Redesigned Open Data Philly site goes live

A newly redesigned version of, the community-driven open data portal for the Philadelphia region, is now live online, thanks to a partnership which includes Temple University, the City of Philadelphia, and Azavea, a local software firm.

Open Data Philly provides a hub for all of the city’s open data sets, as well data from other public agencies, non-profits, universities, and commercial organizations.

“Ready access to government information is essential to an informed citizenry,” according to David Boardman, Dean of the School of Media and Communication at Temple.

“Public records are, after all, the public’s records. But in recent years, there have been technological obstacles to accessing important public data,” Boardman says, pointing out that “this effort and this partnership are changing that, and we at Temple University are delighted to be part of it.”

You can search for data sets, applications, and APIs that provide access to useful and significant data on the Philadelphia region.

The new version was funded in part by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and it is maintained by a partnership between the Center for Public Interest Journalism and Azavea.

“By increasing access to open data, OpenDataPhilly encourages better and more open government and a more engaged and knowledgeable citizenry,” according to a city press release.


Posted in News

CPIJ announces Next Mayor collaboration with local media partners


Press release from the Temple University School of Media and Communication:

The Center for Public Interest Journalism today announced today it will join Philadelphia Media Network – owner of, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News – and others in a foundation-funded partnership designed to support high-quality reporting on the 2015 Philadelphia mayoral campaign.

“The Next Mayor” project is designed to provide voters with fresh and critical content on the race for the city’s next mayor, with a sharp focus on the major issues facing Philadelphia. The Next Mayor website (, will include original content, as well as content from The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and from participating partners, some of whom include WHYY/Newsworks, The Committee of Seventy citizens’ group, 900-AM WURD, Philly, and Young Involved Philadelphia.

Temple students from the School of Media and Communication will contribute multimedia content to the project in coordination with coursework in a combination of graduate and undergraduate classes. Among the classes involved with the projects is the award-winning capstone course Philadelphia Neighborhoods.

“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 and the former editor-in-chief of The Seattle Times. “We’re grateful to Wyncote for supporting it, and the voters of Philadelphia will be the beneficiaries.”

The Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation has awarded $350,000 to support the project. Wyncote Foundation was founded with funds from the Otto and Phoebe Haas Charitable Trusts and makes grants in arts and culture; education; the environment; health and human services, preservation; and public media and journalism. “Combining the extraordinary reach of, with the excellent work of journalists at PMN and partner organizations will give voters a singular opportunity to become informed on the key issues facing the city,” said David Haas, a Wyncote board member.

“The Next Mayor” will elevate reporting above the din of campaign commercials, rhetoric and horse-race polling, bringing in the voices of citizens and spotlighting issues of importance to them. The unique collaboration will help broaden the base of informed voters, and enlarge coverage for civic convenings throughout the city.

“ is very excited to serve as the digital host to such an esteemed array of partners,” said Stan Wischnowski, vice president of news operations for PMN. “The strength of this collaboration is that each partner brings a unique perspective, yet we’re all focused on reaching as many Philadelphians as possible with a rich mix of issues-oriented reporting, analysis and civic engagement.”

“WHYY/NewsWorks looks forward to working with our partners to provide the voters of Philadelphia with timely, useful, in-depth coverage of the election, said Chris Satullo, vice president, news and civic dialogue. “And we thank the Wyncote Foundation for this generous, public-spirited investment in quality journalism.”

About the Center for Public Interest Journalism (CPIJ)
CPIJ was established in 2010 to support programming and projects intended to improve the quantity and quality of public interest news and information in the Greater Philadelphia area. The center is supported by the William Penn Foundation and the Temple University Journalism Department, under the direction of Program Manager Jim MacMillan.

About Philadelphia Neighborhoods
Philadelphia Neighborhoods provides a form of hyper-local coverage missing from our urban communities: journalism street by street. The program serves as the cornerstone of the Department of Journalism’s mission to better tell stories in the undercovered and underserved neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Each semester students concentrate their news coverage in a targeted Philadelphia neighborhood, providing it with topical information and news from the community. The program, directed by George Miller, has won numerous Keystone Student Press, EPPY and Society of Professional Journalists awards.

Media Contact:
David Boardman
Dean, School of Media & Communication
(215) 204-4822

Posted in News

Nominations open for CPIJ Photo Night presentations at the P&P

As usual, the crowd attending the annual Photo Night Spectacular packed the Pen and Pencil Club on January 21st.

And as he has for the past 12 years, Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer photojournalist David Maialetti, seen above at right, curated the multimedia presentation, featuring contributions from the Philadelphia photojournalism community.

Maialetti reports that he edited the nearly hour-long presentation down from 1,110 submission to 495 photographs, representing contributions from a record-high 45 photographers, many of whom were in the crowd seen below.

Next, we are inviting nominations from our community for future CPIJ Photo Night presentations. If you have been attending Photo Nights, please use this form to make suggestions:

Photo Night Speaker Nominations

Posted in Events, News, Photo Night

CPIJ Projects Update

Today’s update of the CPIJ Projects Page includes last fall’s digital security workshop, our role in the project that became, Azavea’s Open Data Philly Visualization Contest, new Photo Nights at the Pen and Pencil, the ONA Philly Show and Tell, Pitch Fest plans, IRE Boot Camp and more.

Annamarya Scaccia, Randy LoBasso and Stephanie Farr wrote about  their experiences at conferences funded by the CPIJ Conference Sponsorship Program.

Here’s the complete update:

Posted in News

Open Data Philly Visualization Contest winners announced

Azavea and OpenDataPhilly recently announced the winners of the OpenDataPhilly Visualization Contest.

Visualizations representing creative and visually impactful uses of Philadelphia’s Open data were selected to be featured on the new Open Data Philly website, which will be launching soon.

Prizes included $500 in Amazon gift cards divided among winners. More info:

Announcing: Winners of OpenDataPhilly Visualization Contest

Open Data Philly was recognized with a Knight Foundation Prototype Fund grant shortly before the Center for Public Interest Journalism took over administration of the site last spring.

Azavea, which specializes in the creation of geographic web and mobile software as well as geospatial analysis services, built Open Data Philly and is leading the redesign.

Posted in News
National Problems, Local Solutions.
The Center for Public Interest Journalism was created in 2010 to support programming and projects intended to improve the quantity and quality of public interest news and information in the Greater Philadelphia area.


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