McCormick Foundation donates $2.4 million to Medill local news program


Daily file photo by Joshua Hoffman

The foundation’s donation is set to aid Medill in pursuing initiatives to support local newsrooms.

Davis Giangiulio, Assistant Campus Editor

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation has granted $2.4 million to support and strengthen local news outlets through the Medill Local News Accelerator program, Northwestern announced Tuesday. 

The donation will be distributed over three years to support the program, which is led by the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Along with the Accelerator program, the McCormick Foundation has announced it will support the local news industry through investments in Block Club Chicago, Capitol News Illinois and Injustice Watch. 

“The simultaneous investment in each of these organizations… is intended to promote and strengthen collaboration and recognize the strong, complementary skills each of these organizations brings to Chicago and Illinois media,” Timothy Knight, the foundation’s president and CEO, said in the news release. 

The Medill Local News Accelerator works to promote innovation and improvement in Chicago-area news organizations. Goals of the program include strengthening audience engagement, growing revenues and creating strategies for long-term success in newsrooms. 

With the influx of funds, Medill plans on expanding its support for local newsrooms by conducting business analytics and market research, along with providing expert advice.

“We are honored that the McCormick Foundation has chosen to invest in our efforts to help bolster outlets in the Chicago media ecosystem,” Medill Dean Charles Whitaker said in the release. “We look forward to partnering with a wide swath of local news organizations to help them chart paths that will lead to their long-term viability.”

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Twitter: @GiangiulioDavis

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