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Smaller news organizations: Apply by July 24 for APME’s sixth-annual Community Journalism Initiative

Monday, May 22, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laura Sellers-Earl
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The sixth year of the Associated Press Media Editors’ Community Journalism Public Service Initiative continues to emphasize the important work of smaller news organizations and their impact on U.S. communities.

Because of generous grants from the Park and APME foundations, the initiative will award grants of $2,500 to two news organizations again this year to help them complete projects important to their communities. The winners will also receive an expense-paid trip to send a representative to present at the ASNE-APME-APPM News Leadership Conference Oct. 8-11 in Washington.

However, news organizations must apply to be considered.

“It’s a relatively easy process to enter, and the return on the investment of time is great if you are selected,” said Joe Hight, who is serving again as chairman of the grant project and judging panel this year.

“The list is growing of outstanding smaller news organizations that APME has supported to do great journalism and projects that have an impact on their communities, It’s also great to see how these organizations have gone on to win other major awards and even national companywide honors for the work they are doing.”

Last year's winners are prime examples.

The Journal-Standard of Freeport, Ill, became the first two-time winner last year for its “Freeport Fish Tank” project on its crumbling downtown. The Journal Standard has won previously for its three-day series analyzing the dramatic effect of a series of shootings on the 24,000 people who live in Freeport. The other winner was The Daily Item of Sunbury, PA, which won for its project on heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis in its community. The Daily Item was later named as CNHI Newspaper of the Year for its “bold and thoughtful enterprise stories,” according to the announcement.

Media companies in metropolitan areas (MSA) of 100,000 or fewer people are encouraged to apply for the grants. Applicants must draft a proposal of 500 words or less and include examples of how you would approach the project. It should be multi-platform, include social media and address a long-standing community issue. If the project is part of a partnership, the application must address the news organization’s role in it and its need of the grant to help complete it.

The deadline for applications is July 24. Applications can be submitted by going to https://www.tfaforms.com/4619008. The grant winners will be announced in late August.

Besides The Journal Standard and The Daily Item, past winners have been the Star-Tribune of Terre Haute, Ind., for its project, “A City on the Brink: Terre Haute’s Financial Crisis;” The Enid, Okla., News & Eagle for "Under Pressure" about the city’s lack of services for poor parts of its city; The Sedalia (Mo.) Democrat for "Meth at the Crossroads"; and The Daily Citizen of Beaver Dam, Wis., for "Mental Health on Hold."

Details:

The grant: Two $2,500 grants will be awarded to a small-media company for a public service project that addresses a long-standing community issue. Representatives also will receive an expenses-paid trip (up to $1,000 each) to the ASNE-APME-APPM News Leadership Conference Oct. 8-11 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C.

Eligibility: The media company must have a website and serve a metropolitan area (MSA) of 100,000 or fewer people. Entrants must be Associated Press members.

Expectations: The project can use print, broadcast and/or digital platforms and include social media and/or a mobile strategy. It should be considered entrepreneurial and should have the potential to be used elsewhere, including by a larger media company. Even though the project can be an ongoing series and continue after the ASNE-APME-APPM conference, there will an expectation that part of the project will have been completed in time to present at the conference in October. If the project is part of a partnership, the application must address the news organization’s role in it and its need of the grant to help complete it.

To apply: Applicants must draft a proposal of 500 words or less and include examples of how you would approach the project. It should be multi-platform, include social media and address a long-standing community issue. If the project is part of a partnership, the applicant must address the news organization’s role in it and its need of the grant to help complete it.

Deadline: Midnight July 24. Submit applications to https://www.tfaforms.com/4619008

Grant funding: The Park Foundation of Ithaca, N.Y., underwrites the two $2,500 grants. The APME Foundation provides funding to help with travel expenses for the winners.

For more information: Contact Joe Hight at jhight1958@uco.edu. Hight is the endowed chair of journalism ethics at the University of Central Oklahoma.

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