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Michele McLellan’s List of Hyperlocal News Sites

December 16, 2011 in Community, Craft, Experiments, Resources

[T]he Knight Digital Media Center’s Michele McLellan — also a fellow at the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute — has a mind-blowingly thorough taxonomy of local news organizations across the country. This is definitely a post you’ll want to save for future reference.” Source: Nieman Lab

“As a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute in 2009, Michele McLellan created a list of promising local news sites. She also developed broad categories for classifying what is emerging on the local news landscape … Among those categories, Block by Block activities are designed with four site types in mind: Community, Local aggregator, Micro local and Local niche. In addition, Michele created criteria for the list that are designed to identify sites that are working on all three legs of the sustainability stool: Content, community engagement and revenue.” Source: Block by Block

 

 

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fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute in 2009, Michele McLellan created a list of promising local news sites. She also developed broad categories for classifying what is emerging on the local news landscape

Among those categories, Block by Block activities are designed with four site types in mind: Community, Local aggregator, Micro local and Local niche.
In addition, Michele created criteria for the list that are designed to identify sites that are working on all three legs of the sustainability stool: Content, community engagement and revenue. (SOURCE: http://www.blockbyblock.us/sample-page/)

Project Vote Smart

December 5, 2011 in Community, Education, Resources

Since Project Vote Smart was inaugurated in 1992, we have offered special services and programs to journalists in order to enhance their coverage of local and federal candidates, legislation, and elections. Over the years, Vote Smart has partnered with hundreds of national, state, and local news organizations, all lending their support for our programs and comprehensive databases on more than 40,000 candidates and incumbents, used to help Americans Vote Smart.

Relevant Programs

Research Assistance
Call the Voter’s Research Hotline (1-888-VOTESMART) or email your questions to media@votesmart.org in order to access a free research and referral service for working journalists. Our researchers have access to an extensive library and databases of continually-updated information on elected officials, candidates, issues, special interest groups, and government activities, in order to help journalists with fact-checking and background information for their stories. Also view our web directory for a complete list of information found on our website.

Resources for Your Website
Ready-to-upload widgets, logos and banners make it easy for news organizations to customize Vote Smart’s information resources for their own communities and audiences. To create customized web pages and applications using all or selected parts of Vote Smart’s databases, news organizations can use our Application Programming Interface (API). The API will respond to simple requests for data, such as ‘get bio information for candidate Y’ and ‘get Votes for candidate X.’

The Political Courage Test
Each election cycle, news organizations support our programs by both informing their audience about Vote Smart’s candidate information, and by encouraging their candidates to provide relevant issue information through the Political Courage Test. Previous election-year Test results show, when local news organizations speak out in support of the Political Courage Test, candidates are more likely to provide answers. Candidates’ subsequent answers to Test questions are offered in advance of public release to collaborating news organizations, in order to enrich their campaign coverage. For more information email media@votesmart.org or call 406-859-8683.

The Political Courage Test is the organization’s flagship program, asking all candidates one central question: “Are you willing to tell citizens where you stand on the issues you may face if elected?” Candidates who reply “yes” are asked to address key issues known to be both consistently of top concern to the American people and also likely to come up in the next legislative session.

VoteEasy™
Utilizing thousands of hours of research and a vast collection of data assembled by Vote Smart researchers, this interactive tool allows the general public to quickly and easily see which presidential and congressional candidates align with their views on key issues such as abortion, immigration, and the environment. Use it now! News organizations are encouraged to link directly to VoteEasy™ by placing VoteEasy banners on their elections website page.

“The ultimate tool for pre-election research; [VoteEasy] does a great job of connecting you to political candidates that share your views in a fun, dynamic way.” – CommArts Annual

  • 2011 CommArts Interactive Annual Award Winner
  • 2011 Webvisionary Award Winner, “Visualize This” Category
  • Featured as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s “Talk to Me” exhibit” Source: Vote Smart

Local Yokel Media

November 23, 2011 in Community, Resources, Revenue

Local Yokel Media is the industry’s first hyperlocal online ad marketplace. What is hyperlocal? We aggregate the audiences of online media sites where your customers and prospects live and work. Most of them are only a walk or a short car ride from shopping in your store. Our job is to help you get them there; the first time, and every time until they are loyal customers. We make it incredibly simple for advertisers by providing the tools to build and place highly effective ads that reach prospects and customers.

We are building a network of publishers that reach deeply into local neighborhoods and so are trusted and frequently visited as perfect sources for hyperlocal news and alerts such as school closings, potential traffic problems and power outages. They cover the school sports your big regional paper doesn’t and list upcoming events that are so local they don’t make it onto the big media sites. They are our partners and we will help them earn higher online ad revenue and sell more of their ad impressions than ever before. Plus, we give them lots of controls so there are no surprises. Just more revenue.
The veteran media and marketing executives behind Local Yokel Media have over four decades of digital media experience from renowned internet companies like DoubleClick, AOL, Yahoo, iVillage and Quigo. We all have deep expertise in creating high performance ads, targeting, ad serving and platform development. Our mission is simple…make local online advertising work better for local publishers and local advertisers.” Source: Local Yokel Media

