J-Source and ProjetJ transition begins with call for potential new contributors

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The Canadian Journalism Project is looking to potential new contributors, a new funding model and new editorial structures beginning at the end of 2013. Belinda Alzner explains what this means for our publication and what roles a transition team is looking to fill as the Project moves into the next phase.

 

The Canadian Journalism Project is looking to potential new contributors, a new funding model and new editorial structures beginning at the end of 2013.

In October, The Canadian Journalism Foundation announced that it would cease to be the primary funder of the CJP – better known as J-Source and French-language counterpart ProjetJ – at the end of 2013. Since then, a transition team chaired by John Honderich and François Taschereau and comprised of a number of journalism school heads has identified a model for 2014 and beyond. The team is now inviting “expressions of interest from journalism schools and other organizations that would like to contribute financial or in-kind resources as partners in the new model.”

While The CJF will no longer be the primary funder, chair Bob Lewis said in a memo earlier this fall that the Foundation will continue to support J-Source and ProjetJ through their next phase. The transition team says in a document soliciting expressions of interest that the future of growth and stability for the Project will be sought through a combination of four things: Multiyear philanthropic commitments, applying for government funding, entrusting advertising sales to a professional contractor and the integration of J-Source and ProjetJ into journalism schools.

“We believe that the result of this will be a more dynamically governed and sustained project whose continued success will no longer be depend on a single organization,” the transition document states. “Optimal success would consist of various partners making a variety of clearly defined commitments.”

This transition document is embedded below.

The transition team is seeking partnership for a number of sections, including the following:

  • Publisher: A full-time faculty member of a journalism school, where the publishing offices will be housed. A business manager will also be hired in a part-time role as an administrative staff member
  • Editorial Centres: J-Source’s editorial centre will be based in an Anglophone j-school; ProjetJ’s in a Francophone j-school.
    • Establishing a for-credit student-run newsroom in each centre, where student reporters pursue and tell stories of Canadian journalists and news organizations under the guidance of a faculty advisor.
    • Full-time salaried editorial staff (i.e. the current associate editor of J-Source and redactrice en chef of ProjetJ) will work in or alongside these newsrooms.
    • The editor-in-chief will remain the role of an experienced journalist.
  • Bureaus: In addition to the editorial centres, journalism schools will house bureaus across the country. They could be location-specific or beat specific and will be run by senior student “bureau chiefs” which will be funded by government- or university-subsidized work-study or research-assistant allowances. The bureau chief will be appointed by and supervised by a faculty advisor, whose work will be an in-kind contribution by the hosting school.
  • Information technology: An IT partner is being sought for web, social media and newsletter technology provision.
  • Major funding partners: One or more major funders to provide bulk of necessary funding
  • Supporting partners: In-kind contributions (including but not limited to student and faculty participation, IT facilities, editorial bureaus, faculty advisors, regular columnists) will be prominently recognized on the website and any promotional materials.

In addition to Honderich and Taschereau, the transition team consists of Collette Brin, Kelly Toughill, Ivor Shapiro and Chris Waddell.

The document does not identify the funds needed in order to for the transition to be successful. Shapiro told J-Source in an email that the team is not ready to put numbers on it yet and noted that a business plan was still in development.

The CJF has been the primary funder of the Project since its inception in 2007, and said in a memo addressing the transition earlier this fall that since then it has provided nearly $600,000 in editorial staffing, technologyand other expenses to it.

As Belinda Alzner explained previously, each website currently has one full-time staff member in the role of associate editor/redactrice en chef. J-Source has a number of contributing editors that provide editorial content and support in addition to their full-time jobs in journalism schools and newsrooms around the country. (The transition team hopes the roles of these editors will remain unchanged.) ProjetJ maintains its own editorial board as well.

Those interested in contributing to the new partnership should express their interest by January 31, 2013. More details can be found in the transition document embedded below.

For more details, or to discuss or submit your expression of interest, contact any member of the transition team:

Model for CJP 2014 and Beyond 2012-12-15

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