Stories That Fly Wins National Award

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Ten innovative citizen media projects have been selected as this year’s New Voices grant winners and will each receive up to $17,000 in start-up funding. Many of this year’s winners focus on special-interest communities as well as geographic locales.

One grantee will create a new model for regional news coverage in Ohio and Indiana. Others will start news and social networking sites for war veterans, families of prisoners, aviation buffs, immigrant and Native American communities and the eco-conscious.

The winners were selected from a record 312 applicants,  J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism announced today. With this year’s projects, a total of 40 community news start-ups have been funded from 845 entries since 2005. “These winners want to build new avenues producing local news and new ways to invite citizens to share particular expertise,“ said Jan Schaffer, director of J-Lab, which administers the New Voices program.

Grant winners will receive $12,000 in the first year to launch their projects and $5,000 in matching support in the second year. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation funds the New Voices program.“The number of applicants signals the growing interest in the power of citizen media to create a sense of place for all kinds of communities,“ said Gary Kebbel, Knight’s journalism program officer.

“New Voices has seeded some of the most exciting examples of journalism – and of active citizenship – in the United States today,“ said New Voices Advisory Board member Peter Levine, director of CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

See the full release and the top ten award winners here: New Voices Invests in a New Regional News Model, Community and Niche Web Sites.

For a summary article and background information see:  Grass Roots: Digital Journalism in the Nation’s Birthplace of Aviation.


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