Ohio Foundations Fund Local News
The Cleveland Foundation and The Raymond John Wean Foundation are among 19 projects the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is funding to support community news and information projects. The Knight Foundation announced the $3.14 million in matching grants last week, with awards to local foundations from Hawaii to New York and many places in between. The projects are a diverse bunch, with a number of them focused on engaging youth and encouraging community involvement. Here’s a bit of information on the Ohio projects.
The Raymond John Wean Foundation
Summary: To give people of Youngstown, Ohio a voice, TheNewsOutlet.org will provide a space for residents to vote on stories to be covered concerning underreported issues, people and neighborhoods. Student journalists will then report the stories for mainstream media. A pilot project produced stories on topics ranging from lottery ticket sales to neighborhood revitalization efforts. Reports were published in a local paper and on public radio.
The Cleveland Foundation
Summary: To increase the youth voice on local issues, this project will train 20 teens in media literacy and the creation of informational products such as videos and podcasts for the website, MyCom: My Commitment, My Community. MyCom.net focuses on inspiring young Cleveland residents to reach their full potential. The trainees will then use those skills to increase their presence in the local mainstream media and inform families and other youths of important issues. The project will also produce online training modules so that more Cleveland teens can learn how to produce their own stories.
Read more about all 19 recipients and their projects as well as about Knight’s Community Information Challenge, which will accept proposals for another round of funding in January 2011.
If your foundation is making grants or otherwise working in improving community news and information, we would like to hear from you.