Five national nonprofit organizations received New Media Lab grants to incubate and test new ways to engage their audiences in civic dialogue utilizing multimedia tools and Internet technologies. The projects range from an effort to utilize video blogging and diaries to educate Vietnamese Americans about the health problems of Agent Orange in Vietnam to the test of a new Internet video service that would feature the work of nonprofit organizations.
The projects were designed over the past six months under the New Media Lab, an initiative launched by a consortium of funders led by the Instructional Telecommunications Foundation in partnership with the Renaissance Journalism Center.
The recipients of the awards, which range from $2,860 to $5,000, include:
Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), a national philanthropic advocacy organization, to support a national initiative to educate the Vietnamese American community about the legacy of Agent Orange and dioxin. The grant supports video broadcasts and diaries produced by 15 fellows traveling to Vietnam to study the toxin’s effects.
Free Speech TV (FSTV), an independent and nonprofit television station, to pioneer an Internet video network for nonprofit organizations. The grant supports two pilot live streaming events generated in partnership with nonprofit organizations.
Guernica, a nonprofit art and politics magazine, to create an online community dedicated to audience engagement and artistic expression. The grant supports the development of its website to host blogs, podcasts, videos, and salons.
Mother Jones, a nonprofit news organization specializing in investigative, political, and social justice reporting, to support the development of its online community, including the integration of Facebook Connect, a rewards system, and video capacity.
National Civic League, a nonpartisan organization working to strengthen civic engagement and participation, to highlight and discuss community-based planning, decision-making, and problem-solving. The grant will be used to develop an interactive blog with multimedia capacity around its annual All-America City awards.
Under the project, a team of multimedia and social media producers helped the nonprofit organizations shape the ideas of their projects. In the next phase of the project, the five nonprofits will test the projects, utilizing the grant funds.
In addition to the Instructional Telecommunications Foundation, the funders New Media Lab funders include Chicago Instructional Technology Foundation, Denver Area Education Telecommunications Consortium, Portland Regional Education Telecommunications Corporation and Twin Cities Telecommunications Group.