"A dozen U.S. universities each won a $35,000 micro-grant to seed collaborative news experiments in living labs — their communities," the Online News Association announced on Friday.
- "CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, 'Hack the Mold': CUNY will experiment with both in-person and on-line engagement with tenants when reporting on a low-income community's experiences with mold in New York City public housing. Partner: The New York Daily News." This project is led by Sandeep Junnarkar, former president of the South Asian Journalists Association.
- "Florida International University: Can data feeds, 'crowd hydrology' and student-led journalism — with strong support from public television — increase community engagement about sea level rise in South Florida? Partners: Code for Miami, Hacks/Hackers, WPBT2, South Florida Water Management District."
- "Georgia Collaborative, 'Georgia News Lab': An ambitious collaborative, including Georgia State University, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, University of Georgia and two major local news outlets, will try to increase newsroom diversity by training digitally savvy investigative reporters. Media partners: Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSBTV.
- "San Francisco State University: 'Newspoints': Can a mobile- and web-based organizing tool improve reporting and get student journalists into the field sooner? Partners: El Tecolote, Accion Latina, Stamen Design.
- "University of New Mexico, 'New Mexico News Port': Can a student-powered lab and publishing platform that curates content from a collaborative hub increase news in New Mexico? Partners: Radio station KUNM, television station KNME and The Daily Lobo.
Among the honorable mentions were Howard University, "The News Oasis,"Ingrid Sturgis, assistant professor/new media; and USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, "Augmenting City Hall,"Robert Hernandez, assistant professor of professional practice.
"The competitive Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education was created to encourage universities to experiment with new ways of providing news and information," the announcement said.
It quoted Irving Washington, ONA operations director, who administered the selection process. "We zeroed in on ideas and teams that we hope inspire innovation, collaboration and real-world impact in academia and media. The potential for true community engagement in the winning projects was every bit as important as the tools and technology used to achieve it."