Plus: Tribeca panels become a WNYC offering.
Plus: Tribeca panels become a WNYC offering.
The grant will allow the PBS program to fund new projects and a digital technology fellowship.
• NPR introduced voice recognition–enabled ads this week on its smartphone app in an attempt to connect its nearly one million mobile listeners with sponsors, Adweek reports. The 15-second audio spots ask listeners to say “Download now” or “Hear more” after hearing an ad that sparks their interest. • The Knight Foundation has awarded a joint grant to the nonprofit newsrooms Voice of San Diego and MinnPost to help them develop plans to grow membership. The two-year, $1.2 million grant will be divided evenly between the news operations, who will collaborate on using membership data more effectively. Nieman runs down how the sites will use the grant.
The Knight Foundation and the Investigative News Network (INN) are teaming up to award $1 million in microgrants for innovation at public media and nonprofit news operations. The INNovate Fund is one of several initiatives totaling $5 million that Knight has planned in response to its 2013 in-depth study of nonprofit news sustainability. Knight will provide the funding, while INN will manage the two-year grant program and select recipients. Online applications will open March 1 and are open to all nonprofit and public media news organizations. Successful applications should meet three criteria, according to INN CEO Kevin Davis.
As a growing number of public media organizations turn to Kickstarter to raise funding for new projects — with mixed success — development professionals and others in nonprofit media have begun evaluating both the potential and limitations of this new fundraising method.
Nonprofit news organizations have made significant progress in developing healthy and sustainable revenue streams, according to a recent study by the Knight Foundation.
The San Francisco–based startup accelerator, funded by KQED and the Knight Foundation and owned in part by Public Radio Exchange, has announced a new round of seven early-stage companies joining Matter.
Each grantee will receive up to $50,000 to support the creation of experimental tools intended to improve storytelling and reporting
The Texas Tribune, the nonprofit public policy journalism website that recently received a $1.5 million Knight Foundation grant, is the subject of an extensive piece published April 15 in the Columbia Journalism Review.
The Texas Tribune, an online news nonprofit that produces in-depth stories about Texas government and policy, received $1.5 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation April 14 to explore new revenue models for local journalism.
Joe Donnelly, former senior editor at L.A. Weekly and co-founder of the quarterly reader Slake: Los Angeles, will become the executive editor of the Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative, a new nonprofit investigative journalism project founded earlier this year.
The start-up accelerator unveiled a year ago as an experiment in bringing Silicon Valley’s culture of innovation to public media has rebranded itself in a move to attract a wider range of ideas and investors.
A partnership between a public radio station, a private university and a for-profit newspaper is beefing up local news coverage in Georgia’s fourth-largest city.
A group of public radio partners is preparing to launch a new local journalism nonprofit that will employ upwards of 20 people in a hybrid digital/broadcast newsroom.
In another set of changes intended to adjust its journalism philanthropy to the rapidly evolving digital-media marketplace, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation unveiled a new grants program last month and created a new mechanism for providing aid to digital start-ups. The Knight Prototype Fund is designed to react quickly to entrepreneurs, journalists and “tinkerers of all kinds” who are building and testing pioneering ideas, the foundation announced on its website. The fund offers small grants of up to $50,000 over a few months, a much shorter time frame than the more typical cycle of one- to three-year grants. Among the first award-winners is Matt Waite, a professor at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln who is experimenting with the use of drone vehicles for news and data collection. Knight also tweaked the formula for its News Challenge, the grant program that was split into three application rounds earlier this year.
The nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting is launching an investigative news channel on YouTube to serve as a hub for investigative journalism. The Knight Foundation provided an $800,000 grant to start the channel. The center, based in Berkeley, Calif., announced on April 11  that the channel will feature videos from commercial and noncommercial broadcasters and independent producers, including NPR, ITVS, ABC News, the New York Times, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Center for Public Integrity and American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop. The center plans to add contributors and seek submissions from freelance journalists and independent filmmakers from around the world. “One of the goals of this partnership will be to raise the profile and visibility of high-impact storytelling through video,” said Robert Rosenthal, executive director of the center.
All but one of the dozen pubradio stations in NPR’s Project Argo plan to keep their specialized beat-bloggers working, even though the project’s original grant money is running out.
Bellantoni to oversee all <em>NewsHour</em> political coverage
PBS NewsHour has a new political editor as of Jan. 2. Christina Bellantoni of CQ Roll Call oversees the newsroom’s political coverage on-air and online, including political analysis, elections and personalities. Her predecessor, David Chalain, departed in November to lead the Washington bureau of Yahoo News. Bellantoni has spent more than a decade covering national political and business news in Washington, D.C., and California.
With $2.5 million from the Knight Foundation, Public Radio Exchange will rev up a new Public Media Accelerator next year to assist new public-media journalism projects with seed money, mentoring and help in finding funds and investors. Knight stresses the mentoring. After experience with more than 200 media projects, Knight has found that the most successful have been “nurtured through outside advice and expertise,” said foundation veep Michael Maness. PRX hasn’t set priorities for projects, chief exec Jake Shapiro told Current, but he expects they will tend to develop software tools, especially mobile apps. Shapiro sees benefits for public media organizations that get their hands geeky with the tech side, as PRX did, instead of outsourcing the work, he wrote on PBS MediaShift’s Idea Lab.
The Knight Foundation awarded $420,000 last week to support the development of Zeega, an open-source HTML5 platform co-created by independent public radio producer Kara Oehler, a creator of the Mapping Main Street project. Zeega will enable the creation of “participatory multimedia projects on web, tablet and mobile devices,” according to its website. The platform will allow creators to combine web-based media including audio, maps, photos, video and text. Oehler and her collaborators, Jesse Shapins and James Burns, were inspired to create Zeega after producing the multimedia Mapping Main Street project, according to an article in the Harvard Gazette. (The three are affiliated with the university.) That collaborative documentation of Main Streets across the country was supported by CPB and the Association of Independents in Radio.