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Military-Media Initiatives

The Journalism Program has long been committed to promoting informed and thorough coverage of national security issues. The Foundation’s deep respect for both the military and the media anchors these efforts. Col. Robert R. McCormick credited his experience in World War I (he named his Wheaton, Ill., estate after the French battle site of Cantigny) for much of his success as editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.

In honoring his legacy, the Journalism Program supports a number of initiatives aimed at improving the level of understanding between the military and the media and enhancing coverage of national security. The nation’s heightened interest in homeland security and emergency preparedness also are reflected in a number of our funded initiatives. These efforts include:

  • Military-Media conferences: Since 1992, the McCormick Foundation has hosted a series of conferences at Cantigny that bring together journalists focused on national security with military top brass to discuss best practices and challenges. These off-the-record conferences on timely topics are a well-regarded contribution to coverage of national security. To view conference reports click here. The next conference is being planned for March of 2012.


  • Northwestern University: Since 2003, the McCormick Foundation has supported the Medill School of Journalism’s course "Covering Conflicts, the Military and Terrorism." Building on this investment the Foundation approved in 2008 a substantial three-year grant for NU to establish a National Security Journalism initiative, a major project to help journalists and students to specialize in security issues. The project also will provide research and offer training opportunities for veteran journalists.


  • The International Center for Journalists: ICFJ has hosted a cross-border conference in Washington D.C. and New Orleans on coverage of emergency preparedness for Spanish-language reporters.


  • Center for Media and Security: Since 1999, the Foundation has funded CMS to carry out three Washington, D.C. projects aimed at improving coverage of security: the Defense Writers Group, the Television and National Security Project and the Luncheon Discussion Series.


  • Kansas University: Since 2007, the Foundation has funded KU’s Military and the Media Project, a joint collaboration between the William Allen White School of Journalism at University of Kansas and the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.


  • The Poynter Institute: In 2008, the McCormick Foundation funded Poynter to host a conference "Covering the War at Home," part of the Specialized Reporting Institute series.