The Somerville News Garden is a grassroots effort to attempt to stop Somerville, MA, USA from turning into what media academics are calling a “news desert”—a municipality that no longer has professionally-produced news outlets. It is sponsored by the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism in partnership with the Somerville Media Center.
SNG has four projects:
1) a Research Group that conducts surveys, interviews, and focus groups with Somervillians to learn about their news habits and preferences, and tailor the News Garden to meet these needs;
2) a Neighborhood Media School that trains Somerville-area residents in the fundamentals of reporting, news analysis, and multimedia production (e.g., photography, video, data visualization);
3) the Somerville Wire that, a news service run by professional journalists and area residents trained as journalists at the Neighborhood Media School that covers Somerville and syndicates its articles about the city to interested independent news outlets and the public at large;
4) the Somerville Media Fund—a 501(c)(3) foundation that provides grants to Somerville-based nonprofit news organizations and teaches journalism, media literacy, and civics to Somerville Public School students and the general public of Somerville.
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