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Enterprise Reporting Fund

Enterprise Reporting Fund - J-Lab Projects

Latest news:

  • May 27, 2011: The Power Map of Philadelphia launched on, as part of a collaboration with the Philadelphia Daily News, WHYY and the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • May 21, 2011: The Philadelphia Sun explored Drop Zone, the PhillyCAM and YESPhilly collaboration, in greater detail.  Read more about the partnership.
  • May 5, 2011: The City Paper published Ballad of Red Dog, a prisoner’s life story told in graphic novel form. Read more about the collaboration with Metropolis.
  • April 7, 2011: Broadband 2035, a collaboration between Technically Philly and Plan Philly, continued reporting on the city’s strategic digital plan. Read more about the partnership.

About the project:

The Enterprise Reporting Fund was a pilot project designed to develop opportunities for amplifying regional public affairs journalism. The fund helped in-depth reporting projects get off the ground and explored collaboration opportunities among news providers. The first effort was funded by the William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia and administered by J-Lab, based on research J-Lab conducted and recommendations published in an April 2010 report. The pilot project sought to explore whether it’s possible to connect the silos of journalism throughout Philadelphia in ways that would:

  • Expose news consumers to a broader menu of public affairs news via various entry points.
  • Give a broader megaphone to the journalistic efforts of news providers throughout the region.
  • Create a “knowledge network” among the region’s news initiatives, so they can add to, amplify, link to or broadcast news that is being created but that their niche audiences might not otherwise come across.
  • This pilot project also gauged interest in and the merits of different kinds of collaborations between Philadelphia media outlets.
GuidelinesSelection PanelFAQPhiladelphia Projects
Note: At this time, the Enterprise Reporting Fund has been sunset and is no longer accepting applications for funding.

To be eligible, projects must foster an open exchange of journalistically sound information.  Eligible projects will include enterprise reporting that involves investigative or explanatory journalism, watchdog or accountability journalism or computer-assisted reporting.  The reporting must enhance the public’s understanding of important city or regional issues, engage in solutions around public affairs problems, and/or reveal new information. Funding may only be used for news and information projects; advocacy and government information projects are not eligible. Submissions must also meet the following criteria:

  • The journalism must adhere to principles of accuracy, fairness and transparency.
  • Only projects focused on the city of Philadelphia and the eight-county Greater Philadelphia Region may apply.  Harrisburg- and Trenton-based projects focused on the Philadelphia region are eligible to apply.
  • Reports must be published or aired within six months of receiving the award.
  • Applicants must describe specific plans for content collaboration and shared distribution.  Collaboration partners could include other news organizations, news sites, other content creators or disseminators, web developers, technological innovators, journalism schools or others.  Creativity in collaborations is welcome.

Funding may be used for such things as hiring freelance reporters, editing, purchasing databases, data analysis, design of searchable databases, creation of news games or exercises, development of mobile applications, or to meet other needs to make the story happen. In accepting their award, winners agree to work with J-Lab researchers to prepare a report on lessons learned.  The research will seek to examine whether there is:

  • Increased understanding among members of the mainstream media, new media sites, and the William Penn Foundation of the opportunities and challenges associated with collaboration.
  • Increased understanding of specific public issues raised by funded projects as evidenced by follow-up coverage and/or actions taken by public officials to address identified problems.
  • A menu of recommendations and solutions that can be created to help the planning and development of a Greater Philadelphia Networked Journalism Collaborative.

Joaquin Alvarado
Senior Vice President for Digital Innovation – American Public Media and Minnesota Public Radio

Alvarado has previously served as senior vice president for Diversity and Innovation at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), where he spearheaded initiatives in expanding the scope of and diversity within public media.  Alvarado also served as the Founding Director of the Institute for Next Generation Internet at San Francisco State University. During his time leading INGI, the group developed the Digital Media Advisory Council and Digital Sister Cities projects, enabling communities around the world to connect and advance digital growth, diversity and economic development. In 2008 Alvarado launched CoCo Studios to develop media collaboration and information platforms for mobile and fiber networks.

