ICFJ to Create Web Platform for Hispanic Community Radio Journalists to Share Programming

Sep 242009

New Web Service Will Enable Hispanic Community Radio Journalists to Share Programming

Washington, DC--The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) is partnering with Public Radio Exchange (PRX) to provide community radio journalists in the United States and Latin America with a new Web-based service to share and rebroadcast stories across borders.

The partnership is part of a two-year program, funded by the McCormick Foundation, to train journalists from Latin America and Spanish-language media in the United States to use multimedia platforms to enrich coverage. Participants will first meet in Washington, DC, where they will take reporting field trips and interview key policy-makers and experts, including those at the Federal Communications Commission. The program includes a panel discussion about whether the Obama Administration's stimulus package is expanding broadband access for minority communities. It will take place at the National Press Club on Sept. 17.

After the D.C. conference, ICFJ trainers will visit participating radio stations in the United States and Latin America to provide hands-on training focusing on radio news production, improving Web content, and using the digital platform developed with PRX. The coaching will improve the stations' ability to produce and stream digital audio through the Internet. ICFJ trainers will work with the radio stations to train citizen journalists on digital reporting and production. The program will also include two Spanish-language online seminars on digital radio, expanding the impact of the program.

"This ICFJ initiative is an innovative attempt to help Spanish-language community radio maintain - and even strengthen - its close ties to audience," said Clark Bell, director of journalism programs for the McCormick Foundation. "For the McCormick Foundation's journalism program, this furthers our commitment to supporting content, audience and rights."

"This exciting initiative will take community radio stations to a new level with enhanced programming and a wider reach than ever before," said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan.

ICFJ's partner is PRX, an online marketplace and a social network of radio stations, listeners and producers based in Cambridge, Mass. PRX is beginning to expand its services beyond the United States, and this collaboration will engage new audiences in Latin America.

"Public Radio Exchange's mission is to connect new voices with audiences through broadcast and beyond," said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. "We are excited to support this important initiative and extend the network of journalists, creative producers and stations worldwide."

The International Center for Journalists, a non-profit, professional organization, promotes quality journalism worldwide in the belief that independent, vigorous media are crucial in improving the human condition. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, ICFJ has worked directly with more than 55,000 journalists from 176 countries. Aiming to raise the standards of journalism, ICFJ offers hands-on training, workshops, online training, seminars, fellowships and international exchanges to reporters and media managers around the globe. For more information, visit www.icfj.org.

The McCormick Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to strengthening our free, democratic society by investing in children, communities and country. Through its five grantmaking programs, Cantigny Park and Golf, and three world-class museums, the Foundation helps build a more active and engaged citizenry. It was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest charities, with $1.2 billion in assets. For more information, visit www.mccormickfoundation.org.

Public Radio Exchange (PRX) is a non-profit web-based service for broadcast and digital distribution, connecting thousands of independent producers, local radio stations, and listeners across a growing online catalog of 40,000 audio works. In 2008 PRX received the MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, and is widely regarded as an innovator in public media and technology for projects such as the Public Radio Player iPhone application. For more information, visit www.prx.org.