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Our county is being observed as a groundbreaking experiment in new media. It is up to us to fulfill the vision.

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News fueled by citizen journalists fills California county's media shadow

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation feature BenitoLink in their blog post this week. The Knight Foundation recently awarded the Community Foundation for San Benito County $150,000 for BenitoLink, a response to the community's desire to have better access to local news and information. The project is a result of the visioning process facilitated by Vision San Benito Executive Director, Julie Morris. The state of the local media was one of the major concerns expressed by participants of the Vison Summit in October of 2011.

The Knight Foundation has chosen to address communities' lack of news, due to the closing of hundreds of daily newspapers, by working through community foundations around the country. They are encouraging local media organizations to create replacements for the local newspapers which provided access to information about the community by providing grants that allow innovation and experimentation. They also convene these organizations to discuss what is and isn't working and to provide advice and support through seminars, webinars and conferences.