What does this initiative actually do?
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange was founded to ensure that full-time, highly-qualified professional journalists are covering juvenile justice issues on a day-to-day basis, in Georgia, the Southeast and around the nation. Long term, the project aims to grow in the scope of juvenile justice coverage provided as well as the number of active staff reporting on juvenile justice everyday. Through a combination of national and regional media partnerships the JJIE has and will continue to expand the focus on juvenile justice and related issues.
Who do journalists report to?
Journalists and staff researchers report directly to editor Ryan Schill. Schill oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and reporter assignments. Some freelance opportunities are available.
Who is behind the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange?
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange is an initiative of the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University.
The Center for Sustainable Journalism was founded in 2009 by Leonard Witt, a former journalist turned academic. Witt holds the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Journalism at Kennesaw State University.
The Center’s mission is to ensure that high-quality, ethically-sound journalism continues to have a vibrant place in our democracy. To fulfill this mission the Center actively produces, researches and nurtures innovative ideas, new projects and strategic partnerships.
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange is the Center’s premiere project.
The Center is underwritten, in part, by a generous multi-year gift from the Harnisch Foundation. To learn more about the Center’s work visit www.sustainablejournalism.org.
What is the timeline for this project?
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange launched in the fall of 2010. The Center for Sustainable Journalism has invested time, energy and start-up dollars to get the project off the ground, but ultimately the initiative will need financial support from dedicated community members like yourself to survive. Consider making a donation today.
Who can be a supporting community member?
The short answer is anyone. The JJIE community is comprised of a variety of members from all walks of life, each contributing as he or she sees fit.
Members are encouraged to pledge any amount of support they are comfortable with. Learn more about supporting the JJIE financially.
In conjunction with the Center for Sustainable Journalism, the JJIE is forming a Juvenile Justice Information Exchange Advancement Board to spearhead funding and community outreach initiatives. Advancement Board members will be asked to contribute or raise $1,000 in support annually. For more information about becoming an Advancement Board member contact founding publisher Leonard Witt.
Not all of our community members can commit to financial support or membership on an advisory board. Yet, there are other ways to show support. Consider doing your part and spreading the word about the issues you care about most. Tell friends, family and colleagues about the thoughtful work being done on a daily basis for the youth of our nation here at the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and other great organizations.
Your support, in any form, is greatly appreciated.
How does this membership community differ from private news media companies?
The first goal of private media companies is to turn a profit. Juvenile justice issues and coverage do not provide as profitable a revenue stream as other areas of news coverage. In the past, when advertising paid for more than 80 percent of media’s overhead, for-profit companies had the ability to subsidize a wide range of public policy reporting. Today, as advertising revenues continue to shrink, they do not.
The goal of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and the Center for Sustainable Journalism is to find sustainable means to support coverage in areas such as juvenile justice.
So all you do is journalism?
No. Journalism is only a piece of Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, but a very important one. In addition to journalistic work, the JJIE fosters an “exchange” of ideas and opinions, original and comprehensive research along with resources for parents, professionals and the general public.
The JJIE is a community supported and driven effort.
What has changed to make it necessary to form an alternative news organization model?
In the past, 80 percent of newspaper’s revenue came from advertising, with just 20 percent coming from paid circulation. In essence, advertisers such as retail stores, perfume companies and automakers were paying to support journalists on beats covering everything from Iraq to the city council chambers around America.
That revenue model is on the decline with no signs of returning.
Thanks to the digital revolution, advertisers have more options to reach potential customers. What will replace the financial void?
For the JJIE, we believe a strong community of support is key to the survival of journalism, specifically for organizations covering niche topics as important as juvenile justice.
How and where will the reported stories be distributed?
The center piece of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange is our interactive website, www.JJIE.org. There, daily updates along with riveting commentary and feedback from engaged community members remain in constant supply.
In the Fall of 2011, the JJIE expanded multimedia and visual story telling efforts with the launch of Bokeh, a JJIE sister site. Learn more about Bokeh.JJIE.org.
Strategic partnerships with a variety of media partners both regionally and nationally have been established and continue to develop. The JJIE has been mentioned or had work featured by a variety of outlets including the Washington Post, Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), National Public Radio (NPR), Youth Today, the Poynter Institute and others.
The JJIE is a member of the Investigative News Network and a collaborative partner with the Center for Public Integrity on select projects.
How big is the audience?
As of November 2011 the JJIE convenes more than 30,000 unique visitors each month and more than 2,000 page views each workday. Our community is constantly growing.
We aim to bring pressing juvenile justice issues to the forefront of the American psyche and develop and on-going dialogue among the nation’s people. Institutions, government officials, policy makers and others whose work and decisions impact juvenile justice and/or the quality of services delivered to kids are covered on a daily basis to hold each accountable for their actions. Rarely heard voices of the disenfranchised now have an outlet.
While the JJIE strives to have an growing community, our primary focus is delivering complex and important juvenile justice stories fairly, accurately and in a depth.
How can I become a member of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange?
You can become a donating member by clicking here.
That’s it? I have a less-than-frequently-asked question.
Still have questions?
Contact editor Ryan Schill with editorial or content inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
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