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SoKing Internet Radio receives prestigious grant to create Newscasts

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 5.19.46 PM [1]Four startups – including our very own SoKing Internet Radio [2] – have been awarded $12,000 each in national Encore Media Entrepreneurs funding, J-Lab [3] announced on Thursday (Feb. 5).

SoKing Internet Radio will use the grant money to create daily Newcasts that feature “hyperlocal” news, curated from South King Media [4]‘s six community blogs covering South King County.

The four initiatives were among 82 applications received in J-Lab’s Masters Mediapreneurs initiative to help seed media startups launched by Baby Boomers, aged 50-plus.

Scott Schaefer, founder of The B-Town/Normandy Park Blogs and parent company South King Media, will lead SKiR’s new project.

“This will allow us to start up a truly innovative new program – daily hyperlocal newscasts that will live not only on our 24/7 streaming radio station, but also as podcasts posted to South King Media’s six local blogs and Facebook pages,” Schaefer said.

Schaefer plans on starting the newscasts soon, and will be auditioning for announcers within a month.

“Far as I know, we may be the first network of local blogs in the country that will be producing original audio Newscasts,” Schaefer added. “That’s pretty exciting.”

Media Consultant and Author Blake Messer will be serving on the SoKing Podcast advisory board.

“The Blogs operated by South King Media were and remain on the vanguard of providing hyper-local news online at a time when consumers have transitioned away from picking up traditional newspapers and began searching for germane content on the web,” Messer said. “The blogs are well done, highly visited and proven. I believe these news/podcasts will be equally relevant as transitioning listeners look for new, local on-demand information via their mobile devices, in the dash of their cars and online.” [2]

Messer operates Newfangled Commerce [5], a digital media agency that works with established and up and coming brands across the country.

The Masters Mediapreneurs progam to seed media startups launched by encore entrepreneurs is funded with grants from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism and the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundations.

“We could easily have funded several more worthy projects,” said J-Lab director Jan Schaffer. “The ideas were creative, the energy striking, and the applicants’ eagerness was quite pronounced.”

“Plus, many who applied tipped their hats to this opportunity to validate their ideas and help them make them happen.”

In addition to SoKing Internet Radio, the winners are:

The Masters Mediapreneurs progam is funded with grants from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism and the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundations.

Participating in the judging the applications were Ju-Don Roberts, Director of the Center for Cooperative Media, Montclair State University; Tiffany Shackelford, Executive Director, Association for Alternative News Weeklies; Jody Brannon, Digital Media Strategist and former National Director News 21, and Jan Schaffer, Executive Director, J-Lab.

J-Lab, founded in 2002, is a journalism catalyst. It funds new approaches to news and information, researches what works and shares practical insights with traditional and entrepreneurial news organizations. Jan Schaffer is also Entrepreneur in Residence at American University.