News for Digital Journalists

Posts tagged with: Local

June 28, 2011

Chicago sites too isolated for a healthy news ecosystem, report finds

Links make the web go round—and they also define (and can make or break) an emerging news ecosystem. A new report has found that the components of Chicago’s news ecosystem may be too isolated to keep local communities adequately informed…

Linking Audiences to News: A Network Analysis of Chicago Websites was just released by the Chicago Community Trust. It’s the outcome of an effort to understand a local news ecosystem by using webcrawler software to analyze how over 400 Chicago-area local news and info sites interconnect via hyperlinks.

CCT found that “almost 80% of the sites studied received few if any links from other sites—so that no matter how good their content, they are unlikely to be found by users unfamiliar with those sites.”

Furthermore: “Websites operated by traditional media, in particular, are unlikely to link to content on other local websites.”

How to encourage more links between sites to improve the health of the local news ecosystem? The report suggests that CCT or other orgs could:

  • Offer incentives to encourage cross-links
  • Promote link-sharing initiatives between legacy news orgs and local sites
  • Support sites in the network that are especially good at linking
  • Aggregate and distribute headlines across the ecosystem

Update: In her June 30 News Leadership 3.0 post Michele McLellan of [email protected] offered her analysis and insight on this study and its findings.

This research project is part of CCT’s Community News Matters initiative. The network study was funded jointly by CCT, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

July 08, 2011

Knight Community Arts Journalism Challenge: Apply by Aug. 18

Local arts journalism is evolving quickly, just like every other kind of news and information. To spur and guide this evolution, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts recently teamed up to launch an eight-city competition seeking new models for local arts journalism in the digital age…

A Knight press release explained that the new Knight Community Arts Journalism Challenge will award prizes up to $100,000 total for projects that “use the latest tools for storytelling and engaging readers to create model programs that could be replicated in other communities.”

Projects must focus on or directly benefit at least one of the following cities:

  • Akron, Ohio
  • Detroit, Mich.
  • Macon, Ga.
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Miami, Fla.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • San Jose/ Silicon Valley, Calif.
  • St. Paul, Minn.

Applicants need not reside within a target city.

Apply now
Deadline: Midnight ET, Aug. 18

First round winners will receive up to $20,000 to create an action plan to develop their idea. These projects are eligible to win up to $80,000 for implementation in the contest’s second round.

Individuals, non-profits and businesses are eligible to apply. Partnerships between legacy and emerging media organizations are encouraged. There is no limit to the number of applications that you can submit.

“No idea is too unusual,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight’s vice president for arts.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

September 12, 2011

Code for America partners with cities: Detroit, Macon, Philadelphia

This week the Code for America program announced its first 2012 partner cities: Detroit; Macon, GA; and Philadelphia. Teams of three CFA fellows will be deployed in each city to help local government officials “brainstorm and implement innovative applications to engage citizens…”

Each team will include a software developer, a designer, and a product manager. Here’s what they’ll be doing while deployed:


This effort is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Technology for Engagement initiative. Additional 2012 partner cities will be announced later.

These initiatives represent an opportunity for news organizations and info/community venues in the partner cities to assist with, and amplify, civic engagement efforts. This can not only help your community—it also can speed your own digital learning process and help build awareness of the local news and information you offer.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

September 27, 2011

Block by Block 2011 conference this week: Follow it online

If you didn’t find enough community news action at the recent ONA conference and awards in Boston, then here’s another event to watch:

This week Loyola University is hosting Block by Block 2011, an annual gathering of online community news entrepreneurs. Here’s how you can follow it online…

The Chicago event will be held Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The agenda is based mostly on suggestions from community news publishers, many of whom are conference participants. The conference is co-chaired by Michele McLellan (of KDMC and the Reynolds Journalism Institute) and Jay Rosen (of New York University).

The Twitter hashtag is #BXB11.

There will be a live stream of the conference’s opening session (Thursday, 4pm Central) as well as all main sessions and selected breakouts on Friday. Breakouts include “How to set ad rates” with Deb Galant (Baristanet, 10:30 am CT Fri.) and “Mobilizing for Mobile” with Amy Gahran (Oakland Local, 3:15 pm). Selected sessions from Saturday morning’s unconference also will be live streamed.

Other sessions will be recorded and posted on RJI after the conference.

Background, updates, and more are available on the Block by Block network blog.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

January 18, 2012

Knight Community Information Challenge 2012: Apply by Feb. 27

Once again, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is challenging community and place-based foundations to play a leading role in meeting the information needs of their communities…

This year’s Knight Community Information Challenge has three simple rules:

  • Applicants must be U.S. community or place-based foundations (community partners also are welcome).
  • Projects must meet a local information need.
  • Foundations must match Knight’s investment.

Deadline for applications: Feb. 27
Apply now

ALSO: Registration is now open for the Knight Foundation Media Learning Seminar 2012. Held Feb. 19-21 in Miami, this event brings leaders from community and place-based foundations leaders together with with journalism and technology experts to explore the topic of community information needs. Register now.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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