A project of Democracy Fund

July 22, 2022

Local Fix: Celebrating all kinds of wins


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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…

Double check your language

Building on the efforts of other style guides and language tipsheets, Vox Media recently published a thoughtful resource called Language, Please. “At a time of changing standards, our aim is to provide the greater context of these debates, dig into some history you might not have known about a term, connect related terms, and inform thoughtful decision-making,” the team wrote in announcing the resource. Check it out for all your future questions on using certain terms more accurately, practice with some editing exercises, and hire inclusivity readers in their directory to add more understanding to your reporting
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Celebrate each step

Congratulations are in order for several leaders in the transformation of journalism! Many recently announced milestones in the money they’ve raised but more importantly the work that they’ve done and will continue, while spreading their mission and models across the U.S. We’ve been lucky to learn from these organizations over the past few years and hope you can take a few minutes to check them out too. What else have you been celebrating these days? Reply to this email and let us know.

🎉 American Journalism Project invested more than $3 million in three local news organizations as part of its second fund of investments (so, more to come!). ICT (formerly Indian Country Today), The City in New York, and Verite in New Orleans will join the other three dozen outlets equipped with AJP’s resources to build their business teams and revenue capacity. 

🎉 New Jersey’s Civic Info Consortium increased its annual funding from the state, going from a hard-won $500,000 in 2019 to now $3 million in the coming fiscal year. The consortium has already been supporting efforts such as a statewide Creole language online radio program for the Haitian community, an oral history project examining efforts to clean up Newark’s drinking water, and a reporter focusing on mental health across the state. 

🎉 The Pivot Fund kicked off its goal of granting $500 million to independent, community news organizations led by Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and other people of color who are trusted sources for the communities they serve. The first $2 million will go to projects in Georgia such as Pasa La Voz Savannah, a Facebook page sharing information about Savannah with close to 15,000 followers; a collaboration between Davis Broadcasting, Georgia’s largest and 36-year-old Black-owned radio network, and The Courier Eco Latino, a local bilingual news outlet that transitioned from newsprint to YouTube; and more.

🎉 City Bureau earned a $10 million grant as part of the Stronger Democracy Award, which it will use to expand its Documenters program to Atlanta, Fresno, and Omaha. As Teresa put it, “This award is also an indicator of a growing understanding of the vital role information and local news plays in our democracy. Would a project related to journalism have won this award five years ago? I don’t think so.”

🎉 Five collaborations announced exciting developments in the past few weeks alone. (Shoutout to Stefanie Murray for rounding up a bunch of them!) Keep an eye on the International Consortium of Investigative JournalistsWHYY’s N.I.C.E.The Ohio Newsroom (a statewide public media collaboration), the University of Maryland’s new local news collaborative, and Baltimore Pipeline of Working and Emerging Reporters (P.O.W.E.R.), a partnership of The Real News Network and Just Media. 

None of these would be possible without teamwork, dedication, and trust developed over time. Each step of building more equitable local news ecosystems is worth celebrating, whether big or small. 

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On our radar

Reads

Jobs and professional development

Events and other opportunities

Celebrate something soon,

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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