Debatepedia awarded $30k grant from Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation
Summary: The International Debate Education Association received word in early August that the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation will grant the non-profit $30,000 for the Debatepedia project.
Washington, DC - August 11th, 2009 - Debatepedia founder Brooks Lindsay received word last week from Ethics and Excellence in Journalism President Bob Ross that IDEA will receive a $30,000 grant for Debatepedia's 2010 budget. This comes after a lengthy application process that began in May with the submission of a letter of inquiry and subsequently a full proposal in June. The grant is the second from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, which awarded a $30,000 grant to Debatepedia in 2008 for its 2009 budget.
The grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation reflects a strong "mission match" between the journalism foundation and the Debatepedia project. The common mission surrounds a problem in the journalism industry that Debatepedia helps solve. The problem is that arguments and quotations in major public debates are scattered across, frequently, hundreds of editorials, opinion-pieces, essays, political speeches and statements, and books. While the public debate occurs "between" these different authors and their written cases, there is really no way for the public to see all the pro and con arguments presented in a clear, comparable, contrastable way. Citizens are forced to read dozens of articles, keep arguments in the back of their mind, and then - at some later point - compare them to corresponding counter-arguments found in other resources. This process is inefficient, and does not allow citizens and decision-makers to fully weigh all the arguments side-by-side in a systematic way. Debatepedia solves this problem by centralizing all arguments and significant quotations into pro/con articles that allow citizens to weigh the opposing arguments side-by-side, and systematically. This optimizes the process of deliberation, making it possible for citizens to make better decisions and votes for better outcomes. In short, it enables the public debate to reach its full potential. Because the journalism industry is charged with fostering the public debate, Debatepedia fits naturally into the field as a value-added service. It is for this reason that EEJF became interested in Debatepedia and chose to fund the project.
IDEA and Debatepedia will use the funding to continue the current operations of the site, which include the full-time work of its founder and editor Brooks Lindsay, and funding for various marketing, PR, and community-building efforts. With this funding Debatepedia can continue the exponential growth of its key measures of success: registered editors, traffic, content-creation, and its intern program. Debatepedia is on track to double all of these statistics in 2009, and hopes to continue such impressive growth in 2009. For example, Debatepedia is on track to pass 7,000 average unique daily visitors by the end of 2009, and expects to expand to around 20,000 unique daily visitors by the end of 2010.
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