About The Online Journalism Project

The new journalism is happening on the Internet, and it is happening in local communities — picking up the pieces of a mission abandoned by media corporations that bought up local newspapers and radio stations, merged newsrooms, created monopolies, eviscerated editorial budgets, and abandoned the in-depth, knowledgeable, passionate, grassroots news reporting vital to the health of a democracy.

The Online Journalism Project formed in mid-2005 to promote and steer the course of the new journalism. Our mission: to encourage the development of professional-quality hyperlocal and issue-oriented online news websites. Sites like this one.

We aim to accomplish that by helping stand-alone journalists obtain grants or other financing to develop local news websites meeting professional standards of fact-gathering, accuracy, fairness; by sharing information about this emerging medium; and by adding our voice to the debate over the course of online journalism.

Read our latest 990 tax form here.

Here’s a list of the Project’s Board of Directors:

Paul Bass is the executive director of The Online Journalism Project. Bass has been a leading reporter and editor in Connecticut for over 35 years. Bass has won dozens of national and regional awards for investigative, news, business, feature, and opinion writing and reporting. He worked as an editor and investigative reporter for the New Haven Advocate from 1989-2004. He is the co-author, with co-author Douglas W. Rae, of Murder in the Model City: The Black Panthers, Yale, & The Redemption of a Killer (2006, Basic Books) about the 1969 murder of a Black Panther in New Haven and the resulting trials and FBI revelations surrounding the case. Thousands of Bass’s articles about Connecticut are in a dedicated archive housed at the Manuscripts & Archives section of Yale University’s Sterling Memorial Library. Paul edits the New Haven Independent.

Michelle Chihara has been a writer, editor and journalist since 1996. She worked as an editor for MotherJones.com, the daily site for the investigative news magazine, for the dot.com Tripod Inc, and as a staff writer at two alternative weeklies, the New Haven Advocate and the Boston Phoenix. A Yale graduate, she received her MFA in Creative Writing at UC Irvine in 2006, and her PhD in English Literature at UC Irvine in 2012. Her work has appeared in Studies in American Fiction, The Los Angeles Review of Books, n+1, The Santa Monica Review, Mother Jones, The Boston Globe, and Bloomberg.com, among others. She currently teaches creative nonfiction writing and contemporary American literature as an English professor at Whittier College.

Gemma Joseph Lumpkin is chief executive officer of High Performance Education Group, which helps schools analyze data and improve student performance. She is a former Vice President of the CT Academy for Education in Math, Science and Technology in Middletown, CT and a former public affairs director of Fox 61 television in Hartford. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, she grew up in New Haven, where she still lives. She earned her MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Norma Rodriguez-Reyes runs and co-owns the Spanish-language newspaper La Voz Hispana. She took over the paper in 1998 when it verged on bankruptcy. Under her direction, the newspaper has grown into the state’s largest-circulation Spanish-language weekly.

Jack Walsh is president and chief operating officer of the Valley United Way. He is the founder of Electronic Valley. A lifelong resident of Derby, he has been with United Way since 1989. Jack was previously a teacher in Shelton and Derby as well as the head boys basketball coach at Shelton High School. He was also the Director of the Recreation Camp in Derby, a United Way funded agency, for 14 years.