Steve Geimann, President, (202) 624-1960
Julie Grimes, Associate Executive Director, (317) 927-8000, ext. 216
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists approved a $20,000 grant to help launch a collaborative investigative journalism project to continue the work of murdered Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey.
The Foundation’s funding will let the Chauncey Bailey Project continue Bailey’s work where he left off on Aug. 2, 2007, when he was shot, execution-style, as he walked to work. The project includes journalists from newspapers, radio and television stations, joined by non-profit groups in the Bay Area and journalism programs at three colleges.
“This is an important collaborative effort by journalists dedicated to learning the truth,” said Foundation President Steve Geimann. “The Foundation’s support will let these reporters gather the information needed to do their work, and then share their findings with the public.
“We challenge other journalism organizations, newspapers, broadcasters and anyone dedicated to the public’s right to know to support this work,” Geimann said. “Chauncey Bailey was killed because he was working on an important news story that someone didn’t want published. Journalists must not – and cannot – sit still when our profession and the public’s interest is under such threat.”
The SDX Foundation grant was approved Oct. 30 via a teleconference hosted by the SDX Executive Committee. The grant will go to the SPJ Northern California chapter, a co-founder of the Chauncey Bailey Project, to pay for an initial records search, data collection and source interviews along with a share of the costs to build a Web site relying on the latest technologies to share results of the work with journalists and the public.
Funding also will provide fellowships for professional journalists on leave from their positions to participate in the project, along with limited stipends for college students from the Bay Area joining the project.
The Chauncey Bailey Project is the largest joint action by journalists since the Arizona Project, a 1976 effort pulled together after reporter Don Bolles died from injuries suffered in a car-bomb explosion outside a hotel where he planned a meeting with a potential source.
Bolles’ death prompted more than three dozen reporters and editors from two dozen newspapers to converge on Phoenix, and a year later published a 23-part series exposing the influence of organized crime and corruption in Arizona politics.
Founded in 1961, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) public foundation that is dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. Its goal is to support the educational programs of the Society of Professional Journalists and to serve the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism.
The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information on SPJ and SDX, please visit www.spj.org.