Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coming from City Limits: Brooklyn News Bureau

An announcement of a new Brooklyn news source, as noted below, that "will spotlight media-deprived communities like Central Brooklyn, as well as immigrant groups and areas undergoing change."

It's a welcome addition to the media ecosystem, but $50,000 a year over two years can only go so far. Perhaps the initial funding will generate additional support.

The announcement:
Brooklyn Community Foundation and City Limits to Launch Brooklyn News Bureau This Fall: With Funding from Knight Foundation, News Site Will Amplify Issue-focused Journalism in New York City’s Most Populous Borough

August 9, 2011

City Limits, an independent, investigative journalism organization that publishes in-depth reporting about civic affairs in New York City, will launch a new website exclusively dedicated to coverage of the borough of Brooklyn, with $100,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Brooklyn Community Foundation.

The funding is part of the Knight Community Information Challenge, which encourages community and place-based foundations to support news and information projects that inform and engage residents.

As part of the challenge, the Brooklyn Community Foundation—the largest public philanthropy in the borough—will match the Knight Foundation grant of $50,000 over two years.

“This a much-need step forward for Brooklyn. While ‘Brooklyn’ gets a lot of ink in the trends and travel sections of national news outlets, many of our biggest communities have little access to essential local news, making the borough’s voice much softer than its 2.5 million headcount demands,” said Marilyn Gelber, president of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. “The Brooklyn Bureau will create greater awareness for the many complex issues that affect our neighbors. By building audience connectivity and concern, communities from Sunset Park to Cypress Hills will be better equipped to understand and respond to local challenges.”

“Brooklyn Community Foundation and others like it are part of the a growing number of community and place-based foundations working to ensure residents have the information they need to make important decisions about their communities,” said Trabian Shorters, Knight Foundation’s vice president for engaging communities. “Ultimately, our democracy will only thrive if we have informed and engaged communities.”

If it were independent of New York City, Brooklyn would be America’s fourth-largest city, yet it lacks a major unifying news source. Via the Brooklyn Bureau, City Limits will produce in-depth enterprise journalism on local issues and activities of the borough’s nonprofit sector, civic and social institutions, and communities, as well as aggregate and amplify existing news coverage from Bureau-members and existing community outlets.

“In today’s media ecosystem, there are more outlets and platforms, but less journalism—and journalism is critical for New Yorkers to understand the complexities of the issues we face,” said Mark Anthony Thomas, director of City Limits. “With the Brooklyn Bureau, we will employ the tools of investigative journalism to produce the kind of deeply reported, public-minded news on the borough’s underserved communities the mainstream just does not provide.”

The Brooklyn Bureau will spotlight media-deprived communities like Central Brooklyn, as well immigrant groups and areas undergoing change. Through its network of sources, the Bureau will also be a one-stop resource for links to hyper-local Brooklyn news stories from across the web. This will enable Brooklynites to engage in conversation with each other across present barriers, and strengthen Brooklyn’s voice across the city as a whole. Beyond the dedicated website site, stories will be syndicated daily through Twitter and Facebook, RSS feeds to news network members, products for mobile readers and more.

To stay informed on the development and launch of the Brooklyn Bureau, go to www.citylimits.org/brooklynbureau.

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