AOJ Foundation Goals

AOJ Foundation Goals

The following material is preserved from the original AOJ website as of December 2016 and should be considered historical.

The Association of Opinion Journalists Foundation was established in 1981 as the National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation, Inc. "to conduct, sponsor and support educational programs and projects in the field of journalism and to improve the quality of civic discourse by achieving excellence in editorializing  and other opinion writing; to conduct research, assist students who are either studying, or show and interest in, journalism; to promote seminars and conferences for journalists; and to publish and encourage publications, reports, and other projects concerning composition, content and quality of editorial pages and journalism generally, journalism education and the First Amendment."

Today, the foundation is AOJ. It provides much of the money to pay for important AOJ programs such as the Minority Writers Seminar, the Masthead publication, seminars and other educational, public-service or professional-development services (such asState Department briefings) and the Barry Bingham Award to further college-level journalism education for minorities. Members of the Association of Opinion Journalists, individual newspapers and donors, and foundations all contribute funds to pay for AOJ programs.

One of the goals is to raise the levels of contributions from its own members to reflect the growth and success of the organization and its programs. All funds raised by the Foundation go to enhancing civic discourse by improving the quality of editorial pages, broadcast editorials, online publications and the skills of the writers and editors who produce them.

Our fundamental mission is to dedicate AOJ Foundation funds to projects that significantly promote the value and effectiveness of opinion writers and editors in stimulating and furthering the "public conversation" of democracy. The AOJ Foundation provides financial support for projects that it believes will advance this mission and contribute to the achievement of the following goals:

  • Enhance the value of opinion writing and editorials as forums of informed public discussion;
  • Help opinion writers and editors provide readers and viewers with insights needed to make sound decisions on important public issues;
  • Help opinion writers and editors translate facts and information into that most precious quality, understanding;
  • Improve the skills of opinion writers and editors;
  • Attract talented students and outstanding active journalists into opinion writing and editing;
  • Actively promote racial, gender and ethnic diversity among opinion writers and editors;
  • Continually re-examine the purposes, functions and definitions of opinion pages and editorials, and broadcast editorials.

AOJ Foundation (formerly NCEW Foundation) Board Meeting, Sept. 16, 2003