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SPJ Foundation awards over $45,000 in grants to seven initiatives and journalism programs


Hagit Limor, SPJ Foundation President, hilmormedia@gmail.com
Nadia Gordon, SPJ Communications Coordinator, ngordon@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — Seven journalism organizations and not-for-profits will receive more than $45,000 from the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation as part of its 2024 grant cycle.

SPJ Foundation grants are being awarded to Louis E. Ingelhart First Amendment Program, Trust Kit: How To Build Trust As A Freelancer program, LGBTQ+ Newsroom Outreach Program, Indigenous Journalists Association Indigenous Media Initiative, the Spark Training Program, Summer High School Journalism Institute and the ReNews Project for initiatives and programs that align with the Society’s Mission.

“The SPJ Foundation is dedicated to protecting freedom of speech and the press, emphasizing our mission to help advocate for an open government,” said SPJ Foundation President Hagit Limor. “We are pleased to support these initiatives that focus on fostering diversity and encouraging excellence for both student and professional journalists.”

The College Media Association and the Student Press Law Center’s Louis E. Ingelhart First Amendment Program is named to honor Ingelhart, a journalism professor who dedicated much of his life to studying, writing and teaching the First Amendment. He was a tireless champion for scholastic journalism, nationwide. This award is given annually to professional journalists, institutions or advisers who have made extraordinary, long-term contributions in support of the First Amendment.

The Trust Kit: How To Build Trust As A Freelancer from Trusting News is another addition to its step-by-step guide for journalists and educators ready to demonstrate credibility and actively earn trust. Guides include: engagement; ethics and fairness; how news works; topics and platforms; and newsroom culture.

The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists’ LGBTQ+ Newsroom Outreach Program is a project that seeks to educate newsroom leaders with LGJA and to discuss LGBTQ coverage issues. Meetings have already launched in Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Colorado.

The Indigenous Journalists Association Indigenous Media Initiative (formerly the Red Press Initiative) educates on the value of an Indigenous free press to the well-being of Indigenous people, communities and nations. The initiative also teaches contextual reporting about Indigenous people and issues necessary to overcome the biases and stereotypes portrayed in the media.

Wildfire Media’s Spark Training Program helps individuals, teams and journalists raise funds for documentary and civic advocacy projects through education and mentoring. The program is online and offers interactive classes with downloaded learning materials that explore proposal writing, fundraising strategies and successful pitch approaches, in addition to one-on-one mentoring with award-winning journalists and funding experts. The program also offers free or partial scholarships through its scholarship fund to Spark Cohorts based on funding availability.

The 2024 SPJ Region 1 Northeast Summer High School Journalism Institute at Emerson College in Boston is a program for students that offers workshops, touring the campus and telling stories related to their landscape and environment that will be edited and critiqued by peers. At the end of the experience, students will have published links to their work. The faculty and volunteer trainers are SPJ leaders from across the northeast who have been planning and coordinating the event for the last year.

The ReNews Project is a program directed by SPJ Board of Directors member Wesley Wright and is also funded by SPJ Region 3 and the SPJ Florida Pro Chapter. The ReNews Project is a collaboration between press organizations and media companies that seeks to restart or revive dormant student newspapers at Historically Black Colleges and Hispanic Serving Institutions by removing barriers that stand between students and their desire to do good journalism. The ReNews Project visits campus newsrooms to meet interested students and train them, followed by virtual advising for the rest of the school year. Student staff at newsrooms the Project assists are offered perks including free SPJ memberships, waived entry fees to its Mark of Excellence contest and registration fees for its annual convention for the first year and more.

SPJ Foundation grants primarily support SPJ and provide support to organizations and causes that further the Society’s mission. Grant requests are first reviewed by the Foundation Grants and Awards Committee. Its recommendations are then sent to the SPJ Foundation Board of Directors for review and selection.

View previous recipients.

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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