Newsroom Archive


Center on Media, Crime and Justice Receives $500,000 Grant from Open Society Institute

New York, NY, November 21, 2007 – The Center for Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice received a $500,000 two-year grant from the Open Society Institute (OSI) Justice Initiative to enhance and augment its programs for students, budding journalists, ethnic and community media editors and reporters, and mid-career professionals. 

In accepting the grant, President Jeremy Travis noted, “The Center on Media, Crime and Justice is providing a much needed nexus between journalists and academics on the issues of crime and justice.  The Open Society Institute funding will go a long way to help further this dialogue and promote a more comprehensive understanding of crime by journalists.”

According to Center Director Steve Handelman, “The media plays a key role in the public's understanding of criminal justice, and the grant will enable both the Center and John Jay College to bring journalists and editors together with the best scholars, researchers and practitioners in the criminal justice world.”

The OSI funding will enable the Center to:

  • develop and expand connections with the criminal justice academic and activist community in order to promote intelligent, rich, research-backed reporting of emerging issues that affect the local, national and international community
  • maximize educational opportunities and career advancement for journalists as well as provide skills training for students and journalists
  • work in collaboration with key ethnic journalists’ organizations to address the special problems faced by ethnic and community-based journalists and media in covering justice issues
  • establish itself as a web portal for key resources currently scattered around the Internet on criminal justice issues
  • develop training courses and cross-border meetings, conferences and projects for journalists in the U.S. and overseas, as well as provide access to the wider body of academic research  on relevant issues outside the U.S.


About the Center on Media, Crime and Justice
The Center’s mission is to raise the quality of media coverage on criminal justice issues around the nation by helping journalists interpret current academic research. In addition, the Center aims to establish itself as a national resource of information from an international network of recognized scholars, practitioners and NGOs.

The Center is a partnership of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York (CUNY) with the Institute for Justice and Journalism (IJJ) at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg School for Communication; Criminal Justice Journalists (CJJ), a national organization of reporters covering crime and justice; and the new CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.


About the Open Society Institute
The Open Society Institute (OSI), a private operating and grantmaking foundation, aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSI works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses. OSI is part of the Soros foundations network which encompasses more than 60 countries, including the United States.

The Open Society Justice Initiative, an operational program of the Open Society Institute, pursues law reform activities grounded in the protection of human rights, and contributes to the development of legal capacity for open societies worldwide. The Justice Initiative combines litigation, legal advocacy, technical assistance, and the dissemination of knowledge to secure advances in the following priority areas: national criminal justice, international justice, freedom of information and expression, and equality and citizenship. Its offices are in Abuja, Budapest, and New York.The Open Society Justice Initiative maintains its own separate website at:


About John Jay College of Criminal Justice:
An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit