Radio indie’s project lands Knight News Challenge grant

The Knight Foundation awarded $420,000 last week to support the development of Zeega, an open-source HTML5 platform co-created by independent public radio producer Kara Oehler, a creator of the Mapping Main Street project.

Zeega will enable the creation of “participatory multimedia projects on web, tablet and mobile devices,” according to its website. The platform will allow creators to combine web-based media including audio, maps, photos, video and text.

Oehler and her collaborators, Jesse Shapins and James Burns, were inspired to create Zeega after producing the multimedia Mapping Main Street project, according to an article in the Harvard Gazette. (The three are affiliated with the university.) That collaborative documentation of Main Streets across the country was supported by CPB and the Association of Independents in Radio. NPR aired reports from the project.

Media and Place Productions, the nonprofit where Zeega is based, was one of 16 awardees in the latest round of Knight News Challenge winners. The Knight Foundation handed out a total of $4.7 million, $1 million of which was donated by Google.

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