This video is a two-minute introduction to BridgeTheGulfProject.org, a community journalism project created by and for Gulf Coast communities working toward a just, healthy and sustainable future. The video was created for a presentation at Good Pitch in 2011. The beta website has been live since July 2010 and has become an important resource for endangered Gulf Coast communities. Design of the site is currently being upgraded with funds from the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and will go live in early 2014. Funding and partnerships are needed to sustain and grow the program that provides training and mentorship to aspiring community journalists and for a speakers bureau of Gulf Coast community leaders.
The idea for Bridge the Gulf originated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when many endangered Gulf Coast communities felt their stories had been overlooked or misrepresented. Filmmaker Leah Mahan (Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek) worked with Derrick Evans of Turkey Creek Community Initiatives and the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health to realize the idea. With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a beta Website was designed at the Bay Area Video Coalition’s Producers Institute for New Media Technologies and launched in the midst of the BP oil disaster.
Through the involvement of the Gulf Coast Fund, the project has become a resource to a network of hundreds of community organizations across the region. Today, dozens of blog Contributors across the Gulf states provide commentary, photo essays and videos. Bridge the Gulf Media Fellows create original content for the Website, recruit new Contributors to the blog, provide Contributors with training and mentorship, build partnerships and help evaluate and improve the project at all levels. Media Fellow Ada McMahon has spearheaded Bridge the Gulf’s collaboration on several projects, including "Stories from the Gulf” with the Natural Resources Defense Council and StoryCorps, “Troubled Waters” with the Institute for Southern Studies and the forthcoming interactive project “Land of Opportunity” with filmmaker Luisa Dantas.
Stakeholders repeatedly call the project "trusted," "honest," and "authentic" for its on-the-ground, first-hand content and journalists from the BBC, Agence France Presse and NPR have used Bridge the Gulf as a source for reporting on the region.
For more information: bridgethegulfproject.org; email@example.com
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