Funding Boosted for Texas Center for Community Journalism at Tarleton

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — The Texas Center for Community Journalism at Tarleton State University recently received a 25 percent increase in annual funding.

Financial support for the organization, housed on Tarleton’s Stephenville campus since 2020, comes through the Texas Newspaper Foundation, which has renewed its $20,000 yearly pledge, combined with a new donation of $5,000 from the Texas Press Service.

“The mission of the TCCJ is more important than ever,” said TCCJ Director Austin Lewter, a Tarleton journalism Instructor. “We are dedicated to training mid-level professional journalists at community newspapers across the state.”

The TCCJ offers support for almost 400 small-town papers. Created by Dr. Tommy Thomason at TCU and funded by the Texas Newspaper Foundation, it offers free training on a variety of topics vital to small newspapers’ survival.

“Newspapers are the bedrock of the community,” Lewter said. “Without them, democracy and diversity are jeopardized. The Texas Newspaper Foundation has been the center’s main benefactor since its inception. We appreciate their support, and communities all across the state of Texas are enriched because of it.” 

Over the past year, Lewter and contributors from the center have logged more than 3,800 miles in presenting writing and design workshops at community newspapers statewide as well as hosted in-person workshops in Stephenville and Austin. 

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A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton transforms generations by inspiring discovery, leadership and inclusion through teaching and research. Degree programs for almost 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M-RELLIS, and online emphasize real-world learning that addresses regional needs while sustaining the values of excellence, integrity and respect.