Collaborative reporting grants announced for OKC-area media

Thanks to support from Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, up to five collaborative projects will be funded

One of the things the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University has found through its work studying collaborative journalism is that small, one-time collaborative reporting projects are essential to the overall growth and development of healthy news ecosystems.

Not only do collaborative reporting projects generally produce good journalism that otherwise wouldn’t have happened, they also build relationships, trust and muscle memory—and they usually lead to even better, deeper, longer-term partnerships.

Through the Peer Learning + Collaboration Fund, Center staff have organized workshops in select U.S. cities to discuss the concept of healthy, connected news ecosystems and the vital role that collaboration plays in them.

We’ve also encouraged local funders in those cities to make small pots of grant funding available after the workshops to incentivize news organizations to work together.

Local partners in our first Peer Fund cities, Cleveland and Akron, built a coalition and a pot of $100,000 in funding to support local collaborative projects.

Our second Peer Fund city, Oklahoma City, will now get a similar opportunity: Today I’m thrilled to announce that grant funding to support five collaborative reporting projects is now available for Oklahoma City media organizations through the Center for Cooperative Media.

Through our partnership with Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation and Inasmuch Foundation, the Center will award five projects funding of up to $9,400 each. We announced the funding today at our Peer Fund workshop in Oklahoma City.

Our goal is to incentivize journalists in Oklahoma City to leave the Peer Fund event and continue conversations about collaborations they could initiate together. We intend to support meaningful and impactful collaborations among Oklahoma City news organizations, which we believe will help the development of a healthy, connected news ecosystem there.

We want potential grantees to think deeply about how they could tackle topics of high interest to their community more efficiently and effectively through partnership and community engagement.

Our application process opens today, Nov. 5, and the deadline for applications closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20. Award winners will be notified on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, and funding will be disbursed in February. Projects must be complete by June 30, 2020.

Each proposed project must identify one person to serve as the main point of contact (i.e. the project manager) for the project. The grant application has two parts: the first part requires information about the project manager, and the second part requires information about the project itself.

All applications will be judged based on scoring from a set of seven objective criteria and four subjective criteria.

The objective criteria are weighted to favor projects that are new ideas bringing together new groups of collaborators, those that involve multiple forms of media, those that intend to serve an underserved local community, and applicants that identify as having a high financial need.

The subjective criteria consider how the proposed project could make an impact in Oklahoma City for the benefit of residents; how the project is improved by a collaborative effort; how community is involved in the effort; and the overall strength of the application.

For more information and the application click here.