Updated 4/25/10 @ 5:41 p.m. with William Penn Foundation clarification
Fewer than four months after its Philadelphia media elite round table to discuss the subject, the William Penn Foundation has released a more detailed outline of its intentions of investing and developing local online journalism in the region.
The report, which was released Wednesday, comes from the J-Lab journalism institute at American University and its Executive Director, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Philadelphia Inquirer business editor Jan Schaffer.
“While we’re not ready to brand the project at this point, it is fair to characterize what we have in mind as an independent journalism collaborative,” said the foundation’s President Feather Houstoun in an e-mail to stakeholders in the initiative.
The final report, which can be read in its entirety here, tacitly outlines the steps to develop roughly two things: (1) a central website of public affairs coverage and (2) a journalism collaboration by way of staff, funding and shared administrative and business services — which I like to think was at least partially influenced by our pushing on with News Inkubator.
Updated: The William Penn Foundation will not “necessarily” implement what was found in the report, communications director Brent Thompson told me.
More broadly, as Schaffer wrote in an e-mail to those she interviewed in her months-long research: “After a deep analysis of the media landscape, J-Lab has recommended that Philadelphia is ripe for a unique Networked Journalism collaborative, partnering new media makers with original reporting on public affairs.”
It’s a quick and more detailed move less than half a year a large stakeholders meeting that was less than decisive.