Tag Archives: citizen media start-ups

Citizen journalism, 1961-style

Check out plucky 14-year-old journalistic entrepreneur Wynford Grant (click on the picture), sole proprietor of the Billericay Observer (circulation 500), as he interviews firemen and other pillars of the community and operates his home printing press. Imagine what this chap could have done with the resources of the internet.

Incidentally, if anyone knows what happened to the Billericay Observer and young Mr Grant, do please get in touch!

UPDATE: After a quick Google search, It appears a ‘Wynford Grant’ was also the author of some local history books about various villages near Billericay in Essex, one written in 1963. If it is the same person, that would have made him 16 years old at the time.

More information on Wynford Grant here – he is now a blogger!

Grants for New Voices projects and UCLAN lecturer Andy Dickinson

Hot on the heels of last week’s Knight News Challenge winners, two foundations have released details of journalism projects to receive funding.

New Voices – a project from the University of Maryland’s interactive journalism institute – has awarded funding of $17,000 each to 10 citizen media start-ups.

The recipients include: Cool State Online, a Californian project to set up micro bureaux covering news from the Asian and Latino communities; The Appalachian Independent, an online newspaper for the rural community in Maryland; and Family Life Behind Bars, a site where the families of prisoners can share information and experiences.

The progress of the winners (listed in full in a press release) can be viewed on the New Voices website.

Meanwhile, University of Central Lancashire journalism lecturer Andy Dickinson is to receive funding from journalism lab Sandbox for a project mapping the movements of local reporters in their communities.

Reporters from print, radio and TV would be equipped with GPS devices to monitor their movements on a normal working day, explains Dickinson in a blog post.

“The project would then attempt to develop a matrix that visually demonstrated when and where the news agendas of local communities and those of professional media organizations coincide, with a view to examining the range of elements that lead to this juxtaposition.


Conducted in this way the research can explore ‘randomness’, and ‘proximity’ to breaking news as a value that impacts news agendas (and says something about reseources too).”

Congratulations to Andy – we’re already looking forward to the results.