2001


Waterfront Renaissance, Everett, WA 2001

Partners:

The Herald
KSER-FM Public Radio

The paper's "Waterfront Renaissance" project marked a new development in interactive journalism, marrying the credibility of the news organization with Web-based game technology that had previously been used mainly on advertising and entertainment sites.

When the Herald set out not simply to inform but also to engage residents in the city's effort to develop a comprehensive shoreline plan, it used many familiar civic journalism tools. A four-part series of stories, which began April 22, 2001, explained the options for the waterfront and included success stories from other cities, as well as a clip-and-send form to get citizen input into what should happen on Everett's waterfront. The paper also sought citizen input through 10 neighborhood meetings and a larger town meeting where a national waterfront-development expert spoke.

New technology allowed the paper to include a novel option on its Web site. Users could click on a map of the waterfront and, using a menu of icons on the screen, design their own waterfront development plan. They could play with the Sim City-like choices until they were satisfied with their designs and then electronically submit them. Some 420 people submitted their designs this way. Another 600 mailed in paper versions. In addition, 300 residents signed a petition demanding no development and delivered it to the Herald on the final day it was accepting the filled-in maps. The paper reported the results - the most popular option people chose for the sites was parks - and helped set up four independent watchdog groups to ensure public input would be considered in the final development. By the following year, one citizen favorite, bike paths, was starting to happen.


Contact:

Stan Strick
Executive Editor
The Herald
1213 California Street
Everett, WA 98201
Phone: (425) 339-3480
Email: strick@heraldnet.com

Mark Briggs
New Media Editor/Manager
The Herald
1213 California Street
Everett, WA 98201
Phone: (425) 339-3000
Email: briggs@heraldnet.com



Teledirecto TV, San Antonio, TX 2001

Partners:

KVDA Channel 60 (Telemundo)

San Antonio's Spanish-language television station made history in May 2001 by integrating viewers into its newscasts through Web cameras in their homes. The feature, "Teledirecto TV," was incorporated into regular newscasts at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. to add the voice of ordinary citizens to those of experts and politicians on stories that impact the public.

The station identified "neighborhood correspondents," citizens chosen on the basis of their involvement and interest in the community, and installed Web cams - video cameras with built-in microphones - in their homes. Pew support helped pay the salary of a special coordinator who reviewed the news budget for stories affecting the "correspondents," then asked them to appear on that evening's news. The correspondents had only to click on a couple of icons to activate the Web cam and add their views to those of the officials or experts appearing in the story.

The first two neighborhood correspondents were Mary Lou Mendoza, a wife and mother involved with special education at a local elementary school, and Andrea Garza, a dental assistant active in her church and other organizations. The station planned to install Web cams and computers in 40 San Antonio homes and hoped eventually to have 100 neighborhood correspondents.


Contact:

Emilio Nicolas, Jr.
VP, General Manager
KVDA Channel 60
6234 San Pedro
San Antonio, TX 78218
Phone: (210) 340-8860
Email: exnicolas@telemundo.com



Medical Ethics: Tough Choices, Lincoln, NE 2000

Partners:

Lincoln Journal Star
Nebraska Public Television
KMTV (CBS)

The partners launched a project on the ethical questions surrounding research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center after the surprise disclosure that the facility was using fetal tissue in its labs. A statewide poll of 323 adults found most generally supported the kinds of research the center was doing, though many opposed harvesting cells from aborted fetuses. The partners hoped to spark a civil and thoughtful discussion of the ethical implications, informed by a thorough understanding of the research.

The paper ran a four-part series on Sundays in January 2001, looking at cloning stem cell research, xenotransplantation (harvesting organs for transplant from animals) and gene therapy. KMLTV aired a five-part series on the topics.

On Thursday, Feb. 1, Nebraska public television broadcast a live panel discussion of the issues by ordinary citizens. Experts sitting in the front row of the audience - which was open to anyone -I interacted with the panel for part of the show. Viewers were invited to share their opinions online, on a Web site that included the newspaper stories and lists of contacts and resources.

