American Journalism Project Invests $3.15 Million in Three Local, Nonprofit News Organizations
Support will help nonprofits serving New Orleans, New York City and Native communities build sustainable growth models and reach audiences lacking access to quality local news
WASHINGTON — July 20, 2022 — The American Journalism Project today announced $3.15 million in new support for three nonprofit news organizations: Verite, a sister newsroom of Mississippi Today launching this fall in New Orleans, ICT (formerly Indian Country Today) and New York City-based THE CITY.
Since 2019, the American Journalism Project has committed nearly $37 million to 34 local nonprofit news organizations. The first venture philanthropy dedicated to local news, the American Journalism Project’s unique model focuses on helping nonprofit news organizations grow their business teams and revenue capacity, while also giving its grantees personalized and strategic support.
“The market failure in local news has left Americans in crisis — people across our country are strapped for the information they need to participate in our democracy and live healthy, thriving lives,” said Sarabeth Berman, CEO of the American Journalism Project. “Anyone searching for solutions to the crisis in local news should take a close look at what these organizations are doing to build trusted and sustainable news for communities.”
Data from the American Journalism Project’s 2022 Impact Report shows its grantees grow by an average of 67 percent in the first year of their grant. The American Journalism Project attributes this success to its unique venture support model, which provides each grantee organization with tailored support, including funding, one-on-one guidance, capacity building resources, peer learning opportunities and other tools to strengthen their business and revenue operations.
The grantee organizations will use the new support to reach audiences not currently served by existing news operations. More on the grantees:
- Verite, a new sister news organization of Mississippi Today, will launch in New Orleans this fall. Today’s announcement marks the first news of the Verite newsroom. Both Verite and Mississippi Today will be part of a forthcoming network of mission-driven, local news organizations that serve states in the Southern U.S. The news organization will use funding from the American Journalism Project to undergo a comprehensive planning and recruitment effort.
- ICT (formerly Indian Country Today) is a leading news organization covering Indigenous people and issues throughout the country. The organization received a strategic planning grant from the American Journalism Project in 2021 to plan for expansion into new local markets, including building on its current efforts in Washington, D.C. and Alaska. ICT will use this new set of funding to build shared reporting relationships in seven communities throughout the U.S., with the ultimate goal of building local bureaus throughout the country.
ICT serves Native people throughout the Americas, including American Indians and Alaska Natives, through its website, social media, newsletter and daily, half-hour public television broadcast. The broadcast, “ICT Newscast with Aliyah Chavez,” is carried on 39 stations in the United States, Canada, and Australia, and on tribal radio stations, 97 community access stations, and numerous cable and streaming services. This month the Friday edition of the newscast was picked up by the Boston-based World channel, which is carried by 195 partner stations and reaches 75 percent of all PBS stations.
- THE CITY is a nonprofit news organization that produces free-to-read beat, investigative and explanatory journalism across the five boroughs of New York City. It aims to be deeply responsive to the communities it serves, and is committed to driving deeper and richer democratic engagement. With this new funding, THE CITY will build a durable, resilient and effective institution to better meet the information needs of the largest city in America. As the organization grows and expands, it will continue to refine its audience strategy and to expand its existing partnership model as it seeks to become the leading accountability and service news organization in New York City.
In December 2021, the American Journalism Project closed its first fund, which supported its first 32 grantees. The grants announced today mark the first investments in nonprofit news organizations from the organization’s second fund, which aims to raise another $60 million by 2024. Laurence Baer, the Hellman Foundation, the Lubetzky Family Foundation and the Seedlings Foundation are joining the American Journalism Project’s community of supporters with investments in its second fund.
About the American Journalism Project
The American Journalism Project is a venture philanthropy dedicated to local news. We believe in civic journalism as a public good and are reimagining its future by building a model to finance and sustain the local news our democracy requires. We make grants to local nonprofit news organizations to build their revenue and business operations, partner with communities to launch new organizations, and mentor leaders as they grow and sustain their newsrooms. To learn more about the American Journalism Project, visit our website.
The Beacon | Block Club Chicago | Capital B | Centro de Periodismo Investigativo | Chalkbeat | THE CITY | City Bureau | Cityside | The Connecticut Mirror | Documented | El Paso Matters | Houston Local News Initiative | ICT | inewsource | Louisville Public Media | Mississippi Today and Verite | MLK50: Justice Through Journalism | Montana Free Press | Mountain State Spotlight | The Marshall Project | The Nevada Independent | NOISE | Ohio Local News Initiative | Open Campus | Outlier Media | Sahan Journal | San José Spotlight | Spotlight PA | Underscore | VTDigger | WFAE | Wisconsin Watch and Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service | Wyofile