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Got an Idea for a Web Site? Seed Funding is Available

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

The City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism today announced that it has received a $100,000, two-year grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation to provide seed funding to news start-ups developed by students in the school’s unique course in entrepreneurial journalism.

A jury of industry leaders from the media community in New York – experts in content, revenue, marketing, venture capital and startups – will guide the students through creating their proposals and will select projects deserving investment from the fund.

Prof. Jeff Jarvis, Director of Interactive Journalism

“Journalism is in urgent need of innovation,” said Prof. Jeff Jarvis, director of the interactive journalism program at CUNY, who teaches the course. “We hope to help create a generation of journalistic innovators. We also hope to incubate new and sustainable ideas, products and companies. This sends a powerful message to the news industry that we must invest in the future of journalism.””The McCormick Tribune Foundation recognizes that creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are crucial to success and survival in the modern media world,” said Clark Bell, director of the Foundation’s Journalism Program. “The CUNY program is an excellent platform for encouraging invention and risk as part of the journalism education process. We are delighted to support Prof. Jarvis and the work of his students.”

Professor Jarvis explained that students in CUNY’s entrepreneurial journalism course are developing complete plans for new and sustainable journalistic enterprises with ideas involving local journalism, sports, environmentalism and entertainment. Experts from New York’s media community are speaking with the students and mentoring some of them. They will then decide which – if any – of the students’ ideas are worth risking the grant’s fund. The jury will decide how much of the fund to invest and monies not invested will be carried over to future classes. “This makes it real,” said Jarvis.

Journalism School Dean Stephen B. Shepard said the grant also serves the school’s mission to teach journalism in new ways for the Internet age. “We believe that the standards, practices and verities of journalism can and must be brought into the next era through invention and action.” Shepard said the school stands in an ideal position to foster such development because it is new and is in the heart of the headquarters city of American news and media.

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which opened its doors in September 2006, has developed among the most advanced converged programs in the nation, with every student learning the fundamentals of every medium and also being encouraged to push the possibilities of journalism. It is the first graduate journalism school at a publicly supported university in the Northeast. The three-semester M.A. program offers an innovative curriculum that combines the craft and content of good journalistic practice while exposing students to all different forms of media that will prepare them for a workplace increasingly characterized by the convergence of media formats.

The McCormick Tribune Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to making life better for children, communities and country. Through its charitable grantmaking programs, Cantigny Park and Golf, Cantigny First Division Foundation and the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, the Foundation positively impacts people’s lives and stays true to its mission of advancing the ideals of a free, democratic society. For more information, please visit www.McCormickTribune.org.

Contact:

At CUNY:
Jeff Jarvis
jeff.jarvis@journalism.cuny.edu
908 398 7878 (mobile)

At McCormick Tribune:
Abby Taylor
ATaylor@McCormickTribune.org
312-222-3188