Some 6,000 viewers watched the show on public television and another 5,000 watched a rebroadcast on KMTV, Feb. 3. The Web site received 8,000 visits from Jan 8 to April 8. Later that year, the Nebraska legislature set aside a bill that would have banned fetal tissue research at the university. Lawmakers quoted citizens who'd participated in the project during debate on the measure. The project won First Place for Enterprise Reporting from the Nebraska Associated Press.


Contact:

David B. Stoeffler (former Editor, Lincoln Star Journal)
Vice President
Lee Enterprises
215 North Main Street
Davenport, IA 52801-1924
Phone: (563) 383-2139
Email: david.stoeffler@lee.net



Community News Digest, Portland, ME 2001

Partners:

MaineToday.com

The online service, the portal for the Portland Press Herald, the Morning Sentinel, the Kennebec Journal and WMTW Broadcasting, built and customized an innovative software system that allows community groups to generate content. MaineToday originally received funding to use existing KOZ software to improve opportunities for citizens to contribute news, responses and questions to the site. The Portland Press Herald had been using KOZ software to help community groups establish their own Web sites hosted on MaineToday and began the project seeking wider applications of KOZ's easy-to-use format. Just months into the project, however, KOZ filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcy. By that time - early 2001 - nearly 2,000 community groups were publishing on MaineToday. The staff turned its efforts to building a new software system and also figuring out the best way to use it to enhance community participation.

The result was "Bulletin Board," software that connects the community directly to the site. Through an online application, groups can register to be regular contributors. The news they send in is posted on a special section of the site's highly trafficked news pages in a box headlined, "Bulletin Board." Initially, MaineToday incorporated Bulletin Boards onto three of its pages: Sports, 20 Below (aimed at teen users) and Outdoors. Contributions from those involved in such activities as youth soccer or snow-mobiling allow the site to serve thousands of users who are intensely interested in niche activities, which the paper has neither the staff nor the space to cover adequately. The site planned eventually to expand Bulletin Board to any other news page where it makes sense to have users providing content.


Contact:

Jessica Tomlinson
Online Community Organizer
MaineToday.com
50 Monument Square
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 822-4072
Email: jessica@mainetoday.com



Lawrence is Growing, Lawrence, KS 2001

Partners:

Lawrence Journal-World
6News
J-W Web Works

With "Lawrence is Growing," the partners helped citizens of the university town, long polarized on the issue of growth, find common ground and make concrete proposals to public officials on how to manage growth.

The six-month project began April 15, 2001, with a three-week series about the history of growth in Lawrence, alternatives for future growth and how other communities had managed it. Stories appeared daily in the paper and on TV, while the Web site offered content from both as well as interactive elements including bulletin boards for comment and a clickable map showing how Lawrence had grown over the years and various scenarios for future growth.

Reporting tools for the series included small group discussions with citizens and a poll of 528 adults in the area. At the conclusion of the series, the partners hosted a 90-minute town-hall forum, broadcast live on cable channel 6, that drew more than 200 people to discuss growth issues, hopes and concerns. Dozens more called or emailed with questions for the panel of stakeholders the partners assembled. Acting on suggestions from participants, the partners held a series of six public forums over the summer, each on one of six key growth issues citizens identified: schools, traffic, transportation, open space, business and economic development and "social capital," the value of people knowing one another and working together. Each one drew 30 to 50 people.

In the fall, the partners held another town-hall forum to develop a final report on growth issues. The eight-page pull-out tabloid, "Common Ground Found," was delivered to city, county, school and university officials in Oct. 21, 2001.


Contact:

Richard Brack
Managing Editor
Lawrence Journal-World
PO Box 888
Lawrence, KS 66044-0888
Phone: (785) 832-7194
Email: rbrack@ljworld.com



Passing the Test, Monroe, LA 2001

Partners:

The News-Star, newsstar.com
Louisiana Tech University
Grambling State University
SPJ Lincoln Collegiate Chapter

The paper used civic mapping to explore why more than a quarter of Monroe's fourth- and eighth-grade public school students had failed high-stakes state math and reading tests. The project generated an outpouring of community help for local schools.

