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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Metcalf Institute awarded $150,000 grant to support electronic newsletter

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. -- April 27, 2005 -- The Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting, based at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, has been awarded a $150,000 grant to support publication of its electronic newsletter for environmental journalists.

The grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will fund ten issues of Environment Writer (www.environmentwriter.org), which is in its 17th year of providing tools, resources and background information on environmental and natural resource issues for journalists who report on environmental matters.

"The Metcalf Institute appreciates the continued generous support of the Hewlett Foundation and the commitment it has made to journalists and the public understanding of environment, especially population as it relates to environment," said Jackleen de La Harpe, Metcalfe Institute executive director.
This is the third year in a row that the Hewlett Foundation has provided funding to support Environment Writer.

“We started out in 1988 sending Environment Writer to 300 journalists and grew to reach about 1,100. It became a bible for journalists covering environment and population issues,” said Bud Ward, the publication’s editor and an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Rhode Island. “Now that it’s an electronic publication, hits to the website have increased enormously thanks to the additional interest of journalism educators, public relations people, researchers and others.”

In addition to funding publication of Environment Writer, the Hewlett Foundation
grant also funds other efforts by the Metcalf Institute to help journalists understand the relationship between a growing population and its environmental impacts, including the publication of a series of comprehensive background documents on specific issues.

The Metcalf Institute was established in 1997 to help journalists become better informed about science and research and to strengthen communication between journalists and scientists. It was funded initially by the Telaka Foundation and the foundations of three news organizations: A.H. Belo Corporation, owner of the Dallas Morning News and The Providence Journal, The Providence Journal Company, and the Philip L. Graham Fund, the foundation of The Washington Post.