NNS awarded Knight Foundation matching grant

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The Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the Zilber Family Foundation are joining forces to match a $192,000 two-year grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the nation’s leading funder of journalism and media innovation.

Knight Foundation is providing the grant through the Knight Community Information Challenge, which engages community and place-based foundations to support news and information projects.

According to Knight, as traditional media organizations have struggled, funders have increasingly realized the importance of good information to all their areas of interest. Community and place-based foundations are uniquely positioned to play a leadership role on this issue, and close to 80 local foundations nationwide have launched projects that meet local information needs.

A project of United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee (UNCOM), NNS offers multimedia coverage of issues important to central city neighborhoods, including  education, public safety, economic development, health and wellness, recreation, employment, youth development, housing and the environment.

The news service is housed at Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, which also provides NNS with additional in-kind support, including equipment and software.

One year after its March 2011 launch, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service won a prestigious regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) in the “Online News Operation – Non-Broadcast Affiliated Website” category.

“This project already has helped create a more balanced perception of the city’s central city neighborhoods through professional reporting on historically under-covered communities,” said Tony Shields, executive director of UNCOM and publisher of the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.

“We are looking forward to the ability to cover more such communities over the long term as a result of the Knight Foundation matching grant program.”

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