June 30th, 2012
The Greater Montana Foundation has granted nearly $300,000 for 2012, at its annual board meeting in June. The Board issued a $40,000 challenge specifically for commercial broadcast stations, intended to supplement news and public affairs coverage of interest to Montanans. Grants also support a broad variety of TV, radio and internet programs, internships and programs at the state’s universities, along with a new $20,000 board-led initiative for an oral history of Montana broadcasting, according to Randy Morger, Fort Benton, Chair of the GMF Board of Trustees.
“We hope the challenge to commercial broadcasters will allow them to expand their coverage of the election, as well as the 2013 legislature and other critical issues. Grants to Montana PBS for a collaborative effort with Montana’s public radio stations and the University of Montana School of Journalism supports a website, Montana Public Media, which provides an independent focus on election issues and candidates this year. Our grants are intended to encourage communication through electronic media on issues, trends and values of interest to Montanans and these programs are especially important during an election year and 2013’s legislature,” Morger said.
The first 2012 grant to a commercial station, KBZK, Bozeman, will fund $14,500 in expenses for news reporter Suzanne Philippus, to participate in the National Science Foundation’s 2012 Journalist deployment to Antarctica. One of only three reporters selected by NSF, Philippus will report on scientific research supported by NSF's Office of Polar Programs, producing a seven part series of news packages and a Face the State program.
The Board also elected officers and board members: Officers re-elected were: Chair Randy Morger, Fort Benton; Vice Chairs Sarah Etchart of Helena and Dr. William Whitsitt, Oklahoma City, OK, Secretary Steve Browning of Helena and Treasurer Jerry Black, Shelby. Sidney Armstrong, Helena, serves as a trustee and as executive director. Other board members re-elected include: Fred Flanders, Helena, Vic Miller and Monty Wallis from Billings; Ron Davis of Butte; Norma Ashby of Great Falls; Dan Snyder, Kalispell and Darlene Craney and Brody Craney, both of River Heights, UT.
Founded in 1958 by pioneer broadcaster Ed Craney, the Greater Montana Foundation awards feature innovative new programs, as well as on-going partnerships with a number of Montana organizations and institutions.
The Greater Montana Foundation is now offering new education assistance grants to individual Montana news media professionals and journalism students to strengthen their ability to report more effectively on issues of jobs and the economy. The $500 per person grants are for any course related to these issues, whether on-line or in-person, at any of the state’s post-secondary institutions.
General grants are available for nonprofits and others: for film, TV programs, documentaries, videos, webinars, etc. with applications due annually on April 1 and awards made in June.
A major goal for GMF’s founder, Ed Craney was to improve commercial broadcasting in the state. There is no deadline for grant applications from commercial stations if you can demonstrate that this is an urgent and critical issue & production is time-limited