SeeClickFix

November 23, 2011 in Community, Experiments, Resources, Technology

SeeClickFix is a free mobile phone and web tool that allows citizens to report and document non-emergency issues to communicate them to those accountable for the public space. Issues that are reported through the website are recorded on a map for everyone to see and interact with. Anyone can receive email alerts on the issues based on a filter by geographical area and keyword…We believe in the power of technology to promote:

  • Transparency – Governments and most organizations work best when they conduct their business in plain view. We’ll do our best to do the same.
  • Collaboration – Four brains are better than one. And millions of brains are better than three. Our goal is to give everyone else the tools to accomplish what we never could ourselves. Open source software and wikis are good models for us.
  • Scale – We could have created a site that focused on our home town. Using the internet and all the tools others have created, we want to reach as many people as possible around the globe. Massive scale, please.
  • Efficiency – Although paper has its place, there is a lot more room for the web and the mobile phone. Rather than re-invent the wheel, our site is built on open source software and Google maps.” Source: SeeClickFix

“Local governments and media outlets across the country are using SeeClickFix to stay up-to-date on the issues that have the most immediate impact on the health of our communities.

Publicly documented SeeClickFix issues quickly become the seeds for news stories, investigative reports, and citizen advocacy pieces. Our platform gives you a window into the public debate and organizes the issues in a way that makes it easy to discern which are most pressing and likely to generate immediate attention.

SeeClickFix has media partnerships with hundreds of media outlets around the country. Besides helping to source local stories, our Text and Map Widgets help to enhance the user experience on your website. Our widgets display the most important issues that have been reported in your area and allow users to report issues of their own right on your site. Generating a widget takes only a few clicks, and will help make your site more interactive and more relevant to the day-to-day concerns of your readership.

Our partnerships with media outlets are mutually beneficial. We drive traffic to local news sites, while our community of users grows and develops in new locations. These collaborations create new space for public dialogue, connect civically engaged members of the community, and help citizens hold local governments accountable.” SourceSeeClickFix

Ten Nonprofit Funding Models

November 23, 2011 in Community, Education, Resources, Revenue, Technology

Money is a constant topic of conversation among nonprofit leaders: How much do we need? Where can we find it? Why isn’t there more of it? In tough economic times, these types of questions become more frequent and pressing. Unfortunately, the answers are not readily available. That’s because nonprofit leaders are much more sophisticated about creating programs than they are about funding their organizations, and philanthropists often struggle to understand the impact (and limitations) of their donations.

There are consequences to this financial fuzziness. When nonprofits and funding sources are not well matched, money doesn’t flow to the areas where it will do the greatest good. Too often, the result is that promising programs are cut, curtailed, or never launched. And when dollars become tight, a chaotic fundraising scramble is all the more likely to ensue.

In the for-profit world, by contrast, there is a much higher degree of clarity on financial issues. This is particularly true when it comes to understanding how different businesses operate, which can be encapsulated in a set of principles known as business models. Although there is no definitive list of corporate business models, there is enough agreement about what they mean that investors and executives alike can engage in sophisticated conversations about any given company’s strategy…

The nonprofit world rarely engages in equally clear and succinct conversations about an organization’s long- term funding strategy. That is because the different types of funding that fuel nonprofits have never been clearly defined. More than a poverty of language, this represents—and results in—a poverty of understanding and clear thinking.

Through our research, we have identified 10 nonprofit models that are commonly used by the largest nonprofits in the United States. (See “Funding Models” on page 37.) Our intent is not to prescribe a single approach for a given nonprofit to pursue. Instead, we hope to help nonprofit leaders articulate more clearly the models that they believe could support the growth of their organizations, and use that insight to examine the potential and constraints associated with those models.” Source: Ten Nonprofit Funding Models

Investigative News Network

November 16, 2011 in Community, Craft, Policy, Resources

The Investigative News Network is a collaborative organization made up of [60] nonprofit investigative journalism outlets.

The network was founded by 25 nonprofit news organizations at a summer 2009 conference organized by The Center for Public Integrity and The Center for Investigative Reporting. Those two organizations, along with the Investigative Reporting Workshop and ProPublica, had previously initiated a six-month collaborative pilot project, though ProPublica is not a member of the group.

The group was formed as a way for nonprofit investigative outlets to collaborate on anything from reporting to administration to fundraising. In February 2010, it released its first collaborative report, on sexual assaults on college campuses.” Source: Nieman Journalism Lab

  • “The Investigative News Network (INN) is dedicated to helping our member non-profit news organizations produce and distribute stories with the highest impact possible, and to become sustainable nonprofit organizations.
  • We are a consortium of high quality, award-winning watchdog journalistic organizations serving the public interest to benefit our free society.
  • We aim to provide premier support for our members, by incubating and fostering new non-profit newsrooms, providing opportunities for editorial collaboration and creating distribution channels to reach the widest audience possible.
  • To qualify for the extensive benefits and services of INN, our members are not-for-profit news organizations that are transparent in their funding and non-partisan in their approach to investigative and public service reporting.” Source: Investigative News Network

Electronic Frontier Foundation

November 16, 2011 in Community, Policy, Resources, Technology

From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990 — well before the Internet was on most people’s radar — and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists, EFF achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations. By mobilizing more than 61,000 concerned citizens through our Action Center, EFF beats back bad legislation. In addition to advising policymakers, EFF educates the press and public.” Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation