The Boston Globe and the MIT Center for Civic Media announced today the launch of a new collaboration to introduce experimental ideas from the university to the large audience of the Globe’s websites, Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com.
The collaboration is funded with $250,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, allowing the MIT and the Globe to work continuously together to share ideas and bring projects to life through the two-way communication of a university outreach coordinator and a creative technologist. Four Civic Media research fellowships will also be available in the Globe Lab, an innovation center within The Boston Globe. The fellows will work at the Globe during academic breaks, with two working for a month in January and two working three months in the summer.
Knight Foundation plans to announce the collaboration on Sept. 22 at the 2012 Online News Association conference in San Francisco. ONA’s annual conference represents the country’s premier gathering for the nation’s leading digital journalists.
Scheduled to launch in the fall of 2012, the Globe/MIT collaboration will represent a bold proving ground for how media organizations can work closely and productively with university thinkers. The hope is that this initiative with MIT will set a pattern for collaboration by the Globe with other universities in the Boston area as they and their students explore new ways of engaging citizens in the digital arena.“This collaboration will apply academic research at the forefront of new media technologies to one of the country’s strongest newsrooms,” said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation. “We’re excited to see what these creative organizations build together.” Just 20 minutes from each other on the MBTA Red Line, The Boston Globe and MIT’s Center for Civic Media already work in complementary ways to explore the evolving news and information needs of communities. This initiative is aimed at taking advantage of many natural and promising opportunities for melding the cutting-edge thinking about media at MIT and the large digital audience that visits Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com every day for news, features, community conversations, and accountability journalism.