Calls from Home

For over ten years, Kentucky-based Mountain Community Radio (WMMT) has been producing the weekly radio program Calls from Home, which sends messages and call-outs to prison inmates in Central Appalachia. WMMT records the messages (often from friends and family members), and then broadcasts them on air for prisoners listening in. Calls from Home has been featured by WNYC, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, The American Prospect, Here & Now, and others.

Hurricane Irma Map

Launched by The New Tropic in collaboration with WLRN and The Miami Foundation, the Hurricane Irma Map is a crowd-sourced mapping tool that allows users to search for and add information about resources and impacts in their area. Before Hurricane Irma, the content primarily focused on storm preparation resources. During and after the hurricane, the tool refocused on reports of storm damage and environmental hazards, as well as where to find or participate in relief operations. Learn more in “The New Tropic teamed up with an NPR station to help Florida residents find shelter from Hurricane Irma (and survey the damage after) by Ren LaForme (Poynter; September 7, 2017).

The Colorado Sun

Using funding from a successful 2018 Kickstarter campaign and support from block-chain journalism initiative Civil, the Colorado Sun is an ad-free new project. The model attempts to decentralize ownership of the newsroom in order to avoid a repeat of the recent hedge fund-mandate layoffs at the competing Denver Sun—layoffs that provided the staffing and ideological genesis for the Colorado Sun, as career journalists who had lost their jobs sought out new employment and a better, more sustainable way of reporting the news. More here, here and here.

How City Bureau Recruited Volunteer Coders to Collaboratively Build Engagement Tools

In 2016, Chicago-based civic journalism lab City Bureau started its Documenters program, which pays and equips community members to document public meetings and civic events in the city. As the program grew, they teamed up with ProPublica Illinois and volunteer coders to “scrape” the web for public meeting listings and populate an events calendar usable by journalists and citizens alike.