New York Area Digital Media Startup Competing for Entry into the McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs Program

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Initiative seeks to spotlight innovative women-led news startups

Photo for Ruth J. Morrison, Founder, What's The 411? Networks

...the application process was a powerful exercise, as it forced me to take the ideas in my head and put them on paper.

Ruth J. Morrison, Founder, What’s The 411 Networks, a digital media startup (http://www.whatsthe411.com), is counting herself among 400 women vying for entry into the Robert McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs Program.

The McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs (NMWE) initiative is part of an unique effort to address issues of opportunity and innovation, recruitment and retention for women in journalism. To date, 14 projects have been funded since the program started in 2008. See them at http://www.newmediawomen.org.

NMWE grant funding is available for news websites, mobile news services, apps or other ideas that offer interactive opportunities to provide news and information locally, nationally or among a community of interest. These can be solo ideas or team projects spearheaded by women.

“I am excited to be a contender for the Robert McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs Program,” said Ruth J. Morrison. “It is a competitive opportunity. Roughly 400 women applied and J-Lab, the administrator for the program, will only select four women. I know it is a cliché, but regardless of the outcome, the application process was a powerful exercise, as it forced me to take the ideas in my head and put them on paper.”

The McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs initiative is a project of J-Lab, a center of American University’s School of Communication. J-Lab is a journalism catalyst that funds new approaches to journalism, rewards innovations, researches what works and shares practical insights with news creators and news gatherers.

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit http://www.McCormickFoundation.org.

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Eleanor Leinen
What The 411? Networks
646-286-9323
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Ruth Morrison