The St. Lawrence Citizen Journalism Incubator (SLCJI) is a new initiative designed to provide North Country students and residents with the opportunity to receive training and support for conducting independent, investigative journalism projects in their communities.
Created with initial funding from a St. Lawrence University Innovation Grant, the SLCJI is a unique collaboration among four local media and citizen journalism organizations that bring a range of professional, citizen journalism, and citizen science experience to the project: Weave News, North Country Public Radio, The Hill News, and Nature Up North.
For individuals selected to participate in 2018-19, the project will begin with an intensive workshop to be held on the SLU campus on the weekend of September 21-22, 2018. The workshop will feature presentations and training sessions led by outside experts and members of the four local media organizations. Participants will then spend several months carrying out their local journalism projects before presenting their work at a public symposium to be held in April.
In addition to providing support and mentoring to project participants, the SLCJI team will work with participants to identify opportunities for publishing their work via the Weave News, NCPR, The Hill News, and Nature Up North platforms as well as other regional outlets.
Call for Proposals
The SLCJI organizers invite proposals (via the webform below - just click on "Submit your proposal now!) from North Country residents for specific reporting projects that can be carried out in their home communities between September 2018 and April 2019.
The topic of your proposal is up to you, but here are some examples of the kinds of stories we are interested in:
- How budget cuts affect the quality of education in local schools
- Struggles facing under-served populations
- Impact of climate change in local communities
- Issues related to racism and anti-immigrant sentiment near the northern border
- Grassroots social movements
- Water quality, air quality, and other local environmental issues
- Creative and innovative local responses to longstanding problems
Review of proposals will begin immediately and will continue until the final deadline of September 10, 2018.
To submit your proposal, just click on the button below to open up the proposal form. We look forward to hearing from you!
More information on the SLCJI September 2018 workshop will be added here as it becomes available. Watch this space!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is citizen journalism?
On the simplest level, citizen journalism is what happens when ordinary people take up the tools of journalism in order to investigate what is happening around them and share their findings with a public audience. The SLCJI is built on the belief that while high-quality, professional journalism is essential to the functioning of a healthy democracy, it is also possible for people without professional training to make important journalistic contributions under the right circumstances.
Who is eligible?
While high school and college/university students are especially encouraged to apply, this program is open to all North Country residents who are high school age or older. We are seeking to select a multi-generational group for the first year of this project! Previous journalistic experience is not a requirement, but proposals must offer a clear description of the issue to be investigated as well as the reporting strategy to be used in investigating the issue.
What are the benefits of participating?
Doing citizen journalism work is a great way to make an impact on your community by bringing important local issues to light and giving greater visibility to the diverse perspectives found in local communities. It is also a great way to build a variety of skills, from research and writing to audio and video production.
Is there a fee to participate?
Thanks to the generous funding provided by St. Lawrence University through its Innovation Grants program, there is no participation fee for this project.
Are there funds available to support individual projects?
Yes! We will be offering a small number of mini-grants to support costs associated with selected investigative projects. When submitting your proposal, make sure you indicate whether you are interested in applying for one of these mini-grants.
What if I just want to learn more?
Even if you don’t have a project to propose this year, you can still be a part of the SLCJI! Our training event in September will include public sessions open to anyone who wants to learn more about citizen journalism and about the SLCJI. Attending these sessions would be a great way to begin the process of developing a project idea for year two (2019-20) of the SLCJI. You should also feel free to contact us at any time with questions.