National foundation awards major grant to MarylandReporter.com

August 19, 2011 at 6:33 am

Ethics and Excellence in Journalism logoThe Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation in Oklahoma City has awarded MarylandReporter.com a $50,000 grant over the next two years to expand its coverage and its staff by training aspiring journalists in investigative reporting.

The grant will allow the two-year-old news website to hire people completing their education in journalism or switching to the field for intensive 13-week paid internships.

MarylandReporter.com is among 21 journalism organizations receiving $1.6 million in grants from the foundation. Other recipients announced Thursday include Arizona State University for News 21, American University’s J-Lab, The George Washington University, and investigative reporting centers in Florida, Maine, Connecticut, Iowa, Wisconsin and at Boston University.

Previous recipients of this foundation’s grants include the Texas Tribune, MinnPost, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and Investigative News Network.

The foundation was founded by the late Edith Kinney Gaylord, a longtime journalist and newspaper executive whose father was the editor and publisher of The Oklahoman and the Oklahoma City Star.

Principled, probing news and information

“At EEJF, our mission is to invest in the future of journalism by supporting organizations around the nation who produce principled, probing news and information,” said Bob Ross, president and CEO of Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. “We strive to partner with organizations that are entrepreneurial in spirit and we are proud to partner with all of our current grant recipients, each displaying this type of innovation.”

“I’m really excited by the national recognition from this important foundation,” said Len Lazarick, editor and publisher of MarylandReporter.com. “It will help expand our coverage and gain further credibility in the foundation community.”

Lazarick founded MarylandReporter.com in 2009 as a nonprofit corporation with the support of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. The IRS recognizes it as a 501(c)(3) organization, and contributions to the site by foundations, sponsors and local donors are tax deductible.

MarylandReporter.com produces its own stories emphasizing accountability, transparency and openness on how taxpayer dollars are spent by Maryland government. The stories are available for use without charge by other media and news organizations. The site also produces a daily roundup of news about state government and policy from over 50 different websites.

In its press release announcing the award, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation said it was making the grant “for in-depth coverage of Maryland state government and politics and to expand capacity by giving those who plan on entering journalism as a career real-world experience in investigative reporting supervised by veteran journalists.”

Investigative reporting advisory board

Lazarick and Associate Editor Megan Poinski, who has worked on several investigative reporting projects, including one that led to the conviction of officials in the Virgin Islands, will be supervising the paid interns with the assistance of an advisory board that includes:

Rafael Lorente, the Annapolis bureau chief of Capital News Service, part of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland training graduate and undergraduate students in state government reporting. Lorente is a former Washington correspondent for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Robert Little, the head of investigative and enterprise content at the Baltimore Sun, where he’s been for 13 years. In 2007 he won the George Polk Award for investigative reporting from Iraq.

Tim Maier, the former managing editor of the Baltimore Examiner. He was an investigative reporter for the Washington Times magazine for seven years, and for the Prince George’s Journal for four years. He is a journalism training manager for General Dynamics, conducting seminars on writing and reporting, and is mentoring college students around the globe through UPI University.

Thom Lieb, a professor of journalism at Towson University where he teaches news editing,  mass media and society, and writing for new media.

Anyone interested in applying for the 13-week internships with a stipend of $5,200 should apply directly to Lazarick, sending a statement of interest, a resume and clips to Len@MarylandReporter.com. Two of the interns will work at the State House during each 90-day legislative session from January to April in 2012 and 2013.

Click here to read more about the site, its mission, its staff, its donors and testimonials to its content.

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  • Ellen Clarke

    Congratulations Len!