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SPJ Freelance Fund created to support independent journalists with training and resources


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4/20/2022


CONTACT:
Hilary Niles, SPJ Freelance Community Chair, spjfreelancecommunity@gmail.com
Michelle Lagos, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-361-4134, mlagos@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists Foundation and SPJ Freelance Community have established the SPJ Foundation Freelance Fund to provide financial support to independent journalists.

The fund, seeded by an anonymous donor, will support freelance journalists seeking educational and professional development opportunities they otherwise may not be able to pursue. Donations are being accepted to help sustain and grow the fund. The fund is also one of several funds that generous donors may contribute to during Sigma Delta Chi Day on Thursday.

“In the modern media environment, more reporting and writing is being done by freelancing journalists. This fund will help them acquire the skills they need to do the quality work our nation needs from journalism,” said SPJ Foundation President Irwin Gratz.

"Today, freelance journalists can breathe a sigh of relief because they will have access to financial support to pursue training and reporting opportunities, especially during challenging times in the news industry,” said SPJ President Rebecca Aguilar. “We applaud the SPJ Freelance Community and the SPJ Foundation for their vision in creating this much-needed fund for independent journalists."

The Freelance Fund's first offering will sponsor at least two independent journalists attending MediaFest22 in Washington, D.C., in October. Freelance Fellows will receive one convention registration, a $250 stipend, up to $500 in supplemental funds for travel and lodging for those attending from outside the D.C. area, and one ticket to the SPJ President's Installation Banquet.

Additional offerings of the Freelance Fund may include:

• Financing expenses for specialized training and professional development
• Supporting opportunities for reporting ventures
• Covering the cost of applying for fellowships and awards
• Underwriting technology that would be used to create and maintain resources for freelancers

“The SPJ Freelance Community has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and we are thrilled now to support independent journalists even more substantially, thanks to this generous donation and the SPJ Foundation,” said chair of the SPJ Freelance Community Board of Directors Hilary Niles.

A team from the Freelance Community will select recipients based on need, merit and applicants’ contribution to the Freelance Community and SPJ.

Apply by July 1 and email with any questions.

The Society of Professional Journalists Foundation is a public foundation dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. The SPJ Foundation supports educational and professional needs of journalists and journalism students. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Give to the SPJ Foundation.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

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