Google announces funding for RJ Latino reporting initiative


Record-Journal staff

The Record-Journal is expanding its reporting lab on Latin American communities with recently announced support from the Google News Initiative.

The local company has been selected from 18 media organizations in the United States to receive funding for projects under the 2021 Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge.

Google announced its selections this week.

The Latino Communities Reporting Lab, created by the Record-Journal earlier this year, will add a full-time bilingual editor to oversee the current team of three local journalists, while launching a listening, engaging and collecting project. in-depth data collection in partnership with DataHaven, a New Haven-based nonprofit.

Beyond expanding the capacities of the Latino reporting laboratory and increasing public access to valuable data, the Record-Journal’s selection highlights the importance of listening nationally, community engagement and inclusive reporting, according to editor and executive vice president Liz White Notarangelo. “We are delighted to be doing this important work with and for our community,” she said.

The new data collection project builds on a five-month listening tour conducted by the Record-Journal with more than 80 stakeholders from the Latino community before the launch of the Latino Communities Reporting Lab.

“Our local Latin American communities want their voices to be heard, their inequalities highlighted and more local and factual information in English and Spanish that they can trust,” said the team leader, editor-in-chief. Assistant, Richie Rathsack. “These are just some of the many important ideas we learned during our five month listening tour.”

In addition to the findings reported by the newsroom, DataHaven will compile a full report in conjunction with a new part-time Record-Journal project coordinator.

The report will be made available as a shared resource locally and statewide through a network of community partners built during the previous listening tour.

Members of the network include the public schools of Meriden and Wallingford, the Spanish Community of Wallingford and Casa Boricua de Meriden, United Way of Meriden and Wallingford, the Church of St. Rose of Lima in Meriden, and several others.

For more than 25 years, the nonprofit DataHaven public service association of New Haven has partnered with local and state agencies, academic and healthcare institutions, foundations and community organizations to collect, share and interpret public information about Connecticut.

“DataHaven is thrilled to partner with the Latino Communities Reporting Lab,” said Executive Director Mark Abraham. grab.

“~ [and Google Innovation Challenge] for working to ensure that people from all walks of life in Meriden and Wallingford have the opportunity to be reflected in community information and that they have the tools they need to advocate for improved equity and well-being, ”Abraham added.

The results of the project will also guide the new brand and product format for the lab content report.

“Through listening and collecting data, the community will help us determine what will be the next phase of the Latino Communities Reporting Lab brand and formats, whether it’s a website, an app, a print product, a social site or whatever, ”Rathsack said.

A community advisory board made up of local Latino leaders and other stakeholders was also launched last month to help guide lab content, increase listening and ensure responsiveness to community needs.


The goal of the Innovation Challenge is to “fund projects that inject new ideas into the news industry,” according to the Google News Initiative.

A key part of the Record-Journal project is creating an engagement and listening manual that other media groups nationwide can use as a template for developing and implementing more inclusive reporting strategies.

“We heard on our listening tour that Meriden can be seen as a microcosm because the demographic shift in Meriden becoming more and more Latino is similar to the shift that has taken place in Connecticut, New England and the United States in recent decades, ”White said Notarangelo.

Latinos make up 29% of Meriden’s overall population and 59.9% of the student body, according to the most recent data. In Wallingford, Latinos represent 8.4% of the population and 19.4% of the students.

“We therefore believe that the report will resonate and have a wider impact by highlighting the contributions, needs, resources and challenges of Latino residents and how we can all respond to strengthen our community,” White Notarangelo said. “The Playbook will serve as a model for other media on how to engage and serve Latino residents as similar demographic change occurs across the country.”

Once complete, the playbook will be shared nationally through industry partners, the Local Media Association, a business group dedicated to supporting local media companies, and Hearken, a national technology provider. community engagement. Partnerships provide a window to explain locally developed and implemented strategies to the entire industry, as well as other innovations.

Other U.S. organizations receiving Innovation Challenge funding this year include Univision Los Angeles, Louisville Public Media, the Texas Tribune, Newsday Media Group, and Wick Communications in partnership with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. .

A total of 227 recipients have been selected from around the world representing 47 countries.


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