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Online News Association awards $20K to Sacred Heart University

Sacred Heart University in Santurce was one of seven colleges to receive funding through the Online News “2020 Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education,” to experiment with local news collaboration.

Each university will partner with local news organizations to explore news ways of teaching journalism and delivering information to their local communities.

Sacred Heart will develop its Nuestro Barrio Community Media Lab, headed by Prof. Lillian Agosto.

The team will test the idea that empowered communities can reframe news media discourse toward social justice by taking ownership of their stories, testing the idea in Santurce, which is a low-income, economically distressed neighborhood in San Juan.

“We’re proud to receive this important recognition from one of the most relevant organizations in the industry,” Agosto said.

“Personally, it fills me with joy to share this achievement with the community, the student body, and colleagues Yaritza Medina and Ana Serrano. This, without a doubt, will be the beginning of an exciting virtual project together with the communities and schools, industry professionals and our students.”

The goal is to provide workshops to students and community members and to create educational materials on journalism to communicate the area’s cultural and social diversity, school officials said.

Since 2014, the Challenge Fund has provided unique support to universities and journalism educators as they led collaboration among students, local news professionals, researchers and technologists.

The 2020 Challenge Fund winners were selected through an open call for ideas launched earlier this year.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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