OMC provides training, partnerships and services

Through a partnership with the Oklahoma Mental Health and Substance Abuse department, OMC offers an Employee Assistance Program program for the collaborative’s working journalists (identify yourself as such when contacting or 405-248-9007).

Also, OMC is paying to provide credentialed login access for the legislative tracking service and the tracking tool.

OMC offered several best-practices training sessions in 2022 to strengthen the news media ecosystem in Oklahoma. Project Manager Rob Collins curated a varied list of impactful training sessions requested by participating news organizations. Subjects included training on journalism ethics and policies for social media, historical context on the tribal Freedmen issue, handling online harassment, unwanted advancement and threats toward journalists, digital security and an introduction to the nonpartisan U.S. Press Freedom Tracker chronicling press freedom violations.

Other trainings discussed Meta Branded Content Project revenue/audience engagement, impact of Meta layoffs, local fundraising lessons learned, grantee wins and advice with OMC collaborators.

Lonnie Isabel, who wrote “Changing the DEI Climate: Recommendations for Improving The J-School Environment for Columbia Journalism School,” and also serves as vice chair of Oklahoma Watch Board of Directors, trained on recruiting and retaining diverse workplace employees with Mark Briggs, vice president of innovation and organization effectiveness for SmithGeiger, and at-large OMC Board of Directors member Bianca Gordon, a Gaylord College adjunct professor sharing her graduate research on professional networking/African American recruitment in this candid conversation with working Oklahoma journalists.

OMC also collaborated with the University of Central Oklahoma on a database training workshop and independent study with several Oklahoma news orgs.

Before finishing contract work as an OMC data journalist funded by Kirkpatrick Foundation, Joey Stipek did background research on a collaborative project with Steve Lackmeyer of The Oklahoman, Brianna Bailey of The Frontier and Nathan Poppe of Curbside Chronicle on affordable housing in Oklahoma City.