McCormick Foundation renews grant for Medill National Security Journalism program

EVANSTON, Ill. — The Robert R. McCormick Foundation has renewed a $1 million grant to fund the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative at Northwestern University over the next two years.

The NSJ program provides journalists-in-training and working journalists with the knowledge and skills necessary to report accurately, completely and with context on events and issues related to defense, security and civil liberties. The initiative began in January, 2009 with an initial three-year, $1.3 million McCormick Foundation grant. The grant was also renewed for $1 million over two years in 2011.

“In partnership with the McCormick Foundation, Medill has taken a leading role in addressing the important issues of national security and press freedom and supporting the training of world-class journalists who must navigate them in their work,” said Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications Dean Bradley Hamm.

NSJ joined 21 other nonprofit organizations this fall as grantees of the McCormick Foundation’s commitment to support quality journalism and First Amendment freedoms. In this round of funding, which they announced on Oct. 3, the Foundation has approved nearly $7.4 million in grants that work towards this aim.

“McCormick’s generosity will enable the NSJ program to continue to be a resource to up-and-coming and established national security journalists, and we are delighted to be able to build and expand upon the work we’ve been doing in the last few years,” said Prof. Ellen Shearer, co-director of the National Security Journalism Initiative.

The initiative has created unique undergraduate and graduate classes in various aspects of national security coverage, a post-graduate three-month investigative project, a fellowship in cooperation with the Center for Public Integrity, a series of webinars and events to help educate or train professional journalists and partnerships with Military Reporters and Editors, the Defense Information School Foundation and other organizations.

“The McCormick Foundation is pleased to support the work of the National Security Journalism program for another two years,” said Clark Bell, director of the McCormick Foundation’s Journalism Program. “We look forward to seeing how Medill will use the funding to further strengthen national security reporting and the public’s understanding of such important issues.”

The Chicago-based McCormick Foundation, established at the 1955 death of longtime Chicago Tribune publisher Col. Robert R. McCormick, is one of the nation’s largest foundations, with more than $1.4 billion in assets.

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