Twenty-five journalism organizations nationwide, including four in Oklahoma, have received $2.8 million in grants from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation (EEJF), the foundation announced last week.
Founded by Edith Kinney Gaylord, the Oklahoma City-based foundation's mission is to invest in the future of journalism by building the ethics, skills and opportunities needed to advance principled, probing news and information.
“New models are necessary to continue the important work of investigative journalism in the public interest,” Bob Ross, president and CEO of the foundation, said in a news release. “We are pleased to partner with the organizations announced today as they work to stimulate positive change through innovative models.”
Oklahoma Watch, an investigative and in-depth reporting team, received the biggest grant of $750,000.
The organization collaborates with other news organizations and higher education to produce journalism that makes a difference in the lives of Oklahomans, the news release stated.
The Friends of the Oklahoma History Center also received one of the larger grants — for $300,000 — to archive, digitize and create an online, searchable database of The Oklahoman's collection of 1.4 million photographs, including some that predate statehood.
“This is the most important photo collection of the history of the state of Oklahoma. ... The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and to share the history of Oklahoma,” said Chad Williams, deputy director of research at the Oklahoma Historical Society. “There are some wonderful old photographs.”
Also receiving funds from the foundation in Oklahoma are:
$85,000 to University of Oklahoma for the Oklahoma Scholastic Media Initiative, providing grants for equipment, software and training to high schools starting or improving online newspapers; and