The News Star focused on five Monroe public schools for its mapping effort and partnered with the journalism schools at Louisiana Tech and Grambling to recruit the manpower needed to explore the five communities. Teams of one reporter and two students went into the community, meeting with teachers, administrators and parents and walking the streets to find "third places" outside the schools themselves.

The paper published a special section May 6, 2001, detailing the plight of high-risk students in the five schools and the challenges they face to be able to pass the state tests. A follow-up town meeting attracted 150 people to discuss solutions. Additionally, the paper established a hotline for readers who wanted to help. The response was immediate. All five schools reported receiving new levels of volunteer support.

At one school, local businesses donated $150 for a science lab as well as 350 notebooks for students. Another received dictionaries, supplies and materials from a businessman in the community. The Monroe Fire Department built a playground at another. And the community itself began organizing meetings to generate support for students.

In addition, the journalism students involved in the project got first-hand experience and training in civic journalism. The project included special training sessions for them, including an April beat-development session at Grambling that featured education professors and experts in childhood development.


Contact:

Kathy Spurlock
Executive Editor
The News-Star
411 N. Fourth St.
Monroe, LA 71210-8002
Phone: (318) 362-0261
Email: kspurlock@thenewsstar.com



The People's Agenda, Indianapolis, IN 2001

Partners:

WTHR-TV (NBC)
The Indianapolis Star
WFYI-TV

While lobbyists roam state legislatures, tracking bills and wining and dining lawmakers, ordinary citizens are left out of the process by the simple business of living their lives. "The People's Agenda" was an effort to restore balance to the process by making sure legislators knew what people wanted and giving citizens updates and score cards on how lawmakers responded.

During December 2000, WTHR and the Star offered Hoosiers the chance to cast a ballot, choosing their top 10 priorities for legislative action in 2001. Nearly 3,500 people responded: 1,343 mailed in paper ballots that had been printed in the paper and 2,088 cast on-line ballots available on both partners' Web sites. They ranked property taxes as their chief concern, followed by a surprise concern with telemarketing restrictions. Other issues included better voting machines, adoption of Daylight Saving Time, school funding, drunk driving and lifetime probation for child molesters.

The paper and WTHR ran a series of reports and editorials on the issues identified, culminating in a Jan. 22, 2001 People's Agenda Town Meeting in the House chambers of the state Capitol. Lawmakers gave up their seats and watched from the balcony as some 200 citizens spoke out on issues from the floor. On Jan. 29, the partners delivered The People's Agenda to the governor and legislators.

On Mar. 26, 2001, the Star and WTHR compiled a progress report to show the status of the People's Agenda issues. Though property taxes were not addressed, a law was passed creating a "do not call" list for telemarketers. Some 800,000 Hoosiers signed up, freeing themselves of unwanted phone calls. Six of the 10 issues on the People's Agenda were addressed by the legislature.

The partners used the format to tackle several other issues in 2001. They sent surveys to hundreds of high-achieving high school students in Central Indiana, asking for their suggestions on improving education for a project called "Ameritchieve." Seventy-nine percent of the respondents identified teacher quality as the key to a good education. Respondents were invited to a public forum on April 22, 2001,to discuss how to attract and retain quality teachers and some 200 attended. A public forum on race followed on June 26, 2001, attracting more than 200 participants. A town hall meeting, Oct. 15, 2001, on national security attracted nearly 400 people. WFYI joined the partnership and aired a one-hour special on the forum on Oct. 21.

The biggest criticism the project received was that its research on the People's Agenda had been unscientific - depending on those who took the time to cast a ballot. So, with the remaining funds from the Pew Center, the partners extended their collaboration into 2002 with a scientific survey, conducted by randomly generated phone calls to all but three Indiana counties, on The People's Agenda for 2002. Again taxes were high on the agenda with education a close second. WFYI broadcast a second town hall meeting from the Capitol and the partners continued to track the legislature's action throughout its 2002 session.


