Transparencity: leading content-driven William Penn Foundation grant project 2.25.11 0
by in Experiments

Our technology site Technically Philly is growing coverage and conversation around a nascent open data movement in Philadelphia, thanks to a discretionary grant from the prestigious William Penn Foundation, as announced late last month.

The project, dubbed Transparencity, puts more reporting time into the city’s Division of Technology and related efforts, but it also stresses the importance of seeking real, actionable insight from Philadelphians, journalists and technologists about what data is truly useful.

This cutting-edge, six-month project is pushing us to try lots of new experiences.

What we’re trying:

  • Transparency of foundation work — Our partners at the William Penn Foundation are very supportive of our being transparent about our grant outcomes and process, which is fitting considering our coverage focuses on transparency.
  • Content driven foundation work — We’re working on coupling our audience with desire for impact, meaning that there is still experimentation to be had around
  • Fiscal agency partnerships — Technically Philly is a for profit product of Technically Media, so, to receive the foundation funding, we’re excited to work with the Institute for Public Affairs at Temple University. We’re learning about this process and how that should influence future possibilities around nonprofit status for other projects.
  • Advocacy journalism — We take very seriously journalism ethics, even in our consultancy work, which we think fuels our authenticity. That said, as part of this grant work, we’re eagerly taking a more active role in our editorial voice for a more transparent, efficient government. Largely, that means pushing the agenda by getting more involved than reporting. Wednesday night, with Young Involved Philadelphia, we held a forum on open data, which included a panel and brainstorming sessions to hear from Philadelphians what types of data and information they’d utilize. We are getting involved in other projects, which we’ll announce soon, and it’s interesting to remain a trusted news source while getting involved in near activism, so long as that cause fits our editorial mission.
Christopher Wink is the cofounder of publishing consultancy firm Technically Media and its technology news network Technically Philly. Wink has reported for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Metro, Philadelphia CityPaper, and other publications. The journalist lives in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. He maintains a personal blog here and tweets from @christopherwink.

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