The University of Nevada, Reno's Reynolds School of Journalism has been awarded a $35,000 grant by the Online News Association through the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education. The grant will be used in partnership with Reno Public Radio and Meedan, a San Francisco tech firm known for its work with global media firms, to improve local coverage of immigration and refugee issues.
This is the Reynolds School's second win in three years. They were previously awarded an ONA grant in 2015 to establish Noticiero Móvil, a bilingual news service. This year, there were only 10 grants, each $35,000, awarded nationwide. Funding for the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education is provided by the Knight, McCormick, Ethics and Excellence and Rita Allen Foundations, as well as the Democracy Fund.
"Given the topic and the political moment, this has the potential to be a high-profile project with potentially national impact," said Alan Stavitsky, dean of the Reynolds School.
The project will be implemented in two ways. First, participants will be using Meedan's translation and verification software tools, training both RSJ students and KUNR staff on the tools. Then the staff of Noticiero Móvil and KUNR will uncover and produce previously under-reported stories for broadcast and digital platforms with the main goal of building trust between immigrant audiences and news media. Associate professor and director for the Center for Advanced Media Studies, Gi Woong Yun will be leading the project.
"In the short term, this will help surface underreported stories about the impact of national and local policies on immigrant communities," Yun said. "In the long term, this will help generate a database of vetted, translated reports and foster greater trust and engagement between local media and immigrant residents."
For more information about the Reynolds School of Journalism and its programs visit journalism.unr.edu.