American News Project Bringing High-Quality Video Journalism to the Web

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The American News Project, is announcing its official launch on July 8, 2008. ANP (http://www.newsproject.org) is dedicated to defending and promoting the public interest through high-quality, investigative video journalism.

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This is a seminal moment in the history of the media

The American News Project, is announcing its official launch on July 8, 2008. ANP (http://www.newsproject.org) is dedicated to defending and promoting the public interest through high-quality, investigative video journalism.

Founded by producers and reporters who have worked for CNN, National Geographic, PBS Frontline, the Washington Monthly, Bill Moyers Journal, and other prominent outlets, the non-profit journalism venture is building a community of viewers and producers who believe in quality, accuracy and the transformative potential of good multimedia storytelling. ANP's editorial partners include independent sites like the Huffington Post and the Washington Independent.

Since its soft launch, in late May of 2008, ANP's video reports have collectively received hundreds of thousands of views on dozens of sites all over the world. Those reports include: post-traumatic stress disorder among Iraq War veterans; wasteful weapons spending at the Pentagon; possible links between "clean coal" and cancer; the recent rise of hate groups; U.S. troops' use of "drop weapons" in Iraq to cover up the killing of innocent civilians; and the "revolving door" in Washington that connects K Street and Capitol Hill. All of ANP's reports are syndicated, for free, for anyone who wants to air them.

"This is a seminal moment in the history of the media," says Nick Penniman, founder and director of American News Project. "Broadcasting is no longer the province of big corporations. The field's been radically democratized incredibly quickly. We're here to pound our stake in the ground by marrying up good journalism with solid production values. In doing so, we'll forge a substantive brand that'll endure."

American News Project has been described by as "60 Minutes, on the web, and in six minutes." In addition to raising the bar for online video reporting, ANP is experimenting with new funding models. For instance, ANP's "Fund A Beat" initiative allows supporters to donate to specific issue-oriented beats via PayPal or a credit card, allowing people to target their dollars according to their interests, without compromising the editorial integrity of the project.

"Everyone's trying to figure out how to make money doing serious journalism online, and no one has the answer yet," Penniman noted. "We have some innovative ideas, but we know it'll take time before they take root. That's why we're a non-profit for now."

In coming months, the site will be expanding its freelance video-journalist roster, currently 400 strong, to not only include more investigative reporting inside the Beltway but across the United States and other hotspots throughout the globe.

"There's widespread disenchantment with the news media in America. Consumers feel let down, and working journalists feel the same way," Penniman said. "We're firm believers that an imaginative, aggressive press is the Fourth Estate of democracy, and we're ready to play our part strengthening that estate."

American News Project is a project of the Tides Center.

Contact
Nick Penniman
npenniman(at)newsproject.org
(202) 955-6460 X222

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