Our regional technology publication Technically Philly has, this year, wrapped up or is close to finishing a number of journalism projects backed or related to the William Penn Foundation, a robust, locally-focused foundation â€” with interests in journalism, the built environment, and community â€” which calls Philadelphia home. The foundation released its annual report late this summer, which you can view here.
Through the year, we’ve worked with a discretionary grant with Temple’s Institute for Public Affairs to investigate Philadelphia’s open municipal government movement, a project we call Transparencity. We’ve recently submitted a final report on the subject and we’ll be sharing the outputs and outcomes of that grant soon.
In August, in partnership with City Paper and PlanPhilly, Technically Philly helped launch an examination of Philadelphia’s Redevelopment Authority and the properties it had offloaded for redevelopment. Using relationships pulled together through Technically Philly’s open government hackathons, we were able to put a top notch developer, Tim Wisniewski, on the project to create a map of properties that remain undeveloped after the exchange. The project was funded by a $5,000 award from journalism catalyst J-Lab, paid for by William Penn.
We continue work on our Broadband2035 project, another of partnership between William Penn and J-Lab, and have been recently asked to participate in the organization of a master broadband plan in Philadelphia as a result of our coverage. Our final piece of the series, examining the neighborhood economic and social impact of broadband, is due this fall.
And, before coming on full-time in June, Technically Media co-founder Brian James Kirk wrapped up a six month project at PlanPhilly, which was featured high in William Penn’s annual report. Kirk helped handle the online presentation of an extensive multimedia series investigating a transformed neighborhood in Eastern North Philadelphia reported by former Inquirer city hall reporter Patrick Kerkstra, and talented CityPaper staff photographer Neal Santos.