April 22, 2009

Michigan experiment in hyperlocal gets grant

A Michigan effort at community journalism grabbed a New Voices grant today. Only 8 of 204 possible projects aimed at news in specific geographic communities were selected for grants up to $25,000 over two years. (No, I'm not missing a any 0s.)

The press release describes the Michigan project:
GrossePointeToday.com - Wayne State University’s journalism program has recruited more than 20 displaced, retired and otherwise available professional journalists to write and edit content from citizen contributors and online journalism students at WSU and the University of Michigan-Dearborn for a full-service news and information site about Detroit’s five Grosse Pointes.

Professionals have pledged $20,000 in seed money to support the first year of the program. The site will receive a 30 percent commission on all advertising sold by a 35-year-old, highly successful community directory called “The Little Blue Book.“
It's a project headed up by Ben Burns and Nancy Nall Derringer, who has been blogging some about her efforts in posts like Boats against the current and V.2.0. Oh, even My plea.

Another grant goes to what could be a competitor to an Advance Publications effort.

Bill Bostic
, who was a free-lancer for the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News, and founder of the Linglestown (Pa.) Gazette, will expand his model to develop a network of four to six independently operated hyperlocal Web sites, to be updated daily, for communities in suburban Harrisburg, Pa. Backyard News will seek joint ventures to provide local content for the region’s daily newspaper and radio and TV stations. The project will also work to deliver content to cell phones.


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