SMC’s Center for Public Interest Journalism announces Next Mayor Project
The School of Media and Communication and its Center for Public Interest Journalism announced a major new collaboration yesterday, a project that unites nearly every player in city politics and campaign news at one Web address: nextmayor.philly.com. The project is supported by a $350,000 grant from the Wyncote Foundation.
“We are thrilled to be part of this innovative venture, which represents the kind of collaboration that is necessary in these times when journalism is under such great financial pressure,” said David Boardman, dean of the School of Media and Communication. “We’re grateful to Wyncote for supporting it, and the voters of Philadelphia will be the beneficiaries.”
Hosted by Philly.com, the news platform will publish issues-oriented coverage of the Philadelphia mayoral race originating from a variety of sources, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Philly.com, WHYY, Newsworks and 900-AM WURD, as well as civic groups Committee of Seventy and Young Involved Philadelphia.
SMC students will play a key role in the project, contributing multimedia coverage from a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses from the Department of Journalism. Among them is the award-winning Philadelphia Neighborhoods capstone course, which is focused on telling community stories from under-covered areas in the city.
“It’s a great example of fulfilling President Theobald’s commitment to bringing Temple’s resources into our community,” Boardman said. “It provides a wonderful experiential learning opportunity for our students and it’s great for the community because they are gaining reporting resources from perspectives and neighborhoods in which there aren’t many outlets.”
In contrast to coverage that typically surrounds the campaign, Next Mayor content will be in-depth and issues-based. A Temple-run video project will give citizens the opportunity to voice their questions and concerns directly to the candidates.
The partnership also means that SMC will be hosting a major campaign event on campus this spring. Boardman said details would be released later this semester.
“This project will make it possible for us to bring the full breadth of university expertise to the campaign,” Boardman said.
Faculty who are interested in being involved in Next Mayor should contact the CPIJ Program Manager Jim MacMillan.