Archive for May 25th, 2007

Berkman Denizens Take Home the Gelt

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liwilliams.jpg Three of the top Berkman denizens were rewarded for their brilliant ideas, but more than that, for their ability to transform their ideas into concrete programs that actually improve people’s lives in the real world…

The future of journalism is in your hands.

That was the message yesterday as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation handed out more than $11 million in prize money to various bloggers and computer programmers, and organizations ranging from MIT to MTV, for proposals that will empower ordinary people to participate in digital media.

Lisa Williams , founder of Placeblogger, [and H2otown-db note] won $222,000 towards further developing the website — basically “the blogosphere’s answer to the AP.” Placeblogger runs a streaming digest from blogs across the world, and ultimately Watertown resident Williams would like to be able to create feeds of local information for cellphones, blogs, and e-mail.

Ethan Zuckerman, a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School created a website in 2004 that aggregates blogs from across the world. Yesterday, he won $244,000 to help train bloggers in developing countries and rural areas.

David Ardia , also of the Berkman Center, won $250,000 to support the Citizen Media Law Project , an online legal resource for citizen journalists.

from the Boston Globe

Congratulations, to the three of them. Lisa and Ethan are two of the smartest and nicest people we know, and are sure to use the money to make a positive impact on-line and off in other people’s lives. David we don’t know, but his project sounds like something we should check out, especially as we have been working more and more in the field of legal English, now a must for lawyers all over the world.

Meanwhile, our online staff feel that the Dowbrigade News deserves a piece of that action. We have to get back on the magic mailing list for grant and prize money. With an award like that, we wouldn’t have to teach so many hours we’re too tired to blog when we get home! Of course, we would have to come up with some grant-worthy project. Something to empower a downtrodden and neglected constituency. The best we’ve come up with so far is a clearinghouse for information related to the mysterious mass disappearance of America’s bees. Bees seem downtrodden and neglected, and the big cell phone companies constitute a suitable corporate culprit.

But any other suggestions from the constituency would be appreciated.