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Explore the Confucius Institute via innovative journalism that fuses modern-infographic designs with augmented-reality technology.

We are Western iMedia and we are on a mission to change the future of journalism.

Western iMedia is an entrepreneurial editorial start-up operated out of Western Kentucky University’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting. Comprised of an elite team of fusion journalists, we use innovative editorial techniques to tell stories and inform society. For this project, we intend to provide our audience with a multifaceted and detailed look inside the Confucius Institute. 

The Confucius Institute

The Confucius Institute is a program directly funded by the Chinese Government that provides teachers and resources for teaching Chinese language and culture in local schools and colleges around the globe.

In cooperation with world-class-data-visualization design firm Column Five Media of Orange County in the United States and augmented-reality technology pioneer Layar of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Western iMedia will produce this project in a non-traditional multiplatform journalistic format conceived specifically to tell the story to the greatest effect in light of the following primary narrative elements:

• The facts, numbers, maps, lists statistics and examples combined to characterize the scale and nature of CI at various levels from international to national to state to individual communities. The storytelling will engage the audience members in visualizing and grasping overwhelming data for them to derive context and informed opinion.

• Then there are the experiences, emotions, viewpoints and interpretations of the people involved with and affected by CI activities. The storytelling here will engage the audience to assemble familiarity and personal perspectives most would otherwise not be in a position to achieve.

Digitally layered infographics

The project will comprise a series visually enticing, intuitively explanatory infographic banners/posters digitally overlaid with mobile-accessed video articles providing increased depth of explanation and emotional context. The augmented-reality overlay technology is accessed through a camera-linked smartphone or tablet app that will allow interactive features promoting dynamic audience engagement.

These info-graphics are going to be placed in strategic locations around the world for certain periods of time so people all over the globe will have the chance to experience our innovative project. This editorial project blurs the lines of traditional journalism and will change the way people view the news.

Presentations on this project, focusing on its storytelling innovation, have been proposed for SxSW Interactive 2013 in Texas, the INMA 2013 World Congress in New York, and the Global Editors Network’s 2012 NEWS! World Summit in Paris. This project is also under construction for the submission to the 2013 Data Journalism Awards sponsored by Google and the 2013 XMA Cross Media Awards sponsored by the World Association of Newspaper and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

Seeking your support

We want to make a difference in the world of journalism. BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP…

In order for our project to happen, our team of fusion journalists are required to travel throughout the United States and in several other countries to examine CI activities through 2012 and in early 2013. The costs of digital equipment, the posters and travel are the reasons for our budget. With your donation, you can help our team promote this project and revolutionize the field of journalism. So join our integrated media team as we travel inside the Confucius Institute to deliver a one-of-a-kind story that will change the way you look at news!

Tax deductible

Contributions to fund this project are being handled through the Western Kentucky University Foundation.

The WKU Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Chartered in 1993, it promotes the welfare and future development of Western Kentucky University's educational goals by managing assets and maintaining donor records for the benefit of Western Kentucky University.

As a non-profit organization, the Foundation is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the 1986 Internal Revenue Code as amended. The Foundation has been classified by the IRS as a public charity operated for the benefit of a state university as defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 Section 170(b)(1)(A)(iv). Contributions to the University through the Foundation by individuals, corporations, organizations and other foundations qualify as tax deductions. If you have further questions, please contact us at (270) 745 - 6421.

*Please note that any donation given to this project may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are a few risks and challenges involved with our project. As far as our target audience, it will be challenging to reach out to each one and allow them to have a comprehensive intake on our project. We want to engage an audience more successfully than typical media stories do.

There will also be technical challenges with the new form of interactive storytelling.

We will also have financial challenges if our project isn’t funded successfully. Western iMedia is putting $10,000 of its own funds into the project, Layar is contributing augmented reality provider services and $2,000 in rewards for Kickstarter donors. Column Five will be contributing $10,000 in graphic design services. Being able to fund the remaining costs of equipment used to capture the story, travel to representative Confucius Institutes and printing of the final infographic panels will be challenging.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    Editorial Adviser — You will have access to the backer forum. This is an exclusive online community here on Kickstarter.com through which all backers can give suggestions, ask questions, receive continuous updates and interact directly with the Western iMedia staff producing Inside Confucius. *This contribution may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

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    1 backer

    Editorial Adviser and Sponsor — You will have access to the backer forum. This is an exclusive online community here on Kickstarter.com through which all backers can give suggestions, ask questions, receive continuous updates and interact directly with the Western iMedia staff producing Inside Confucius. *This contribution may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

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    Editorial Board Member — The Western iMedia staff will periodically ask you to review editorial story budgets, preview infographic designs and video articles, and generally provide feedback and critiques that help guide the production of Inside Confusion. Editorial Board members will be listed on the Inside Confucius mobile site when the project is published. *This contribution may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Editorial Board Member and Layar tryout — Receive a bundle of 10 Layar Pro Pages (a $200 value) through the project's augmented-reality technology partner. Use them for ads, folders, fact sheets, business cards, packaging, etc. Comes with all the benefits and involvement of an Editorial Board Member as described above. *This contribution may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    Special Listed Sponsor and Editorial Board Member — Be listed as a Special Sponsor on the Sponsors poster that will accompany all the other Inside Confucius infographic and augmented-reality panels as the story exhibits worldwide to demonstrate journalistic innovation. Comes with all the benefits and involvement of an Editorial Board Member as described above. *This contribution may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    Infographic print and Editorial Board Member — Receive a high-quality print of one of the story's augmented-reality infographic panels beautifully designed by project partner Column Five Media. These panels are objects of art in their own right, piquing interest and communicating on a visceral level even before people get close enough to consume specific story content. In addition, you will participate as an Editorial Board Member plus be listed as a Special Donor on the Sponsors poster accompanying the Inside Confucius story exhibit worldwide. *This contribution may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    Premium Sponsor and Editorial Board Member — You will be listed as a Premium Sponsor on the interactive Sponsors poster accompanying the Inside Confucius exhibit worldwide. Comes with all the benefits and involvement of an Editorial Board Member as described above. *This contribution may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    Interactive Premium Sponsor and Editorial Board Member — Become a piece of augmented reality yourself on the project's Sponsors poster. We will produce a video article using your personal comments and story related to the Confucius Institute. Then we will install it as a Layar interactive on the Sponsors poster accompanying the Inside Confucius story exhibit worldwide. Comes with all the benefits and involvement of an Editorial Board Member as described above. *This contribution may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

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  • Pledge $1,500 or more
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    Combined Interactive Print and Premium Sponsor listing — Receive a high-quality print of one of the story's augmented-reality infographic panels beautifully designed by project partner Column Five Media as described above. Plus you will be listed as a Premium Sponsor on the interactive Sponsors poster accompanying the Inside Confucius exhibit worldwide as described above. Comes with all the benefits and involvement of an Editorial Board Member as described above. *This contribution may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    Complete Infographic Set and Premium Sponsor listing — Receive a complete set of high-quality prints of all the augmented-reality infographic panels beautifully designed by project partner Column Five Media. These panels are objects of art in their own right even beyond their role telling the Inside Confucius story. You will also be listed as a Premium Sponsor on the interactive Sponsors poster accompanying the Inside Confucius exhibit worldwide as described above. Additionally comes with all the benefits and involvement of an Editorial Board Member as described above. *This contribution may be tax deductible. Unless indicated, no tangible benefits are provided.

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Funding period

- (30 days)