Ferrier’s Franchise Online News Idea Wins $10K Grant

J-Lab Announces Three Awards for New Media Women Entrepreneurs

July 15, 2009
For immediate release

For more information, contact:
Jan Schaffer 202-885-8100

Washington, D.C. – Three entrepreneurial news ideas – including franchises for community news sites, a food policy and strategies start-up, and a health Web site for women ages 18 to 27 – each won a $10,000 award to launch their projects in a robust competition that showcased keen energy and ideas for the future of news.

The award winners were selected from a whopping 435 proposals received in the second year of the McCormick Foundation New Media Women Entrepreneurs initiative.  The number of proposals increased 129 percent from last year’s total of 190.

“There was an incredibly competitive field of creative ideas to address specific issues proposed by women who have a great deal of optimism about the future of news and information,“ said Jan Schaffer, director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, which administers the program. J-Lab is a center of American University’s School of Communication in Washington, D.C.

The Chicago-based McCormick Foundation funds the New Media Women Entrepreneurs initiative. “We are elated about the number and quality of the proposals,“ said Clark Bell, the foundation’s journalism program director. “This initiative showcases the energy, creativity and innovation of media entrepreneurs. These women are not waiting for the next big thing. They are determined to create it.“

Each project will receive $10,000 to launch within a year and project leaders will blog about their experience at http://www.newmediawomen.org.

Women’s Community News Franchise – Former MytopiaCafe.com editor Michelle Ferrier will develop a complete infrastructure, to be franchised, for those who want to launch hyperlocal news sites. A demo site will launch later this year in West Volusia County, Florida, piloting services that will include a Web platform, software development, market analysis, some content, and legal and marketing assistance. Such an infrastructure, says Ferrier, will permit citizen journalists and community members to “focus on what they are most passionate about – building their community conversation through good local information and networking.“

J-Lab Press Release: http://www.newmediawomen.org/site/2009_winners_release


Ferrier’s Franchise Online News Idea Wins $10K Grant