Gary Company Receives Facebook Grant For COVID-19 News
Updated: May 20
GARY, IN -- The Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) recently awarded a Community Network grant to Gary communications company Fluid Communications to support coronavirus reporting. The focus of the grant is to help provide residents, who have limited or no access to digital technology, an opportunity to retrieve COVID-19 updates and community news. The company created The Daily 219, which is accessed through the telephone number 219-985-3322. The phone number is accessible 24-hours a day. Each news segment is approximately five to six minutes long and is updated twice per day Monday – Friday and once on the weekend. Information can also be obtained through the newly created website www.thedaily219.com.
Karen Williams, president of Fluid Communications, said "Gary is a city that has limited media outlets. The community relies heavily on the Chicago media who may or may not cover issues in Northwest Indiana. And while there is information being shared daily through digital platforms and local community cable outlets from local government and organizations, some people may not have access to technology because of a lack of resources or technical knowledge."
Williams said the idea to use a phone number came from the old time and temperature number in the 70’s and 80’s. “Everyone called that number to find out what the temperature was before going out in the days before cable 24-hour news. So, I know a subset of the population is comfortable dialing a phone number for information.”
The company is also building a digital footprint with Facebook and Twitter and will soon have an app that will allow people to access the information as well.
Persons who would like to send news updates and community calendar information can submit information through email@example.com or on the website at www.thedaily219.com. News updates can be heard by dialing 219-985-3322.