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Mission Accomplished

J-Lab’s New Voices program. a pioneering effort to help start local news sites, has met its goal of seeding dozens of start-ups that provided much-needed news and information to communities across the United States. The program helped launch 55 local sites between 2005 and 2010 with micro grants of between $17,000 and $25,000.

To learn more about these startups, hear what their founders had to say in this video (right) from our New Media Makers publication.

Interested in starting a community news site? Check out our learning modules at kcnn.org and j-learning.org.


Citizen Journalists Expand Community Coverage

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New Voices: What Works

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Through 2010, J-Lab’s New Voices grants were awarded to 55 local news projects from a pool of 1,433 applicants. This report examines 46 projects that launched from 2005 to 2010. It reported that 88 percent were still online and 76 percent were actively updated. Nine additional grantees were announced in May 2010.

This report details what worked and what didn’t and offers tips for other startups. Download a PDF.

Networked Journalism: What Works

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Starting in 2009, eight legacy newspapers and one public radio station were invited to partner with at least five independent news sites in their communities for at least a year. J-Lab, with Knight Foundation funding, helped cover some of the costs.

The nine hub newsrooms grew their networks from 44 partners to 169. By 2012,146 partners were still participating. Two of the projects, however, had trouble getting off the ground.

This report provides case studies of their efforts. Key takeaways: Content sharing overall can be a win-win for both legacy newsrooms and indie start-ups. Revenue sharing, however, is still a nut to be cracked. Download PDF.

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