The Brooklyn Community Foundation and City Limits announced today the launch of The Brooklyn Bureau, www.bkbureau.org, a website exclusively dedicated to in-depth reporting on Brooklyn civic affairs to better inform and engage the borough’s 2.5 million residents.
The Brooklyn Bureau is a project of City Limits, an independent, investigative journalism organization with a 35-year history of reporting in New York City, and the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the borough’s largest philanthropy with a mission to improve the lives of Brooklynites by connecting donors to community needs and designing and leading initiatives to benefit Brooklyn.
Reaching deep into Brooklyn, particularly in under-covered neighborhoods, City Limits’ team of reporters will produce ongoing accountability journalism for The Brooklyn Bureau on local issues and activities of the borough’s nonprofit sector, civic and social institutions, and communities. Lead stories at launch include investigations on downtown Brooklyn’s re-zoning, rent hikes squeezing local businesses, and a local school controversy in Fort Greene.
The website also features commentaries on Atlantic Yards and the Brooklyn economy, a news network linking to other Brooklyn news sites, as well as editorial contributions from Brooklyn community, civic, and nonprofit leaders, including Brooklyn Community Foundation President Marilyn Gelber.
“When we created a community foundation for Brooklyn, we wanted to provide residents with new tools for civic engagement. We know that information is indeed power and it’s important to understand the issues and trends in our communities in order to create positive change,” said Gelber. “As a ‘city’ of more than 2.5 million people, we need to have stronger and deeper coverage of neighborhoods, including the impact of public policies, and the work of our amazing nonprofit sector. We are proud to partner with City Limits on this much-needed media initiative so that the Brooklyn story can be told more clearly, accurately, and comprehensively.”
She added: “We now have a place to go to for thorough reporting on local affairs which might otherwise be ignored, as well as a forum for bringing residents together to talk about the issues. An informed Brooklyn is an empowered Brooklyn and we want to make it possible for all communities, from Boerum Hill to Brownsville, and Greenpoint to Coney Island, to have their voices heard and their stories told.”
The Brooklyn Bureau is a winner of the 2011 Knight Community Information Challenge, which encourages community and place-based foundations to support news and information projects. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has matched the Brooklyn Community Foundation’s initial project funding for a total of $100,000 over its first two years. In addition, the Community Foundation is supporting the work of the Center for the Study of Brooklyn at Brooklyn College to analyze statistical data and develop neighborhood and borough-wide trend reports, which will also be featured on The Brooklyn Bureau site.
“People across the city and the country have an interest in how City Limits and Brooklynites will use new media and investigative journalism to tell the borough’s story,” said Mark Anthony Thomas, director of City Limits. “With the site launching, this will jumpstart our effort to spend the next few months engaging the borough’s communities to help us shape the stories we will tell.”
About Brooklyn Community Foundation
Brooklyn Community Foundation's mission is to improve the lives of people in Brooklyn by strengthening communities through local giving, grantmaking and community service. The first and only one of its kind in Brooklyn, the Community Foundation was founded in 2009 to support the borough's most effective nonprofits in five Field of Interest Funds: Arts for All, Caring Neighbors, Community Development, Education and Youth Achievement, and Green Communities. Due to legacy support from Independence Community Bank, 100% of all tax deductible donations to the Brooklyn Community Foundation go directly back to the community. Learn more at: www.BrooklynCommunityFoundation.org; follow at www.Twitter.com/DoGoodBklyn; and like at www.Facebook.com/DoGoodBklyn.
About City Limits
City Limits is a nonprofit civic news organization, publishing investigative journalism and resources for people who are passionate about New York City. With a particular focus on stories largely neglected by mainstream media, for more than three decades City Limits has provided a platform for New York's different stakeholders to make their voices heard on civic topics. City Limits publishes an award-winning bi-monthly magazine and the city’s largest nonprofit civic news site.