Funding for NewsLab

Ohio News Connection via The Gund Foundation and Public News Service

Thirty-seven students have reported since 2017 for Public News Service as part of the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration, funded in part by a grant from the George Gund Foundation. The Ohio News Connection is a network of independent, public news outlets nationwide that provide text and audio stories to professional news organizations. In Ohio and border markets, 91 news organizations are currently using elements from ONC’s work. These outlets publish and broadcast ONC work on their websites, radio and television stations, and newspapers. Students working with ONC were incorporated into NewsLab in 2022. 

Society of Environmental Journalists Fund for Environmental Journalism

This $5,000 grant will help fund the continuation of Ask The Land, an innovative initiative powered by a partnership between The Land, a non-profit Cleveland news outlet, and NewsLab that shapes local environmental news coverage by using Subtext, a text-messaging platform, to communicate with and empower underrepresented communities in the city. Neighborhood residents who subscribe for free help us identify environmental justice issues that affect them and need to be covered, then we report on the issues and share their stories. The project continues the collaboration between six media partners in Northeast Ohio, including NEOSOJO; ideastream; WKSU and La Mega Media‘s Claudia Longo.

Greater Cleveland Environmental Justice Local Journalism Collaboratives Grant

This $10,000 grant,  awarded from a partnership among Cleveland’s Black Environmental Leaders (BEL), The Center for Community SolutionsCleveland Foundation and The George Gund Foundation,  helped fund a continuation of the Ask The Land texting program, a finalist in the RJI Student Innovation Contest in spring 2021, and focus it on environmental justice narratives and solutions that target the disproportionate effects experienced by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, according to data from the CDC analyzed by the New York Times.

Through relationships with neighborhood-based organizations and other community partners, Ask The Land will recruit neighborhood residents to enroll in texting conversations and source environmental justice stories directly from these communities at the grassroots level. The initiative will provide local news coverage about environmental issues for residents and stakeholders in these communities in an easily accessible way, as well as provide members of the community with a place to ask questions and seek support and advice about the environmental justice and equity issues that affect them.

An additional aim of this commitment is to continue the spirit of collaboration in Northeast Ohio’s evolving information ecosystem.

The Scripps Howard Foundation Journalism Grant

Support from the Scripps Howard Foundation funded three recent School of Media and Journalism graduates to work in NewsLab through January 2021. Paige Bennett, Madison MacArthur and Michael Indriolo worked for The Land, The Portager, Your Voice Ohio and KentWired— each was able to gain work experience as reporters working for professional media outlets, despite a journalism job shortage caused by the pandemic and the resulting loss of media advertising,

Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism, the College of Communication and Information

Internal support from Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism, as well as the College of Communication and Information, is ongoing. Funding for faculty work time, outside editing support, along with direct funding to pay student wages allows NewsLab students to receive competitive wages and work in their chosen professions for outside media partners.

Scripps Howard Internship Program

Support from the Scripps Howard Internship Program funded two students during the summers of 2020 and 2021 to work with various NewsLab partners, including the Cleveland Documenters and The Portager. The internship pays $3000, plus a $500 bonus when the hourly work requirements are completed.