McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs initiative received a total of 227 competitive grant proposals for 2012 funding. The four media organizations chosen for the prestigious award on March 6 were The Seattle Lesbian, ClearHealthCosts.com, Symbolia, and Carolina Public Press.
The Seattle Lesbian editors Sarah Toce and Charlene Strong released the following statement following their successful grant notification.
"This tremendous recognition by our peers in the media further cements our commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Seattle and throughout the world. We are extremely honored — and humbled — to be in the company of such noteworthy projects, including ClearHealthCosts.com, Symbolia and Carolina Public Press. We are deeply grateful to all of our readers — more than 90,000 per month — and know that this is only the beginning. This grant carries with it a significant amount of weight, expectation and responsibility, and The Seattle Lesbian will deliver."
Four public-service news ideas — from a site that compares local health costs and a tablet app for news comics, to a western North Carolina investigative news site, and a fast-growing LGBT site based in Seattle — each won a $12,000 award (with an additional $2,000 match) to develop their projects in the coming year.
"This year's winners demonstrated clear-cut mindsets to take their start-up ideas and grow them into entrepreneurial businesses," said Jan Schaffer, director J-Lab, which administers the program.
"Focus, creativity and determination are at the heart of this competition," said Clark Bell, Journalism Program Director of the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation. "Like winners in previous years, these four projects will provide timely, reliable news and information to their targeted audiences."
A total of $56,000 will be awarded from the McCormick initiative. Project leaders will blog about their startups at www.newmediawomen.org . They join 14 other awardees selected from 1,806 applicants since 2008.
The McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs is a unique initiative addressing opportunity and innovation, recruitment and retention for women in journalism by spotlighting their ingenuity and entrepreneurial abilities. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens.
J-Lab is a journalism catalyst for igniting news ideas that work by funding pilot projects, awarding innovations and sharing practical insights from years of working with news creators. American University's School of Communication is a laboratory for professional education, communication research and innovative production in the fields of journalism, film and media arts and public communication, working across media platforms and with a focus on public affairs and public service.