CPIJ announces Next Mayor collaboration with local media partners

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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 Philly.com, 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 (nextmayor.philly.com), 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, Technical.ly 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 Philly.com, 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.

“Philly.com 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

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