Contact:

Young-Hee Yedinak
13 Listens Coordinator
WTHR-TV
1000 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 655-5619
Email: yyedinak@wthr.com

Jon Schwantes
Assoc. Editor/Director, New Partnerships
Indianapolis Star
PO Box 146
Indianapolis, IN 46206
Phone: (317) 444-4000
Email: jonschwantes@starnews.com

Paul Stauber
Producer
WTHR-TV
1000 N. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 655-5775
Email: 13listens@wthr.com



Growth on the Strand, Myrtle Beach, SC 2001

Partners:

The Sun News
Myrtlebeachonline.com
Coastal Carolina University

With Myrtle Beach becoming the fastest-growing relocation destination in the nation, the paper gave residents a chance to try their hand at managing growth in the region with an interactive Web-based game, similar to the model pioneered by The Herald in Everett.

"Chart the Strand's Future," a feature introduced on the paper's Web site in April 2002, allowed users to drop icons onto a map in order to design a growth plan, as in the popular game "Sim City." The paper did not, however, collect and analyze the designs, as the The Herald in Everett, WA, did. Rather, the game was an end in itself, designed to give users a taste of the trade-offs and challenges city planners face when managing growth. The game included a meter by which users could see how each choice for development affected both the community's financial health and quality of life. The paper received informal, positive feedback but could not keep track of how many people participated.

The game was one feature of the project "Growth on the Strand," launched March 11, 2001, with a package of stories on key concerns in the growth debate. Additional stories ran through the rest of the year on issues including solid waste disposal, recycling, traffic congestion, housing trends and the environmental impact of sprawl. In April 2002, the paper co-sponsored a growth summit at Coastal Carolina that attracted 150 people, who played the Growth Game, which was launched at the conference. Participants broke into groups to discuss transportation, the environment, leadership, jobs, housing and education. Some volunteered to work on a particular area and organized follow-up meetings. Coastal Carolina took the names of volunteers for an ad hoc growth committee to address the issues raised at the summit.


Contact:

Patricia H. (Trish) O'Connor
Editor
The Sun News
914 Frontage Road East
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578
Phone: (843) 626-0316
Email: toconnor@thesunnews.com



SchoolNet, Philadelphia, PA 2001

Partners:

Philadelphia Daily News, philly.com

At the height of a crisis in Philadelphia public schools, the paper launched a rich, online source of information to encourage parent involvement and public problem-solving. SchoolNet included a wide range of features. There was contact information for district offices to help parents navigate a sometimes-convoluted bureaucracy. There was a grade-by-grade breakdown of what children should be mastering in school each year and several online forums so parents could connect with each other. To ensure that any parent would have access to the site, the Daily News put detailed brochures in the free Internet access section of 55 city libraries.

Reporter Becky Batcha spent three months researching the content for what the paper dubbed a "virtual home and school association." She discovered an out-of-print school district publication detailing the curriculum for each grade and the paper purchased the database so parents could access it.

The paper also sought public input in designing the site. After launching its school reform project with a special eight-page, pull-out section, it printed a clip-and-send coupon, soliciting reader ideas for which issues should be the focus of online forums. The paper also invited concerned citizens to sign up for three public forums at the paper. The paper learned that parents of special education students had a particular need for more and better information, and it created a channel on SchoolNet page just for those parents. There was also a teacher exchange and more general channels on reform, parent involvement and "great ideas."

The launch, unfortunately, coincided with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, forcing the paper to scuttle plans for a series of public forums to call attention to the site. The paper did hold two public forums, attracting about 60 people, on charter schools and on homework. Technical difficulties prevented the paper from determining how many users the site attracted, and the site was dismantled in early 2002, when parent company Knight-Ridder changed the platform the paper's Web site had been using.


