Journalism Program Strategy

We invest in programs that improve content quality, build audience understanding of news and protect press freedoms. The desired outcome is a flow of reliable, timely information that will inspire informed participation in democracy.
Our grantmaking strategy now includes more Chicago investment and increased support for local news literacy and youth journalism programs.  We’re also putting stronger emphasis on performance evaluation and impact. In addition, we are active in coordinating funding and field-building collaborations and partnerships.


Issue: A decrease in high-quality news content 
Theory of change: If we invest in investigative reporting, community news and specialized training for reporters, then the public will have access to improved content around the issues that shape their lives.  
Program clusters: Watchdog reporting, training and community news.
Desired outcomes:  Increase watchdog and accountability journalism, expand specialized training opportunities for reporters, boost impact of community news reporting



Issue: An overwhelmed and less engaged audience 
Theory of change: If we invest in youth journalism and news literacy programs, then teens become smarter news consumers, more successful students and ultimately more engaged as citizens. 
Program clusters: News Literacy, Youth Journalism
Desired outcomes:  Increase number of youth engaged through news literacy offerings,  provide teachers training, equipment and curricular guidance,  and improve quality and output of youth-produced journalism



Issue: Lack of access and legal support for journalists
Theory of change: If we invest in press freedoms and increased access, then there will be a better flow of reliable public information, which results in a better informed and more engaged citizenry.
Program clusters: State and local, national
Desired outcomes: Increase access to public information, enhance good government practices in Illinois

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Robert R. McCormick Foundation
205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 4300
Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 312 445 5000
Fax: 312 445 5001