Christopher Anderson
Assistant Professor of Media Culture – College of Staten Island in New York

In 2009, Anderson served as the lead research assistant for the Columbia University report, “The Reconstruction of American Journalism.” He is a Knight media-policy fellow with the New America Foundation and holds a doctorate in communications from Columbia University. Anderson explored journalistic collaboration in Philadelphia with his doctoral dissertation,  “Breaking Journalism Down: Work, Authority and Networking Local News, 1997-2009.”

Glenn Burkins
Editor and Publisher –

Burkins is a former business editor and deputy managing editor at the Charlotte Observer, where he worked for eight years. He was a labor and White House correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and a foreign correspondent and business columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. is an independent, locally owned website that provides news and information specific to the African-American community in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Larry Eichel
Project Director – Philadelphia Research Initiative

The Philadelphia Research Initiative is a new research unit at Pew Charitable Trusts. The Research Initiative provides research and analysis that help Philadelphia’s citizens understand and address key issues facing the city.  Before his time at Pew, Eichel was a senior editor and reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer, working as national political writer, political columnist, national editor and suburban editor. He was also a foreign correspondent based in London and a national correspondent based in Los Angeles.

Jon Funabiki
Professor, Executive Director and Founder – Renaissance Center for Journalism at San Francisco State University

The Center aims to identify and spark promising new journalistic models and practices that serve, strengthen and empower communities. Funabiki is the former Deputy Director of Media, Arts & Culture at the Ford Foundation, where he was responsible for grant-making initiatives in journalism.  Funabiki has also served as founding director of SFSU’s Center for Integration & Improvement of Journalism.  Funabiki is a former reporter and editor with The San Diego Union, where he specialized in U.S.-Asia political and economic affairs.

Ellen Goodman
Distinguished Visiting Scholar – Federal Communications Commission (FCC)‘s Future of Media Project and Professor of Law – Rutgers University

The Future of Media Project is an initiative that aims to shape government communications policy in the digital age.  Goodman is also a professor of law at Rutgers University and teaches courses in intellectual property, media law and property law.  She is based in Philadelphia.

Kathy Gosliner
Fundraising Consultant

Gosliner is a member of the board of directors for Generations on Line (GoL), an online platform designed to ease Internet access and provide Internet literacy to elders. GoL created a software program that provides on-screen, step-by-step instruction to help people over 65 use the web. She is also the former Associate Director and Vice President of Development at the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, former Director of Communication for Temple University, and served as the press secretary to former Philadelphia Mayor Bill Green.

Michael Greenle
Project Leader – William Penn Foundation

Greenle is currently leading a collaborative journalism initiative that will aim to develop strategies to advance public interest journalism in the greater Philadelphia area. This project is meant to be the next step in creating networks for journalists and developing resourcing strategies and innovations in creating a networked community around public affairs issues. Greenle previously served as the Communication Director for Penn Praxis at U-Penn, which launched

Jan Schaffer
Executive Director – J-Lab

Schaffer is a former Business Editor and a Pulitzer Prize winner for The Philadelphia Inquirer, is executive director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism and one of the nation’s leading thinkers in the journalism reform movement. She left daily journalism in 1994 to lead pioneering journalism initiatives in the areas of civic journalism, interactive and participatory journalism and citizen media ventures. She launched J-Lab in 2002 to help newsrooms use innovative computer technologies to engage people in important public issues.

Q:  What is this all about?

A:  We’re giving out ten $5,000 awards that will help bring to life a journalism project in the Philadelphia region.  Among the winners will be news and information projects that involve collaboration between at least two journalism organizations.  See the Eligibility Guidelines for more.

Q:  Who is eligible to apply?

A:  This is primarily designed for news organizations; however, we’ll consider applications from others that plan to partner with news organizations to produce enterprise reporting.  The projects must foster an open exchange of journalistically sound information.  Advocacy and government information projects are not eligible.

Note: At this time, the Enterprise Reporting Fund has been sunset and is no longer accepting applications for funding.

Q:  What do you mean by ‘Enterprise Reporting’?

A:  Enterprise reporting involves the use of traditional journalistic skills of digging up details, facts and sources, rather than relying on press releases and staged events.  It’s the difference between covering a “day of” event and a deeper investigative or explanatory project.

Q:  What type of stories do you want?

