Political news from Michigan’s WKAR goes mobile with new app

WKAR-TV in East Lansing, Mich., will make content from a weekly state politics and public affairs show available via a mobile app funded by a grant from the Investigative News Network. The scope of WKAR’s proposed app helped it stand out among a pool of 48 applicants, said Kevin Davis, c.e.o. and executive director of INN. “What made it unique was that the app was focused more on a program rather than on general content,” Davis said. “It was quite niche.” (Disclosure: Current is contracting with INN for web development services.)

The weekly show, Off the Record, has provided coverage of Michigan affairs for 43 years, aided in part by WKAR’s location near the state capital. The half-hour broadcast is supplemented by OTR Extra, a live webcast featuring additional discussions among the show’s guests. Continue Reading

New York Public Radio, StoryCorps among 2014 Knight Prototype grantees

A rejiggered phone booth from New York Public Radio, a mobile app produced by StoryCorps and a public-records data tool from the founder of FOIA Machine are among the 16 recipients of grants from this year’s Knight Foundation Prototype Fund. The foundation’s annual contest awards six-month, $35,000 grants to help recipients develop early-stage media ideas. Winners were announced Thursday. “While six months and a $35,000 grant might not always be enough to finish version one of a project, it can go a long way towards validating an assumption, developing a minimum viable product or identifying a need to revise an approach,” Chris Barr, a media innovation associate with Knight, wrote in a release. This year’s pubmedia and nonprofit media prototype grant winners include:

Talk Box, a New York Public Radio project to turn select New York City phone booths into “a direct, two-way line to the New York Public Radio newsroom.”
DIY StoryCorps, a mobile app from StoryCorps that will allow users to record and upload stories on their own, without visiting a StoryCorps booth. Continue Reading