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10 New Citizen Media Ideas Are Funded

The J-Lab announces its 2007 New Voices citizen media grant recipients. According to the J-Lab press release, of the 105 proposals received, ten won grants. The grant winners each will receive $12,000 to start up their projects. They will be eligible for $5,000 follow-up grants next year if they successfully launch and supply matching funding. Here are the recipients:

Vermont Climate Witness. To create a map-based interactive experience to track how residents see climate change affecting the state’s economy, from fall foliage and maple syrup to skiing. Tamarack Productions, a nonprofit environmental awareness organization, will work with the Vermont Natural Resources Council to develop user content and create Google Map mash-ups to help users visualize weather data and real-time weather indicators.

Northwest Community Radio Network Collaborative Newscast. To launch an hour-long, weekly newscast culled from the best public affairs programming produced by more than 40, often-isolated community, college and independent radio stations throughout the Pacific Northwest. Seattle-based Reclaim the Media will use the newscast to anchor a new content-sharing network that will expand the pool of regional news and programming for local audiences.

Saint Paul City Newsdesk. To create and pay for a network of citizen journalists to cover neighborhood and municipal news for use by media outlets throughout the Twin Cities. Network stories, videos and radio pieces will be published on the St. Paul Neighborhood Network cable-access television web site and on the Twin Cities Daily Planet site.

New Castle News Forum. To create a weekly cyber newspaper built from citizen-generated content for the town of New Castle in West Chester County, N.Y., which has lost its local newspaper. The project is spearheaded by local volunteers under the auspices of the Friends of the Chappaqua Library.

Neighbor to Neighbor. Cambridge Community Television will embed citizen journalists in each of the five neighborhoods of Cambridge, Mass., to report on local issues and events, feature local viewpoints, and facilitate participation in local issues. Five neighborhood segments will be produced and edited into a monthly 30-minute program to air four times each week, streamed live on CCTV’s web site and archived. Segments will be incorporated in the Cambridge Media Map.

Bilingual Interactive Environmental Journalism. To develop bilingual news and interactive narratives for to help the Spanish-speaking residents of the Lake Tahoe Basin understand environmental threats to the area. The Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada-Reno will spearhead content creation and solicitation through its Graduate Program in Interactive Environmental Journalism, aided by local newspaper partners.

Neo-News Network. To build a news and information hotline for Gary, Ind., accessed via web, phone, mobile text messaging and listservs to supplement available media. Content will be generated by students and young professionals and coordinated by the Central District Organization, a group led by young professionals who have returned to Gary to live.

Fulton Hill Interactive Portal. To train local citizen journalists and build a news and information portal for Fulton Hill, a low-income neighborhood in Richmond, Va. Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Mass Communications will work with the Fulton Hill Neighborhood Resource Center to help local residents produce stories, photos, audio, video and a Fulton Hill wiki.

Building Blocks. To launch a news and information site to inform New York City residents about major real estate development projects that affect their neighborhoods. Spearheaded by the Pratt Center for Community Development, the project will initially provide news articles, Q&As, public hearing calendars and discussion forums focusing on the redevelopment of Coney Island in Brooklyn, the reuse of the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, and the expansion of Columbia University onto a 17-block area of Harlem in Manhattan.

News Desk on Access SF. To train San Francisco nonprofits to produce a monthly community news program with a neighborhood focus for cable access television and video blogs. Five special interest desks will produce stories targeting youth, LGBT issues, arts and culture, age and disabilities, and multi-lingual stories. Each special interest desk will have its own video blog, supported by Access SF, the city’s community television corporation.

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