The Chicago-based McCormick Foundation has announced grants totaling $5 million to twenty-two organizations working to strengthen quality journalism, promote news literacy, and protect press freedoms.
The grants will support programs that help news consumers in the digital age navigate the flood of information and media messages they are exposed to by providing them with the tools they need to distinguish fact from opinion and infotainment. Particular emphasis will be placed on programs that aim to educate youth on how to use critical thinking skills to assess the reliability and credibility of news sources and reports.
Grant recipients include the News Literacy Project, which was awarded $300,000 to implement a news literacy curriculum in two dozen Chicago schools and community organizations; the Center for Public Integrity's Investigative News Network, which will receive a two-year, $225,000 grant to develop collaborative reporting projects and support a network of fifty-five watchdog reporting organizations; and the Better Government Association, which was awarded a two-year, $250,000 grant to broaden the scope and impact of its investigative journalism program.
"Given the digital information overload, citizens of a democracy are challenged to sort credible information from opinion, rumor, and simple untruths," said McCormick Foundation president and CEO David Hiller. "We believe that news literacy training, youth journalism training, and stronger civics education are effective tools to build critical thinking skills and generate vigorous debate so vital in maintaining a strong democracy."
For a complete list of grant recipients, visit the McCormick Foundation Web site.