School Funding

Google announces funding for Wick, the ASU Cronkite School research project

Wick Communications is partnering with Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on a Google-supported project to research strategies to facilitate healthy online discourse.

The Voices Listening Project, one of 25 projects included in the third project of the Google News Initiative Innovation challenge in North America, was announcement Tuesday.

Over the next year, the two organizations will work with local communities to understand their needs and research products and strategies that combat disinformation and encourage healthy online dialogue. Three diverse communities in Arizona will be selected for research.

“This opportunity helps raise the voices and journalistic needs of the Arizonans while engaging in a partnership with Cronkite, a premier journalism school,” Wick Communications said CEO Francis Wick. “We look forward to building on these learnings and helping to apply them to our own organization to better serve the communities in which we are today. ”

The project will also provide a dozen students with paid internships to learn skills in audience research and product management, both of which are becoming essential in the media industry.

“The partnership with Wick Communications and the Cronkite School continues to underscore the importance of journalism by leveraging the central role it plays in our democracy,” said Battinto L. Batts Jr., Dean of the Cronkite School. “As a global force for change, we are committed to conducting this critical research. “

This is the first large-scale partnership between the two organizations, but each has extensive experience in the field of disinformation research.

The Cronkite school Co / Lab News, who will play a key role in this project, is advancing media education by providing open access digital media education educational resources and working with newsrooms to improve transparency of the media collection process. ‘information.

“Disinformation is a problem in communities of all sizes, and local news outlets have an important role to play not only in providing credible content, but also in fostering civil and constructive dialogue,” said Kristy Roschke, director General of News Co / Lab. “Wick Communications has an impressive track record in this area and we are delighted to partner with them as they continue to find new ways to connect with their communities.”

In early 2020, Wick Communications launched NABUR, the Neighborhood Alliance for Better Understanding and Respect, a journalist-led community conversation platform that allows members to discuss local issues using facts, not vitriol.

Both organizations are also former individual recipients of GNI funding. Wick Communications’ NABUR project was selected in 2019, the initiative’s first North American challenge.

The Cronkite School was also selected that year for the Interactive Story Wall, a way to visualize and explain data-driven stories on broadcast and digital platforms using a touchscreen that helps the public to better understand complex problems, according to GNI.

The research lessons of this new project will be widely shared with the journalism industry.

“We know that the rise of disinformation and disinformation online is a fundamental problem for the news industry and our society as a whole,” said Reilly Kneedler, editor-in-chief of digital audiences at Wick Communications. “This innovative partnership made possible by the Google News Initiative will allow us to tackle this problem head-on. We are delighted to begin.

About Wick Communications

Wick Communications is a family owned local media company based in Sierra Vista, Arizona. It operates newsrooms in 25 markets in 11 states, from Alaska to Louisiana. His family of publications has kept readers informed and connected to their communities for a century.

For more information, contact Reilly Kneedler, Digital Audience Editor-in-Chief at [email protected]

About Cronkite School

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier professional journalism programs and has received international acclaim for its use. innovation of the “university hospital” model. Rooted in the age-old values ​​that characterize its namesake – precision, responsibility, objectivity, integrity – the school promotes journalistic excellence and ethics both in the classroom and in its 13 professional programs that fully immerse students in the practice of journalism and related fields. Arizona PBS, one of the country’s largest public television stations, is part of Cronkite, making it the largest journalism-run media outlet in the world.

For more information, contact Allison Otu, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for Cronkite and Arizona PBS at [email protected]

About NewsCo / Lab

The Co / Lab News advances digital media education through journalism, education and technology. Since its launch in November 2017, it has partnered with news organizations and community stakeholders to help people better understand the news and information environment.

About the Google News initiative

The Google News Initiative (GNI) is a global effort to enable a sustainable, diverse and innovative ecosystem of quality journalism. Through regional funding rounds, the GNI Innovation Challenges will enable news organizations around the world to demonstrate a new way of thinking about online journalism, better understand their communities and develop new business models of online journalism. ‘editing. In turn, Google shares the knowledge generated by the projects with the entire industry.