The impact of an organization like that on information communities in Philadelphia can be a thrilling thing to watch. By way of full disclosure, I did have early-stage conversations about the position and the project on the recommendation of others. That said, I’m eager to have further discussion with Budde.
With all that said, I wanted to share some thoughts on what goals Budde might seek in his first 100 days the PPIIN CEO.
It is the last major feature of the Transparencity grant project I’ve been leading, and one of the more detailed investigative reports I’ve done in my journalism career. The feature, which details the nearly two-year struggle to go public with a project with internal support, is meant to show the lessons learned and obstacles faced in the hopes that future city agencies can more efficiently release their data publicly for development and citizen use.
Give it a read, for lessons to be taken for any local government. and then find some of what didn’t make it into the piece below.
If all the timing was right on track, some time this month or next, a CEO might be named for a new collaborative nonprofit news and information project being initially funded by the William Penn Foundation.
(Full disclosure, yup, the William Penn Foundations funds the Technically Philly Transparencity open government coverage project and CPIJ was the title sponsor for this year’s BarCamp NewsInnovation, so let’s go ahead and assume that I have absolutely no objectivity about anything written here.)
The support helps bolster existing coverage and allows me to strengthen relationships with new and previously only tenuous sources. Read all about our goals and expectations on the Technically Philly post here.
Those outputs show our work will extend beyond traditional coverage, but, to start, that has been a large part. I’ll update more here on the reporting that I am doing.
The William Penn Foundation is technically funding the nonprofit Institute, which, in serving as our fiduciary agent, is contracting out for-profit Technically Media Inc.’s Technically Philly news site. …Did ya get all that?
“This will fund journalism, support other outlets and find and cover gaps in coverage,” said Greenle in a small meeting of stakeholders yesterday. It may likely take at least a year for real momentum to happen here. Various matching grant efforts are expected to boost that overall total, in addition to future revenue plans, Greenle said.
In 2011, the grant would create a collaborative Center for Public Interest Journalism housed at Temple, which would serve three main functions:
‘One Stop Shopping’ — Centralized resources from Temple that could benefit public affairs journalism in the region (like MPIP, the computer science program, the journalism program) to be offered to partners in some way.
Incubate Collaboration — This center will incubate a collaborative effort that will take a more active role in public affairs journalism that could very well look like this or portions of this. Or not. That’s to be left up to senior staff, as explained below.
Host Events — Create a broader dialogue among journalists by housing the existing Phiji series and, as I thought, perhaps involving the BarCamp NewsInnovation event we and Technically Philly have put hosted at Temple.
Last Wednesday, I was waiting to meet someone in the food court beneath the giant Comcast Center in Center City Philadelphia. Then people started singing, as you can sort of make out in the above photo. Turns out it was a new performance by the Opera Company of Philadelphia. It was cool, not only watching the rehearsal, but all of the people stop and watch the rehearsal.
It’s clearly something about which I am passionate and devoted. It’s also something I put a lot of thought into. This weekend, I found myself returning to a thought process of the past, just free associating everything I would invest in if money was no object toward growing Philadelphia journalism.
Of course, money is a big object, but the brainstorm can help. I share my thoughts below and would love to hear what I am missing or what I seem to be paying too much attention to.