TheNewsOutlet wins national grant for coverage of gas and oil well drilling in three-state region
Sept. 14, 2012
YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO – The NewsOutlet.org will be producing investigative stories about gas and oil well drilling in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York with $300,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
TheNewsOutlet.org is a project of the Raymond John Wean Foundation and Youngstown State University, Kent State University and the University of Akron. Other partners are the Youngstown Foundation, The Vindicator (Youngstown) and WYSU-FM, who helped found the project, and The Beacon Journal and Rubber City Radio (Akron).
The project partners student journalists with professional media editors and journalism faculty. The students produce multimedia enterprise and investigative content for legacy media organizations throughout Ohio. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation funding is part of the Knight Community Information Challenge, which engages community and place-based foundations to support news and information projects that inform and engage residents.
As traditional media has struggled, funders have increasingly realized how integral good information is to all their areas of interest, whether that’s education, housing or the arts. Community foundations, now celebrating 100 years of service and leadership, and the larger field of place-based foundations, are uniquely positioned to play a leadership role on this issue. So far, close to 80 local foundations nationwide have launched projects that meet local information needs.
As part of the challenge, YSU, The Raymond John Wean Foundation, The Youngstown Foundation, KSU, WYSU, The University of Akron and others will match Knight’s support.
“TheNewsOutlet.org has produced important information that residents of Northeast Ohio need in order to make decisions about their lives,” said Jeffrey M. Glebocki, president of The Raymond John Wean Foundation. “TheNewsOutlet is being recognized as a leading model for university-media collaborations and we are proud that it was born in our community.”
“The Raymond John Wean Foundation is one of the 80-plus community and place-based foundations nationwide who are leading by informing and engaging the public on issues they care about,” said Trabian Shorters, vice president/communities for Knight Foundation, who leads the challenge.
Now in its fourth year, TheNewsOutlet.org has produced more than 150 investigative and enterprise stories, including several that have sparked reform. This year, a News Outlet investigation developed and published through The Vindicator won first place in The Ohio Associated Press investigative Reporting category, and this Fall the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative news organization, ProPublica will pair with YSU students in an Advanced reporting class.
TheNewsOutlet, headquartered at YSU, is directed by Alyssa Lenhoff and Timothy Francisco.
About John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.
Andrew Sherry, Vice President/Communications, (305) 908-2677, firstname.lastname@example.org