The Awesome News Taskforce Detroit recently had their very first deliberation meeting to choose the winner of their first $1,000 grant. I listened in from my room in Somerville, Mass., 718 miles away. We've come a long way since my first trip to Detroit in August to sow the seeds for the Awesome News Taskforce project. On that first trip, I met with as many people doing interesting projects as I could to tell them about our plans, get feedback, and also to learn more about the core issues that shape the city. On the next trip, I interviewed candidates...more »
Idea Lab is a group blog by innovators who are reinventing community news for the Digital Age.
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When we started work on Awesome News Taskforce Detroit, I knew that getting a diverse group of people involved from the get-go was our No. 1 priority. In the case of Detroit, that diversity must include not just gender and racial diversity, but also geographical, class and organizational differences as well. As an experiment, I asked all of the people applying to be trustees to give us their ZIP code so we could quickly identify if we were having trouble attracting geographical diversity. Now, near the end of our recruiting process, I am able to generate this useful visualization: Making...more »
I'm occasionally asked by well-intended fans of the Awesome Foundation if there are plans to ramp up our granting efforts, to go beyond the measly $1,000 each of our chapters offers every month so that we can fund higher-impact projects, especially now that we are entering the arena of community development and revitalization. While it's certainly possible, I have come to strongly believe that the small size of our grants is, as software developers might say, a feature, not a bug. I'm not the only one. A quick survey of the revitalization landscape in Detroit shows an abundance of organizations,...more »
The citizen journalism and new media movements have made it increasingly possible for anyone to be heard in the media, first as sources and then as writers. But what if these interested and informed citizens became builders and innovators as well? The Awesome News Taskforce wants to empower anybody to create and test out community information and journalism projects of their own -- $1,000 at a time. The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences was started in the summer of 2009 by Tim Hwang. During his undergrad years at Harvard, Tim was notorious for his long history of bizarre...more »
I think newspapers, blogs, and magazines should all be doing audio versions. I grew up enjoying and listening to audiobooks and now I don't have the same option for the short form content that I prefer to consume.
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