By Shawn Murray, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — The Connecticut Alliance for Better Communities Inc, doing business as The Hartford Guardian, is proud to celebrate its seven-year anniversary as a civic journalism organization that focuses on hyper–local news in the capital city of Connecticut.
CABC Inc. kicked off its seven-month celebration and fundraising campaign on Friday. The celebration will include a private reception with board members, sponsors and volunteers who have helped sustained the nonprofit organization since its inception in January 2004. Other events are slated in the coming months.
Over the last seven years, volunteers from the Greater Hartford area and other cities have been an integral part of CABC Inc’s strategy for building communities through civic journalism. The award-winning hyper-local online news magazine has garnered several national recognitions and awards for its news coverage, which began as a quarterly and went online Oct. 15, 2008 at www.thehartfordguardian.com.
Founding Editor and Publisher of The Hartford Guardian Ann-Marie Adams said she appreciates of continuous support from the community, sponsors and friends. And she is happy to celebrate seven grueling but fulfilling years.
“Most businesses fail before their five-year mark. We are still growing and perfecting our product. And that’s worth celebrating,” Adams said. ”We are aggressive about expanding the discourse of democracy and framing issues that include the voice to the voiceless. I know the new board members and daily volunteers will continue in that vein.”
Since its inception in October 2004, The Guardian has broken news about predatory schemes with condo associations and the foreclosure crises in Connecticut In 2010, The Guardian won a national award from the International Center for Journalists, which touted its work as “competent and competitive.” In addition, it has garnered recognition from The Hartford Business Journal and the University of California-Berkeley’s Knight Digital Media Center. The Guardian was the first of the new wave of hyper-local news organizations in Connecticut.
Over the last seven years, The Guardian has partnered with the University of Hartford, the University of Connecticut, Capital Community College, AT & T, McGraw Hill Companies, International Center for Journalists and other local small businesses and residents to present our Summer Journalism Workshop for high school students and our Community Conversations on issues that impact the city of Hartford and its neighboring suburbs. More than a dozen students have benefited from our journalism program So far, we have impacted an estimated 500 people with our journalism institute and community forums in the Greater Hartford area. And our web site has surpassed 2.6 million hits each quarter.
The Guardian seeks to perfect its mission and its programs in the coming year by expanding its board and recruiting new media journalists committed to social responsibility and civic engagement.
On January 6, 2012, The Guardian will host its Civic Engagement Media Luncheon at the Hartford Club with keynote speaker Anthony Duignan- Cabrera, Editorial Director for AOL Patch East. Duignan will speak to the intersection of online media and the urban landscape—the new frontier in journalism.
“I am honored to be a part of this exciting event and to have the opportunity to speak about the changing local and urban media landscape, Duignan-Cabrera said. “The Internet has obviously played a key role in shaping the evolution of the news industry.”
CABC Inc embodies civic journalism by expanding the discourse in our democracy and building communities through civic journalism. Civic journalism is an all-encompassing effort to reach out the public more aggressively in the reporting process, to listen to how citizens frame their problems and what citizens see as solutions to their problems.
“Civic journalism is an exciting way to serve the communities we cover,” Adams said. “The end result of going that extra mile to reach unfamiliar and varied voices is just better journalism. Our awards and reader responses are strong indications that our model is effective.”
CABC Inc is a 501 ( c ) 3 Hartford based nonprofit organization that aims to spur civic participation, develop youth and family media literacy skills ad help build cohesive communities. It’s fulfills its three-fold mission by using 1) The Hartford Guardian, our award-winning hyper-local online news magazine that provides cutting edge reporting; 2) the Summer Journalism Institute, a training program that fosters critical thinking skills and media literacy for high school juniors, seniors and city residents. 3) the Community Conversations, periodic forums to foster understanding and build consensus about issues that impact city residents. For more information please visit www.thehartfordguardian.com. Follow us on Twitter @guardianeditor and ‘Like’ our Facebook page.