The Local News Lab is a testing ground for the future of local journalism that supports people and their efforts to experiment with new ways of reporting, engaging communities, and sustaining news organizations of all sizes.
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We believe local news is a critical space for innovation, creativity, and community. Together, we want all local residents to have easy access to trustworthy, relevant, and abundant news and information. We believe that a highly-informed and highly-engaged citizenry is the foundation for a robust democracy and for healthy communities.
Here at the Lab, we highlight and report on experiments in local news, mull over challenges, and share the models and materials that practitioners and communities will find useful. We also take the lessons from national debates about the future of news and distill them down for the local news context.
We’ll share our experiments, and want you to share yours, too, so that other communities can build on them. We invite you to send us your work, and share your questions.
The Lab was originally launched by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to document and share their work building a more connected and collaborative news ecosystem in New Jersey.
In 2016, the Lab relaunched at Democracy Fund, one of the supporters of Dodge’s work on local news. Democracy Fund is a foundation working to defend American democracy and challenge it to be more open and just. Created by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, Democracy Fund has made more than $150 million in grants to support free and fair elections, a vibrant and diverse public square, effective and accountable government, and a just and inclusive society. In addition to grantmaking, Democracy Fund advocates for better solutions and works with partners to grow philanthropic support for our democracy.