Contact:

Deborah Licklider
New Initiatives Editor
The Philadelphia Daily News
400 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone: (215) 854-5879
Email: licklid@phillynews.com



Teaching Tucson's Children , Tucson, AZ 2001

Partners:

The Arizona Daily Star
Tucson Citizen
KVOA-TV (NBC)
KOLD-TV (CBS)
KGUN-TV (ABC)
KUAT-TV (PBS)
KWBA-TV (WB)
KMSB-TV (Fox)
KTTU-TV (UPN)
KHRR-TV (Telemundo)
KUVE-TV (Univision)

This unusually comprehensive partnership - involving all of Tucson's major media - joined forces for "Teaching Tucson's Children," a project on improving local public schools that culminated in a town hall meeting, Aug. 24, 2001, that drew 300 people in person and thousands more to their TV screens during the six rebroadcasts of the session.

About 100 citizens participated through the summer in 10 "scoping sessions," held in libraries, auditoriums and classrooms throughout the community, to frame the issues for the August meeting. The partners also sought input from three online surveys - one for parents, one for students and one for teachers - that asked respondents to rate the importance of 14 educational issues on a scale of one to five.

The week before the town hall, each partner did a week of stories or programs. Though each reported and produced their stories independently, all used the "Teaching Tucson's Children" logo. The Daily Star and KVOA provided online and in print a pledge form for readers and viewers to send in, agreeing to get involved in improving Tucson schools. About 80 people responded. The PTA in the nearby town of Congress, AZ, picked up on the idea and asked community members there to sign a similar pledge. The Daily Star and KVOA continued to work together after the initial project. At the request of the Tucson school district, the two helped sponsor another town hall meeting for over 100 people, in March 2002, on volunteering.


Contact:

Dennis Joyce
Asst Managing Editor
Arizona Daily Star
PO Box 26807
Tucson, AZ 85726-6807
Phone: (520) 573-4224
Email: djoyce@azstarnet.com



Civic Radio Station, Austin, TX 2001

Partners:

KUT-FM (Public Broadcasting)
University of Texas
The Austin American Statesman

When KUT decided to develop a local news program, its director saw an opportunity to create a "civic" newsroom, building his operation from the ground up with the principless of civic journalism in mind. Pew funding allowed the station to research the community-its make-up and its needs - with tools such as focus groups, polls and mapping, to launch a local news presence that engages citizens in public life. The Austin American Statesman joined the research effort to aid its own reporting on community issues.

Between March and May 2001, the University of Texas Office of Survey Research interviewed 600 people in the Austin area and found broad support for civic journalism values as well as recommendations for the most pertinent areas to cover. While the survey found Austin's traffic a major concern, respondents didn't want more traffic coverage. Nor were they interested in more weather coverage. They were most interested in more coverage of education, science, government and the arts.

The partners conducted two focus groups to gather more specific information. One was composed of Latinos, the other a more diverse groups representing the balance of Austin citizens. Both groups expressed cynicism about the media and placed a high value on the media motivating people to action.

In June, the station held a two-day conference to write the standards and practices of the new news department. The hiring of the staff was a rather lengthy process but in February 2002, local coverage began. In March, the station aired profiles of candidates in the primary election, as well as a series of commentaries on issues in the primaries. The station's long-term plan was to partner with public television to produce a series of reports and town meetings on the difficult economic times.


Contact:

Stewart Vanderwilt
Director and GM
KUT-FM (NPR), University of Texas
Communication Building B
Austin, TX 78712-1090
Phone: (512) 471-1631
Email: vanderwilt@mail.utexas.edu

Don Heider
Asst. Professor, School of Journalism
University of Texas-Austin
Austin, TX 78712
Phone: (512) 471-1965
Email: donheider@mail.utexas.edu



Living with Cancer, Elmira, NY 2000

Partners:

Star-Gazette
WETM-TV (NBC)
WSKG-FM, WSKG-TV

A year-long project looked at the impact of the region's higher-than-average cancer rate and the steps citizens can take to prevent the disease. Monthly installments in the paper, each focusing on a different aspect of the disease, were complemented by radio and television news segments and special TV programs as well as interactive online quizzes and links to other helpful sites.

