J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, which is part of the University of Maryland’s Merrill College of Journalism, has distributed 10 $12,000 grants intended to promote the creation of news sites for under-served communities. The grants, called “New Voices” and funded by the Knight Foundation, will go towards embedding TV reporters in neighborhoods, networking among regional radio programs, and map the local impact of climate change. With the 2007 awardees, a total of 30 community news start-ups have been selected to receive New Voices funding from among 533 applicants since 2005. This year J-Lab received 105 proposals. The grant recipients will each be eligible for $5,000 follow-up grants next year if they successfully launch and supply matching funding.
A brief check on last year’s 10 grantees shows nine are still functioning, though at various stages, with only one project having stalled. Last year’s grant recipients received up to $17,000, with the $5,000 follow-up if they continued operating.
The list of the 2007 grant winners is included in the release.