our grants address the full spectrum of challenges and opportunities in the profession, ranging from training for high school students to leadership development for senior media executives."

The McCormick Foundation's Journalism program continues to invest in organizations that promote journalistic ethics, boost training for young journalists and enable journalists to develop specialized skills that meet society's changing needs. Since the program's inception in 1993, the McCormick Foundation has invested more than $85 million in support of journalism initiatives that reflect the legacy of former Tribune editor and publisher Robert R. McCormick.

"The Journalism program supports a free, vigorous and diverse news media and is committed to invigorating the profession of journalism and instilling a sense of service," said David L. Grange, president and chief executive officer, McCormick Foundation. "By helping aspiring journalists develop skills -- while encouraging ethics, objectivity and public service -- the Foundation enhances the future of the profession and contributes to a more engaged, better informed citizenry."

2009 Program Grant Highlights

In efforts to promote appreciation and awareness of the First Amendment, the McCormick Foundation granted $100,000 to the American Society of Newspaper Editors Foundation, Inc. for the Liberty Tree Initiative. The two-year grant will be used to seed 10 selected colleges and universities for conferences and celebrations to educate the students about free speech and media. The grant will also fund the creation of a Web site that displays the Liberty Tree Initiative's efforts and focus.

Columbia College Chicago will receive a $250,000 grant for its Columbia Links journalism project. The two-year grant will assist in providing journalism training to Chicago area high school students and faculty. This is the McCormick Foundation's first multi-year grant for Columbia Links, which has already funded youth training for 25 of the city's 100-plus high schools. The McCormick Foundation has awarded $3.3 million in youth media programs since 2006, most of them serving high students in the Chicago area.