Reporting was informed both by a poll of 405 Chemung County residents that showed 60 percent had cancer in their family and by an advisory group of 12 "core sources," including two cancer patients, an oncologist, a nurse, a social worker, a state legislator and others. They suggested and helped frame stories for the series.

The first package of stories ran in January 2001 with an overview of the problem in the Elmira area and profiles of people affected by cancer. A public television special that month featured health care and cancer officials talking to the paper's project editor and program host Bill Jaker.

Several non-profit groups sought to get involved in the project. The Breast Cancer Network offered to solicit sources so the paper developed a form that the Network distributed to patients. Reporters interviewed several women who returned the form.

The paper also designed a questionnaire that was distributed to 500 cancer patients through the American Cancer Society and the Falck Cancer Center. Some 30 patients returned the form and, in March, the paper ran a full page of the comments and advice obtained through the questionnaire.

In April, when the series turned its focus to prevention, WSKG ran its second special report which featured Jaker getting a colonoscopy, a procedure for early detection of colon cancer. In September, the Web page supporting the project posted a quiz testing users knowledge of cancer. Another quiz, in November, helped users determine their risk level for lung cancer. The site also linked to Harvard University's cancer risk calculator and an "ask the expert" site where users could email lung cancer questions to an oncology nurse. The site received 44,000 hits through the course of the year, with the number of users increasing each month of the project.

The final installment ran in the Star-Gazette Dec. 16 and WETM broadcast a two-part special, Dec. 16 and 23, wrapping up the project. Reprints were distributed to area medical offices and health classes.


Contact:

Jane E. Sutter (former Executive Editor, Star-Gazette)
Managing Editor
Democrat and Chronicle
55 Exchange Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14614
Phone: (585) 258-2301
Email: jsutter@democratandchronicle.com



Bridges to the New California and The World According to Young People, San Francisco, CA 2001

Partners:

Pacific News Service
New California Media/a>
KALW-FM
San Francisco Chronicle

The partnership gave wider circulation, through the Chronicle's Sunday edition and through KALW programs, to the diverse ethnic and youth voices gathered by two of the Pacific News Service's major projects: New California Media and YO! Youth Outlook.

The New California Media (NCM) project distilled the major stories in dozens of ethnic newspapers in the Bay Area, papers such as the Sing Tao Daily, Iran Today, India West, and Philippine News. Beginning in April 2001, the Chronicle ran articles from NCM under a sig called "Bridges to the New California."

At the same time, the paper's weekly opinion section, Insight, began running pieces by teenage correspondents from YO! Youth Outlook. The paper debuted the feature April 31, 2001, with four essays on "Rage in the Suburbs." The essays grew out of a Youth Forum the Pacific News Service sponsored earlier in April, entitled "Rage in the Suburbs: Why is it primarily white, male and aimed at schools?" The forum drew more than 125 high school students, teachers and youth advocates. Seventeen teenagers spoke on subjects ranging from "cliques in my school" to "what's exhilarating in a mall culture." The Insight editor attended the forum and commissioned essays from four of the speakers.

The forum also kicked off a series of 15-minute radio segments produced by YO! reporters for KALW, the public radio station owned by the San Francisco school district. Each week, the pieces aired as part of an hour-long show called "Up Front: Connecting Neighborhoods through the New California Media."


Contact:

Sandy Close
Executive Editor
Pacific News Service
660 Market St, Suite 210
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 438-4755
Email: sclose@pacificnews.org



After the Boom, San Francisco, CA 2001

Partners:

KTVU-TV (Fox), KTVU.com
SFGate.com, San Francisco Chronicle

The partners received funding for a project about the hidden costs of the affluence that accompanied the Bay Area's high-tech boom only to have the boom implode before the project ever got started. The result was a series charting and explaining the region's master narrative as it was happening.

