CPIJ to offer conference sponsorship program in 2013

We’re pleased at the Center for Public Interest Journalism to continue to provide support for qualified local journalists to attend professional conferences in 2013 in order to gain knowledge of best practices and connect with journalists from around the country.

The Center plans to offer two forms of sponsorships this year:

  • Specific calls for high-profile conferences related to public interest journalism
  • An open application process for subject-matter conferences

Selected conferences
The Center will provide sponsorships (a fixed sum given as an award) to selected individuals for each conference sponsored. This year, the Center plans to support attendance at the following conferences:

The NICAR application is expected to open Tuesday, January 22.  Please check the CPIJ website then for application information.

As in previous years, the sponsorship will help defray costs for:

  • Conference registration
  • Travel expenses
  • Lodging expenses

Keep in mind that some conferences require registrants to be members.  Additional conferences may be added as the year progresses.

Open application conferences
For the first time, the Center will provide sponsorships for journalists to attend subject-matter conferences that will benefit their reporting. This is intended to provide opportunities for journalists to gain knowledge of the subjects they report on, and be exposed to sources outside their immediate communities. Applicants should be actively working on covering the subject matter of the conference or be able to demonstrate its relevance to their work. These awards will be granted on a rolling basis beginning February 1, 2013 until grant funds are expended.  Application requirements will be announced when the program opens in early February.

Sponsorship criteria
Attendee sponsorships will be granted according to the following criteria:

  • Applicant must work on a public interest news topic in the Greater Philadelphia area
  • Applicant must be a professional journalist or adhere to professional standards in news gathering
  • Applicant must be able to attend the entire conference
  • For subject matter conferences, applicant must regularly cover the topic and be working for a news organization with a public interest focus
  • As in years past, the Center will seek to restrict attendees to one individual per news organization per conference, and give priority to those who have not received sponsorship to that conference previously

For invitation-only conferences, applicants for sponsorship must be invited by the conference organizers to qualify.

In addition, applicants are expected to be available and prepared to document and share their experiences and best practices learned at the conference and participate in local events organized by the Center and partner organizations. Post-conference knowledge sharing events were initiated by the Center in 2012 and their frequency will be increased this year.  It is our hope these events will allow area journalists to demonstrate leadership skills, particularly in sharing knowledge with each other.

Selection for sponsorships, as in the past, will be made by Center leadership, staff and advisors.

Context:
Conference sponsorship has been offered in each of the last four years, initially through the William Penn Foundation, then OMG Center for Collaborative Learning, and by the Center since 2011 with the generous support of the Wyncote Foundation. Last year, the Center was able to provide support to over 40 journalists to attend the Logan Investigative Reporting Symposium at Berkeley and the Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Online News Association national conferences. We hope that continuing this program with the above-mentioned changes will help ensure that we continue to focus on gathering national knowledge and bringing it home, while building a strong local journalism network.

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