In 2010, Renaissance Journalism awarded grants to five national nonprofit organizations to incubate and test new ways to utilize journalism, media and social media tools to engage audiences in civil dialogue.
The projects were designed under the New Media Lab & Incubator, an initiative launched by a consortium of funders led by the Instructional Telecommunications Foundation in partnership with Renaissance Journalism.
The recipients of the awards, which ranged from $2,860 to $5,000, were:
- Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) utilized its grant to support video blogging and diaries produced by 15 fellows traveling to Vietnam to see first-hand the devastating impact of Agent Orange/dioxin contamination. Their multimedia work then became an integral part of AAPIP’s national initiative to educate Vietnamese Americans about Agent Orange.
- Free Speech TV experimented with live Internet streaming of events, such as the All-America City Awards and the U.S. Social Forum, using Livepack and Livestream studio.
- Guernica, an online arts and politics magazine, breathed new life into its website with blogs, podcasts, videos and salons.
- Mother Jones, a nonprofit investigative news organization, developed a field test for doing international video reporting and blogging.
- National Civic League invigorated its All-America City Awards program with citizen blogging and video-blogging.
Each nonprofit partner received support, coaching and technical assistance from a bank of media/social media experts. The project also produced the New Media ToolKit, a curated online resource on digital media for journalists and nonprofits.
The New Media Lab & Incubator was conceived by Halcyon Liew, representing the Chicago Instructional Technology Foundation, Denver Area Education Telecommunications Consortium, Instructional Telecommunications Foundation, Portland Regional Education Telecommunications Corporation and Twin Cities Telecommunications Group.
In addition to the Instructional Telecommunications Foundation, the New Media Lab funders included Chicago Instructional Technology Foundation, Denver Area Education Telecommunications Consortium, Portland Regional Education Telecommunications Corporation and Twin Cities Telecommunications Group.