A project of Democracy Fund

October 15, 2021

Local Fix: What media funders are thinking about this week


Welcome to the Local Fix. Each week we look at key questions in journalism sustainability and community engagement through the lens of local news. But first, we always begin with one good idea…

One Good Idea: Notice Who’s Not Included

The Atlantic’s new piece about the rise of Alden Global Capital in the newspaper business hit the Internet this week, and it also shared the news of the launch of a new nonprofit outlet in Baltimore. Advisors to the effort sought input from many of the headline-grabbing nonprofit newsrooms like the Texas Tribune, Daily Memphian, and The City in New York. But let’s not forget the many news leaders of color experimenting with serving their communities in new ways, like the dozens who recently were recognized by INN and LION in the groups’ awards this month (RSVP for LION’s by October 24!). Especially as efforts to track diversity in journalism are crucial, here’s to a more inclusive, transformative future of local news.

What We Learned at #JFunders21

We’re just off of the Zooms from the 2021 Media Impact Funders’ Journalism Funders gathering, and we deeply appreciated the big questions people raised around equity, power, journalism, and philanthropy. Here are some of the points that resonated the most with us: 

  • “Who controls the story controls the narrative which in turn shapes reality, the social fabric, and who wins and loses.” -David Morgan of @MMCADC [Multicultural Media Correspondents Association] at #JFunders21. This is why I love working in and around media. It impacts every single other thing I care about. — Alicia Bell
  • “Being a journalist means … you’re committed to building up this environment, more equitable and inclusive both *in your office* and *in the work you produce*.” — @Public_Ade in great conversation with @lollybowean — Christine Schmidt (that’s me!)
  • Funders can counter misinfo + disinfo from digital platforms by funding local news in specific places, orgs that reach specific groups targeted by bad actors, getting creative when thinking about ecosystems(!) and funding info access. — Lizzy Hazeltine
  • [Jean Friedman Rudovsky] of @ResolvePhilly with an incredible question and invitation: “What if we thought of journalism as a care profession? Where could that reimagination take us?” — Media Impact Funders

What are you interested in learning more about from funders of journalism like Democracy Fund? Reply to this email and let us know. 

We’re trying something new — here are some pieces and opportunities that caught our attention these past two weeks. Check them out:

Reads on Our Radar

Opportunities On Our Radar 

  • Apply for scholarships to IRE’s Diversity, Belonging, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium, for journalists, students, and educators of color and women who have less than three years of experience or are students. (Deadline Sunday!)
  • Bookmark this calendar from Mandy Hofmockel for internship deadlines. 
  • Join NewsMatch as program manager ($90,000 – $100,000 salary).
  • Fill out the JOC Worker Project survey, led by Carla Murphy: The research project aims to track “the needs, values and vision of current BIPOC journalists, as workers, in the U.S. journalism industry.” 

Have a nice weekend,

Christine and Teresa
@heres_christine and @gteresa

The Local Fix is a project of  Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program, which supports work that aims to transform journalism so everyone has access to information they need to participate in our democracy. The Fix was started by Josh Stearns and Molly de Aguiar.

Disclosure: Some projects mentioned in this newsletter may be funded by Democracy Fund. You can find a full list of the organizations here.
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