The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation board of directors approved grants totaling $218,024 during its meeting May 1.
Award winners included the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Freedom of Information Coalition, Western Kentucky University, the University of Georgia, the Indiana Coalition for Open Government and the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press. More than $177,500 was earmarked for educational purposes, more than $29,000 went toward grants targeting FOI issues and more than $11,000 went toward ethics in journalism. In addition, a $20,000 multi-year grant to the National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation for the Minority Writers Seminar will be given as part of a $100,000 pledge to build an endowment for the program.
SPJ received a total of $177,524, with $22,700 earmarked to help fund educational programs at the October 2005 National Convention in Las Vegas. About $44,800 was provided to offset staff salaries associated with SPJ educational and awards programs. A new initiative by SPJ, narrative writing workshops, received $41,500 for a series of six workshops. Pulitzer prize winner Tom Hallman will lead the series targeted to early career reporters and front-line editors at small and mid-size daily newspapers. The program will also be open — on a limited basis — to collegiate journalism students. Grants totaling $6,000 will again be available to SPJ regional conferences and $11,000 will be available to SPJ chapters seeking funding for Ethics Week activities and programming. SPJ also received a grant of $50,500 for production of an interactive DVD-ROM of the Sigma Delta Chi award winners. The project is expected to highlight noteworthy achievements in journalism and to promote the awards.
The National Freedom of Information Coalition received $5,000 for support of its 2005 conference. Western Kentucky University will receive $3,000 for promotion of a text book of contemporary First Amendment cases. The University of Georgia has received a $9,000 grant for three years ($3,000 for each of 3 years) for support of the Annual Surveys of Journalism and Mass Communications. The Indiana Coalition received $3,500 for its part in hosting the 2006 NFOIC conference to be held in Indianapolis and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press received $15,000 to publish the fifth edition of “Tapping Officials’ Secrets.”
The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation was established in 1961 as a 501(c)(3) charity. The mission of the Foundation is to encourage a climate in which journalism can be practiced freely and fully; to promote high standards and ethical behavior; to inspire excellence; foster diversity and to prepare the next generation of journalists.