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Become a citizen journalist!

Become a citizen journalist!

By Erika Barthelmess
August 21, 2018

Nature Up North is proud to be working with the Weave News, North Country Public Radio, and The Hill News to sponsor the first annual St. Lawrence Citizen Journalism Incubator (SLCJI).

The St. Lawrence Citizen Journalism Incubator is a new initiative designed to provide North Country students and residents with the opportunity to receive training and support for conducting independent, investigative journalism projects in their communities.

Created with initial funding from a St. Lawrence University Innovation Grant, the SLCJI is a unique collaboration among four local media and citizen journalism organizations that bring a range of professional, citizen journalism, and citizen science experience to the project.

For individuals selected to participate in 2018-19, the project will begin with an intensive workshop to be held on the SLU campus on the weekend of September 21-22, 2018. The workshop, which will also be open to the general public, will feature presentations and training sessions led by outside experts and members of the four local media organizations. Participants will then spend several months carrying out their local journalism projects before presenting their work at a public symposium to be held in April.

In addition to providing support and mentoring to project participants, the SLCJI team will work with participants to identify opportunities for publishing their work via the Weave News, NCPR, The Hill News, and Nature Up North platforms as well as other regional outlets.

The SLCJI organizers invite proposals from North Country residents for specific reporting projects that can be carried out in their home communities between September 2018 and April 2019.

The topic of your proposal is up to you, but here are some examples of the kinds of stories we are interested in:

  • How budget cuts affect the quality of education in local schools
  • Struggles facing under-served populations
  • Impact of climate change in local communities
  • Issues related to racism and anti-immigrant sentiment near the northern border
  • Grassroots social movements
  • Water quality, air quality, and other local environmental issues
  • Creative and innovative local responses to longstanding problems

Review of proposals will begin immediately and will continue until the final deadline of September 10, 2018.

We look forward to hearing from you!

By Erika Barthelmess
Canton, NY

Erika Barthelmess is a vertebrate ecologist and conservation biologist and director of the Nature Up North project. Erika works as a Professor of Biology at St. Lawrence University. Her research interests are broad and include the biology of small, isolated populations, the intersection of behavioral ecology and conservation, road ecology, and the ecology and natural history of porcupines. Erika enjoys hiking, canoeing, camping, and Labrador retrievers.