Ohio News Media Association

Advancing Ohio's news media and local journalism since 1933


The Ohio News Media Foundation is now accepting grant applications from ONMA members to provide financial support for worthy local journalism projects.

The ONMA Board of Trustees enthusiastically supported the concept when in it was proposed for the 2018 Foundation budget. Grant proposals will be considered from any ONMA member in good standing, including collegiate members. We anticipate most grants in the $250 to $1,500 range, though larger amounts can be considered.

Examples of possible grants include a small newspaper with no budget for out-of-state travel but needs to send reporters elsewhere to do interviews or check records. Perhaps a paper needs to hire outside experts to analyze evidence in an unsolved criminal case or how a local governmental body is spending money. The money also could be used to engage free-lance journalists to help complete an important story.

“We’re looking for ideas that will have impact in your community that you either wouldn’t be able to do or do nearly as well without some support,” said ONMA Executive Director Dennis Hetzel. “We’re seeing more grant-based approaches around the country to support local journalism. If you think your project is ‘too big’ for us, don’t give up. For example, a Foundation grant can supplement other funds. Outside donors can even use our Foundation to receive a tax benefit.”

All grants will be reviewed by the ONMA’s 2018 grant review committee, whose members include four ONMA trustees and three other experienced journalists.

The trustee members are Monica Nieporte of APG Media of Ohio and president of the ONMA Board of Trustees, Ron Waite of the Sandusky Register and president of the Ohio News Media Foundation, George Rodrigue of The Plain Dealer and Bruce Winges of the Akron Beacon Journal. Other committee members are Lori Goodlin of LNP Media Group in Lancaster PA, Janet Leach of Kent State University and Michael Shearer of Gatehouse Media Ohio in Kent. Committee members will recuse themselves if their organizations are involved in any proposal.