We’re not spelling out the types of content, but as a rule, the reporting should enhance the public’s understanding of important Philadelphia city or regional issues, engage in solutions around public affairs problems, and/or reveal new information.

Q:  What form should the final product take?

A:  We’re leaving that up to you, too.  It can be a series of videos posted online, or a new iPhone app, or stories printed on newsprint, or an interactive exercise or database – whatever you decide is the best way.  Just remember, your project should involve another journalism organization in the process and must launch or be published within six months of receiving the award.

Q:  So where did you get the idea?

A:  It came out of J-Lab’s April 2010 report, entitled “Exploring a Networked Journalism Collaborative in Philadelphia.”  We recognized that so much of the reporting in Philadelphia was being conducted in silos.  This project aims to knock down some of those walls and give a megaphone to journalistic efforts.

Q:  Can you tell me more?

A:  Sure!  If you couldn’t find your answers here or on the Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Fund website, then e-mail Andrew with specific questions.

Abandoned City

The City of Philadelphia is the largest owner of abandoned properties in the city. The City Paper, working with and, compiled the first publicly accessible master list and interactive database of these properties and examine how they came to be owned by taxpayers and why they are not being sold or redeveloped.

Anatomy of a School Turnaround

An examination of efforts to turn around three poor performing schools in the city’s Renaissance Schools initiative. Reporting will be by Philadelphia Public School Notebook ( and WHYY in collaboration with the public broadcaster’s which launched in November 2010. WHYY will assist with additional multimedia content.

ArtBlog Radio

A series of podcasts and slideshows with interviews and gallery tours explaining Philadelphia’s contemporary arts scene. By’s founders in collaboration with WHYY’s NewsWorks initiative.


A look at the economic impact of broadband connectivity – or lack thereof – in three diverse city neighborhoods to help inform the development of Philadelphia’s 2035 strategic plan now in the works. By working with


Nearly 20 percent of all properties in Philadelphia are tax delinquent. This project will develop a searchable database and examine how unpaid taxes have cost the city more than $1 billion in lost revenue and thwarted development. By freelance investigative journalist Patrick Kerkstra with the Philadelphia Inquirer and

Drop Zone

A youth-led investigation into why young men of color leave school. By PhillyCam, the city’s cable-access station, with the Voice of Philadelphia website and YESPhilly youth training organization.

La Generación Perdida

A report on the plight of young Hispanic males in the city, a population in danger of becoming a lost generation, troubled by brushes with the criminal justice system and the highest school drop-out rate in the city. By Metropolis ( with Al Día Hispanic newspaper.

Neighborhood Development, Politics and their Relationship

An examination of the revitalization of a commercial corridor in Northeast Philadelphia’s Mayfair neighborhood and any ties to a local politician awaiting trial on corruption charges. By and Temple University’s

NJSpotlight Library

To help create a digital library for the collection, analysis and presentation of New Jersey public-interest data and research reports on such topics as schools and state and local budgets. By in collaboration with and community web sites in New Jersey. Future plans call for seminars and workshops around the release of important data.

The Power Map of Philadelphia

To create a web-based guide to the people who sit on the city’s governmental and quasi-governmental boards and commissions and control significant public funds with little accountability. It will reveal social and political connections, including campaign contributions. By the Philadelphia Daily News working with students from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, and WHYY.

Redistricting the City

An examination of the issues and possible consequences of the forthcoming redistricting of the City Council districts, some of which have a history of gerrymandering. By the Committee of Seventy good government group with Azavea, a local geomapping firm, and a Harvard University researcher.

Shame of the City

To follow up a 2007 report, locating and ranking the top 10 drug-selling corners in the city. By freelancer Steve Volk with


A video and narrative examination of the results of the Philadelphia Police Department’s ramped-up stop-and-frisk policy on overall crime in West Philadelphia since its launch in early 2008. By Scribe Video Center with WPEB-FM community radio, the University City Review and West Side Weekly.

The Unforgiven

Pennsylvania is one of six states where the sentence for murder is life without parole. Metropolis, working with the City Paper and the Pennsylvania Prison Society, will employ an illustrated graphic story and text to examine the journey of one of the 2,488 Philadelphia lifers, many of whom were locked up as teens. The project aims for distribution to schools.

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