Foundation Funds New Year of Educational Programs

Article excerpt

The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation board voted to award $264,550 in new grants during its spring meeting in May. Combined with previously committed grants of $23,000, the Foundation will award at least $287,500 in 2007.

The Foundation supports the educational and charitable activities of the Society of Professional Journalists and serves the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing journalism careers. Its programming priorities include professional training for journalists; fostering diversity in newsrooms and in coverage; promoting integrity and responsible reporting; advancing a free press as the foundation of the nation's democracy; and inspiring future generations of journalists.

The 2007 grants awarded this spring include:

* Ethnic & Community Media Training: $17,550. A new program this year, SPJ will create training programs related to open meetings and public records laws for ethnic media outlets. Today, ethnic media reaches 51 million people in the United States, or 1 in 6 residents. This program will provide tools and resources to journalists working for ethnic media outlets.

* Citizen Journalism Academy: $23,200. SPJ will introduce the tenets of responsible news gathering and distribution to citizens practicing journalism through blogging, Web administration and production and through interaction with sites maintained by mainstream news organizations.

* 2007 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference: $48,150. SPJ will be returning to Washington D.C. for the first time since 1996, and the conference program holds many programming gems, including a behind the scenes examination of the Supreme Court; instructions on working with and benefiting from citizen journalists; effective, new research tools; planning your organization's campaign coverage; localizing national issues; and other hot topics such as campaign finance, religion and policy.

* Diversity Outreach Project: $14,430. The SPJ Diversity Leadership Grants will help build the contacts, networks and awareness necessary to enable more journalists of color to participate in SPJ and enjoy its professional development resources. Six fellows participate in the organization's annual conference, gain SPJ mentors, and take on leadership responsibilities in the organization.

* SPJ Spring Conferences: $6,000. Spring Conferences bring training to the backyards of journalists around the country, with 12 events taking place each year.

* National Freedom of Information Coalition: $7,500. …