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June 24, 2022

Local Fix: Connecting democracy and journalism

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Welcome to the Local Fix. Every other 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…

“It all starts with asking”

From posts to panels, there’s always more to learn about fundraising for local newsrooms. At INN Days, NewsMatch participants like India Currents, Futuro Media, and The Current in Georgia discussed building relationships with local donors, the mindset of abundance, and getting results with just a few more emails to prospective donors. And over at the News Revenue Hub, a new case study on Bridge Michigan describes the approach of “always be fundraising,” or remembering that it all starts with asking. The outlet is poised to raise $1 million in reader revenue, a goal set in 2018, by the end of this year thanks to Bridge’s membership team. How can you incorporate some of these tips into your own fundraising work? 
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Connecting democracy and journalism

You may have seen a particular post of ours make the rounds on social media over the years: How we know journalism is good for democracy. We’re planning to refresh it this summer with new research and context, and we know plenty of others who are also thinking about the connection between journalism and democracy lately. Amid this week’s congressional hearings about January 6, we’re seeing more projects like the Democracy Day collaboration and a report on how journalists can contextualize authoritarian threats. We’re seeing new roles for democracy editors and other reporters dedicated to covering the changes in American democracy. And we’re seeing funders step up in their understanding of that connection between journalism and democracy, more than ever before. Like Independence Public Media Foundation’s Molly de Aguiar pointed out, “If you are a funder whose community can’t get basic info, let alone in-depth, nuanced info – which people are begging for! – how do you, as a funder, expect your community to be equipped with the knowledge they need to fight for change?” Here are some of the recent reads we’ve been digging into on this. What else are we missing? 

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On our radar


Opportunities and events

Remember to get some fresh air,

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.

Disclosure: Some projects mentioned in this newsletter may be funded by Democracy Fund. You can find a full list of the organizations here.
Follow us on Twitter at @TheLocalNewsLab.

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