McCormick Foundation Partners with Poynter Institute to Administer the Specialized Reporting Institutes

Oct 27, 2010, 18:17 ET from McCormick Foundation

CHICAGO, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The McCormick Foundation is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Poynter Institute to administer its 2011 Specialized Reporting Institutes (SRI) program. The SRIs are a popular series of intensive journalism workshops designed to provide subject-specific expertise and practical skills to working journalists.  This partnership strengthens the Foundation's commitment to ensuring that citizens have access to quality news content.

Poynter will oversee the application process, answer applicants' questions, work with McCormick to select SRI hosts and then be a resource for hosts as they carry out and evaluate their events.

Poynter also will work with selected SRI hosts to create a custom training resource page on the News University website and to increase the impact, effectiveness and visibility of the events.

The $340,000 grant will cover Poynter's costs and fund six to eight SRIs next year, one of which will be hosted by Poynter.

"Poynter has conducted a number of our journalism trainings in the past, and we've always been highly satisfied with the results," said Clark Bell, the McCormick Foundation's journalism program director. "The organization's knowledge, customer service and digital capabilities will only enhance the impact of the SRI program."

SRIs are designed to meet the growing need to provide journalists and others with subject-specific expertise and practical reporting training in key issues. The goals of a Specialized Reporting Institute are to:

  • Identify key sources and resources on the topic.
  • Develop story ideas for today, tomorrow and six months from now.
  • Enable reporters to meet like-minded colleagues for tips and support.
  • Build confidence for journalists new to the topic and help more experienced reporters see new possibilities.
  • Provide training and professional development to reporters working for smaller organizations, including community and ethnic media.
  • Share the learning with new tools and technology and by urging newsroom participants to host training for colleagues.

Each SRI is organized and administered by a non-profit host, which plans and carries

out the program. The training event convenes a diverse group of journalists, often from

small to mid-sized news organizations, plus educators, for a program lasting two to three days. Participants represent all media platforms. Grant funds cover all or most of participants' travel, lodging and tuition. SRI hosts typically receive grants of $35,000-$50,000 to cover the costs of the institute.

Poynter has launched an online application for organizations applying to host SRIs. Applications for 2011 funding are due November 22, 2010. Application forms and guidelines now available at:

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions or send an e-mail to

About the McCormick Foundation

The McCormick Foundation is committed to strengthening our nation's civic health by fostering educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through its grantmaking programs, Cantigny Park and Golf, and museums, the Foundation helps citizens make life better in our communities. The Foundation 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 McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets.  For more information, please visit

SOURCE McCormick Foundation