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Contact: Sunshine Menezes
Executive Director
(401) 874-6499

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 12, 2005

Metcalf Institute Awarded NSF Grant
to Support Diversity in Journalism Fellowships

The Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting was awarded a $856,479 grant from the National Science Foundation to support six 42-week paid science and reporting fellowships for minority journalists. The Metcalf Institute will administer this new five-year program, which begins in 2006.

The Diversity Fellowships in Environmental Reporting (DFER) will provide six working minority reporters with paid fellowships to study science independently for four weeks to make connections between science and public policy issues and provide them with reporting opportunities at several national media organizations in the country. The $856,479 award builds on and expands the Metcalf Institute's current minority journalism program, which has provided seven minority journalists fellowships since 2001.

"Supporting diversity, science training, and informed reporting on the environment is a true representation of the values that are important to the Metcalf Institute," said Jackleen de La Harpe, Executive Director of the Metcalf Institute, based at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). "We're so proud to provide this valuable experience to journalists from across the country for the next five years."

The Metcalf Institute Diversity in Environmental Reporting Fellowships begins with a three-day science immersion workshop that will integrate science with environmental justice issues, followed by four weeks of independent study at URI focusing on science and working with scientists at GSO. After the independent study, fellows work for 37 weeks reporting on science and the environment for one of six media outlets, including NOVA Science Television/NOVA Online, Boston; Talk of the Nation: Science Friday, New York City; The Providence Journal; and National Public Radio's WBUR, in Boston.

The new NSF grant builds on a smaller Metcalf Institute program begun in 2001 with journalists working at the Providence Journal and WBUR. That has been funded primarily by the Providence Journal Charitable Foundation. Other funders have included the Sharpe Family Foundation, The New York Times Foundation, the Rhode Island Foundation, The Telaka Foundation, and several private foundations.

The Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting was established in 1997 with funding from the Belo Corporation, The Providence Journal, The Washington Post's Philip L. Graham Fund, and the Telaka Foundation. The Metcalf Institute is named in honor of the late publisher of The Providence Journal, Michael P. Metcalf.


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September 26, 2005