The initial funder of the Oklahoma Media Center recently made a significant new investment in the growing statewide news collaborative.
In May 2020, Inasmuch Foundation joined forces with Local Media Association to launch OMC. After committing to fund the collaborative through this calendar year, Inasmuch Foundation recently awarded $400,000 to OMC as the collaborative transitions to 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
Since the collaboration of print, digital, and broadcast newsrooms launched in 2020, OMC has grown to more than 25 Oklahoma journalism collaborators.
The collaborative’s mission is to support and strengthen Oklahoma’s local journalism ecosystem and spur innovation through statewide collaboration that benefits diverse audiences. OMC does that by providing best-practices journalism training, funding and story-sharing collaboration.
“We’re proud to support an organization that strengthens Oklahoma journalism statewide,” said Tyler Tokarczyk, program officer, Inasmuch Foundation. “We’re excited to see OMC evolve and offer even more resources for its collaborating news organizations.”
Founded in 1982 by Edith Kinney Gaylord, Inasmuch Foundation champions journalism, education, human services and community to improve the quality of life for Oklahomans.
Besides the Inasmuch Foundation, OMC also is funded by the Walton Family Foundation, the Democracy Fund and the Kirkpatrick Foundation.
In February 2021, OMC collaborators decided to cover the affirmation of tribal sovereignty after the 2020 Supreme Court ruling in a story-sharing project called Promised Land.
In August, OMC hired Joey Stipek to work as a data journalist as a resource to help complement and supplement news content for its collaborators.
The Inasmuch Foundation provided OMC $100,000 to start the inaugural Innovation Fund, which is designed to test new business models and find new ways to engage and reach diverse audiences. The Local Media Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable trust affiliated with LMA, is executing this program and managing business transformation strategy during OMC’s evolution to independent nonprofit status.
“We are extremely grateful for the continued investment from Inasmuch Foundation,” said Rob Collins, OMC project manager. “This support helps us sustain and bolster our beleaguered journalism industry.”
The Bush Center recently highlighted OMC for strengthening democracy to ensure a reliable — and free — flow of public information.
“Our nonpartisan, Oklahoma-based collaborative protects a public good — almost a utility like electricity — and helps ensure everyone is well-versed in our information ecosystem,” Collins said. “OMC can help minimize misinformation, increase civil discourse and thwart polarization that endangers our local sense of community.”
Heading into 2022, OMC is undergoing a needs assessment and strategic planning. Read the latest OMC news here.
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