My $30,000 Ford Foundation Grant: Grant Proposal Excerpts

I was awarded a $30,000 Ford Foundation grant to develop a multimedia ethnic reporting class. I emailed a final report to Ford December 31. I am publishing some excerpts from the report. Here’s the first:

I teach in the Department of Film and Media Studies. It has a film major and a media studies major and a concentration in journalism. It also has a focus in New Media. There is a fourth focus which is under the auspices of Media Studies: Documentaries. This focus is in a grey area, so to speak, which allows some instructors to “float” between the film and media studies major. This all has to do with the political and historical eccentricities of the Department of Film and Media Studies. In essence, there are four disciplines which have rarely if ever collaborated though there are liaisons between some film faculty and media studies faculty.

Thus, the Ford project was the first in this department as well as in any City University of New York undergraduate journalism program or concentration to follow a path of convergence, that is, a project that drew upon technologies for print and audio and video, that merged aspects of the four disciplines. Although there is much discussion and effort regarding technology convergence in the communications profession because of the Internet, this department is still mired in old traditions. So, the Ford Grant was a major, major item: It provided a multimedia platform for disseminating news and information in order to teach students about ethnic and immigrant news production and community issues and it drew upon various aspects of the four disciplines. 

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