Civic Catalyst Newsletter
Savannah's "Vision 2010" Wins Batten Awards
Legacy and Innovations Cited
The Savannah Morning News won the 2002 Batten Awards for Excellence in Civic Journalism, a $10,000 honor for a robust, community-driven project that targeted failing schools and triggered the creation of a civic group to raise money for education innovations.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press was applauded for a series of projects - "Safer Cities," "Across Generations," "Poverty Among Us" and "The New Face of Minnesota" - that created many fresh entry points for citizens to take action. The resulting book clubs, discussion guides, forums, chat rooms and multi-lingual polls engaged thousands of Minnesotans. www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/
Runner-up, The Cincinnati Enquirer, was awarded $5,000 for wide-ranging initiatives that involved more than 2,000 people in community conversations about race relations.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Wisconsin State Journal with WISC-TV were honored with $5,000 prizes for creative and enduring work that, over the past decade, built community momentum and created fresh models of journalism that other newsrooms have replicated.
And for the first time this year, the Batten Advisory Board awarded three Innovator Awards for Web efforts that foreshadow the future of interactive news - GothamGazette.com's election project, 360degrees.org's criminal justice reports and the Everett (WA) Herald's clickable map on riverfront development.
"This year's winners show that civic journalism can be cool and compelling," said Jan Schaffer, executive director of the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, which sponsors the awards. "The winners engaged people in learning, in building relationships, in making a difference and in having fun."
The winners were honored April 22 at the eighth annual James K. Batten Symposium at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Savannah's "Vision 2010" project engaged a large citizen task force in forums, small discussions and visits to 15 U.S. schools to figure out how to improve local education by the year 2010. Morning News stories on their journey of discovery and their "no-excuses" solutions have built volunteer support and launched a community foundation to raise education funds. See it at http://savannahnow.com/features/vision2010/.
The Cincinnati Enquirer, working with nearly all the city's media outlets, spearheaded two efforts, "Divided by Race" and "Neighbor to Neighbor," which used polls, roundtables and community conversations involving more than 2,000 people in dialogues in their own neighborhoods. Click on http://cincinnati.com/neighbors/
The Wisconsin State Journal and partner WISC-TV, the CBS affiliate, won for "Schools of Hope," a five-year initiative using investigative reporting, polls, town halls, brainstorming sessions and the creation of a local leadership group to mobilize 800 school tutors that have helped close the achievement gap between minority and white students. The partners are part of the long-running "We the People/Wisconsin" civic journalism collaborative. www.wisconsinstatejournal.com/
GothamGazette.com's "Searchlight on Campaign 2001" created a superbly navigable Web site that informed New York City voters about 400 candidates running in 70 races, the largest turnover in city history. "It did everything I ever wanted to do in an election," said one editor on the judging panel. www.gothamgazette.com/
Picture Projects' "360degrees.org-Perspectives on the U.S. Criminal Justice System" pioneered a new digital storytelling model that used dynamic data, panoramic photos and interactive audio of key stakeholders in nonlinear story telling - "a journalistic pentimento," said the judges. www.360degrees.org/
The Herald of Everett, WA, built an online clickable map that wooed more than 1,200 people to register their choices for redeveloping the city's riverfront. The "Waterfront Renaissance" map "could be used in any news coverage," the judges said. http://waterfront.heraldnet.com/develop2.cfm
This year's winners were selected from 87 entries. The Batten Awards honor the late James K. Batten, former chief executive of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, who led some of the earliest civic journalism thinking. The awards are funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Semifinalists included: "Under One Roof," a weekly feature about black family issues on BET.com and Black Entertainment Television's (BET) nightly news show; the Lincoln Journal Star's "Medical Ethics," examining such cutting-edge topics as fetal tissue research; "The Color of Justice," Minnesota Public Radio's series on racial disparities in the criminal justice system; The News & Observer's "The New Segregation," exploring the re-segregation of public schools; "The Big Deal: Illegal Drugs in the Rochester Region," a Democrat and Chronicle series on the impact of the war on drugs; "Workforce Housing: Hometown Crisis," the Marin Independent Journal's examination of the local affordable housing crisis; the Jackson Citizen Patriot's "Confronting Racism," a look at how race impacts community life; and "Rethinking Philadelphia Schools," a multimedia project of The Philadelphia Daily News, Fox Philadelphia, WHYY-FM and WDAS-AM.
Also: "Build Your Perfect School," a school reform series by The Arizona Republic and KPNX TV; "Rural Idaho: Challenged to Change," a statewide media collaboration focused on the plight of rural residents; "Noble Desire," coverage by two Norfolk stations, WHRO-TV (PBS) and WVBT-TV (Fox), of race-relations conversations sparked by a reconciliation effort in West Africa; "Home Front," a KQED-TV (PBS) documentary on gentrification in the San Francisco area; "Finding Our Way: Living with Dying in America," a 15-part weekly series distributed by Knight Ridder News Service; and "Defining Moments," the Chronicle-Tribune's solutions-oriented follow-up to last year's Batten Award-winning series on the civic decline in Marion, IN.
Semifinalists for bodies of work included Pacific News Service for its multimedia initiatives to give voice to youth and ethnic communities, and the Akron Beacon Journal for targeted public-involvement initiatives dating back to 1993's Pulitzer Prize winning series on race "A Question of Color."
[ Civic Catalyst Newsletter ] [ Publications ]
[ Videos ]
[ Speeches & Articles ] [ Research ]
[ Conferences & Workshops ] [ Spotlights ]