Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Awards

A Report on the First Year

Publication Date:

December 15, 2011

Authors:

Jan Schaffer

What people are saying

"We were interested in what happened if enterprising news organizations had resources to focus on under-reported topics. The results have been outstanding."

— Jeremy Nowak, president and CEO, William Penn Foundation

What people are saying

"Most of all, we learned that a new generation of public-interest journalism is being hatched in new venues. "

— Jeremy Nowak, president and CEO, William Penn Foundation

What people are saying

"There was collaboration and stories that normally would not get done, did get done."

— Tom Ferrick, founder, Metropolis

Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Awards

Read the Report > >

This report tracks the progress of an experiment J-Lab designed to see if there were ways to incentivize media collaborations and amplify, beyond narrow silos, the journalism being created by emerging news sites in the nation's sixth largest city.

Philadelphia has a vibrant media landscape consisting of niche reporting sites, legacy newspapers and an active community of creative technologists. In 2009, the William Penn Foundation commissioned J-Lab to explore the city's media ecosystem with a focus on the state of public affairs reporting. You can read that April 2010 report here.

One of the recommendations was to incentivize with $5,000 enterprise reporting awards several discrete, in-depth journalism projects that required news creators to collaborate. J-Lab issued a competitive request for proposals and announced the winners in October 2010.

This report details the outcome of that experiment. By any measure, they were a home run and they offer a replicable model others can employ to jumpstart good public affairs coverage.

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