"After the Boom" explored in print and on air such phenomena as "millionaires for a minute," about Bay Area residents whose fortunes rose and fell with alarming speed and "gloaters" who reveled in the comeuppance of the young people who floated on the dot-com bubble. Other topics included the impact of the bust on charitable giving and the transformation in the values and expectations of business school graduates.

Stories began April 29, 2001 in the Chronicle, on KTVU and on both their Web sites. Monthly installments ran through the summer, when the project was interrupted by the sale of the Chronicle. Plans were underway to complete the project in the spring of 2003 with a public forum on the economy.


Contact:

Roland De Wolk
Producer
KTVU-TV (Fox)
2 Jack London Square
Oakland, CA 94605
Phone: (510) 874-0516
Email: roland@sfsu.edu



Civic Leadership Project, Bangor, ME 2001

Partners:

Bangor Daily News
The Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy
University of Maine

A six-part series on leadership identified the most active behind-the-scenes community leaders in the Bangor area, what traits they held in common and the importance of their work to the life of the community. The paper began the project by compiling a database of 1,600 community leaders. The list included the directors, trustees and top officers of the 100 largest non-profit organizations and the 50 largest locally owned companies in Bangor and 20 nearby communities, as well as the local managers of the 30 largest national and regional chains with a local presence. They also included town council members, school board members, school superintendents and town managers in the area.

The paper ranked the most active leaders by how many times their names appeared on the list. Reporters interviewed the 20 most active men and women about the challenges the area faced, potential solutions and the role of civic leaders in the process. The series included profiles of five of the leaders.

In addition to the stories about leaders, editors said the database was useful in reporting other major stories, notably coverage of the 2000 census, by providing a ready list of sources for interviews. The project also built the paper's capacity for computer-assisted reporting. This paid off in a number of ways, including an investigative report on Maine restaurants using state health inspection records.


Contact:

A. Mark Woodward
Executive Editor
Bangor Daily News
491 Main St.
Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: (207) 990-8239
Email: mwoodward@bangordailynews.net



EcoWatch, Miami, FL 2001

Partners:

WTVJ-TV (NBC)
The Miami Herald
Ocean Drive Magazine

The WTVJ news department made coverage of the environment a top priority, launching EcoWatch on Earth Day in March 2001. Pew funding allowed the station to partner with The Miami Herald and its Sunday magazine to reach out and engage the community in its effort.

In addition to producing more than 100 broadcast stories on the environment, the station solicited viewer "Ecopinions" through a special EcoWatch Web page. Viewer and user emails on controversial topics were collected, consolidated and then forwarded to public officials and stakeholders on the issue. Viewers weighed in on such issues as a bottle bill for Florida and preservation of the Everglades -two hot environmental issues in 2002. The station forwarded hundreds of emails on those and other topics. The Web site also featured an interactive slide show, video of station reports, special dispatches from marine biologist Jean-Michel Cousteau and University of Miami environmentalist Ellen Prager, along with links and other resources.

Working with nearly a dozen organizations, such as Friends of the Everglades, the University of Miami and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the station generated a lesson plan on the environment that was distributed to thousands of Miami school children. The station promoted use of the curriculum by sending station anchors into classrooms to show EcoWatch reports and lead discussions.

To encourage environmental awareness among Miami citizens, the partners produced and distributed half a million copies of an EcoGuide filled with information and advice. For example, a section on helping preserve the Everglades suggested citizens could help by conserving water and explained how to find leaks in home plumbing that would waste water. In addition to the printed copies, the guide remained available online.


Contact:

Tim Geraghty
Vice President, News
WTVJ-TV
15000 S.W. 27th St.
Miramar, FL 33027
Phone: (954) 622-6150
Email: tim.geraghty@nbc.com


Needham, MA 2001

Partners:

Community Newspaper Co.

Funds were returned when the company was acquired by Herald Media and the editors who proposed the project departed.




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