Announcing Second Round of Community Network Grant Recipients

The Facebook Journalism Project and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism are pleased to announce 23 additional recipients of Community Network grants. Organizations will use these grants to support projects aimed at building community and new paths to sustainability in local news. In July, the first 23 grant recipients were announced. Our current round includes initiatives focused on new paths to sustainability, such as one from the Mendocino Voice which is launching a reader co-op. The Voice will build a membership program and offer readers a direct say and ownership stake in the news organization.

Another benefit for Community Network grant recipients is an opportunity to request mentorship for guidance on specific program outcomes, ideally from a former or current participant in the Local News Accelerator programs. In one example, Mississippi Today wanted to understand how to create fundraising messaging and events that reflect their value to the community. Berkeleyside’s Lance Knobel, who raised more than $1 million in a one-of-a-kind direct public offering, volunteered to share experiences in building successful membership and fundraising. Knobel and his team participated in our Local News Accelerator. A handful of additional recipients have also been matched with mentors and we are are looking forward to providing updates about their work together.

Keep reading for more about each project. Our next application window opens October 15 and runs through early November.

Facebook and Lenfest announced the program in May 2019. It is open to both non and for-profit news organizations as well as individual journalists. Projects do not require the use of Facebook tools or platform.

Current Grant Winners:
  • Alabama Media Group, Birmingham, ALSupport for Reckon Women, a 2,500-member Facebook group created in response to Alabama’s historic anti-abortion vote. Over the next several months Alabama Media Group will focus on leading civil discussions — in person, partnered with civic-minded community groups, and on social media about issues including abortion, purity culture, maternal mortality and workplace discrimination for group members and all women in the Deep South.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • The Baltimore Times, Baltimore, MDThrough the Community Conversations project, The Baltimore Times will act as a convener, bringing together decision-makers, neighbors and new leaders to join forces and move forward together to solve the city’s most pressing issues.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • The Brooklyn Eagle, Brooklyn, New YorkThe Brooklyn Eagle will tackle the traditional way gun violence is covered in urban areas by hosting community engagement sessions with victims, stakeholders in law enforcement, policymakers and advocates. Through these sessions they aim to challenge the way gun crime is reported — both locally and nationally — and dig deeper into underlying issues. Public reports will detail the process and results.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • City Limits, New York, NYThrough the relaunch of Voices of New York, City Limits will bring important local ethnic and community reporting to a wider audience. Articles from news organizations serving mostly immigrant communities in languages including Chinese, Bengali and Spanish will be translated and distributed through a weekly newsletter while local panel discussions will give readers opportunities to meet and engage with these community journalists.Grant Amount: $20,000
  • Climate Central, Inc., Princeton, NJClimate Central, UCLA’s Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies and Ethnic Media Services will partner to support 10 reporting fellows focused on informing underserved audiences on the hazards of wildfire smoke and connections to climate change. By distributing this work through ethnic media outlets, the partnership hopes to strengthen existing community networks to respond more effectively to these hazards and climate change.Grant Amount: $23,300
  • Connecticut Mirror, Hartford, CTTo build trust in underserved communities, CT Mirror will work with community organizations to solicit and publish written opinion and art from emerging artists that capture the impact of public policy in their lives.Grant Amount: $23,571
  • CPSA Courier, Flint, MIThe Flint Courier will recruit, train and host weekly editorial meetings with community journalists from the city’s nine wards. These community representatives will work with the editorial team and receive video and podcasting training, empowering them to identify and cover new angles on city’s water crisis.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Daily Freeman-Journal, Webster City, IowaThrough partnerships, the Freeman Journal will offer visual storytelling and community workshops with the goal of building a team of citizen photojournalists. Community forums will tackle conversations about media literacy, accurate visual representation and role of the media in rural Iowa.Grant Amount: $10,791
  • Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NYTo build stronger connections between people of color and the newsroom, the Democrat and Chronicle will spend six months in a mobile news space deployed to four locations where audience trust is low. Hearken and Groundsource will be used to help editors and reporters better understand the community’s needs.Grant Amount: $24,930
  • Dorsey Media LLC, Pembroke Pines, FLTo address the lack of business journalism accurately reflecting the vibrant Black innovation community, Dorsey Media will host a live summit to expose journalists, economists, researchers and investors to the Black tech ecoystem. This gathering will contextualize new trends, provide useful connection points, share market data, and give experts access to voices from local communities who are leading workforce development, entrepreneurship, and investment in new areas.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Glennoaks Media/QCityMetro, Charlotte, NCTo better understand how to grow and engage with their target audience, QCityMetro will conduct a survey of 500 Black adults in their coverage area to inform content strategy moving forward. All hypotheses will be tracked, tested and analyzed by a project manager.Grant Amount: $24,968
  • India Currents Foundation, San Jose, CATo address a lack of major candidate availability for the Asian-American community, India Currents will partner with Ethnic Media Services to host briefings with 2020 Presidential Democratic candidates and Asian-American elected officials. By expanding ethnic media access to candidates through conversations on key issues, voters from minority communities can make informed choices about who should represent them in the next elections.Grant Amount: $12,000
  • The Korea Times, Los Angeles, CAThe Korea Times will launch a family-friendly event series to provide the local community a fun opportunity to connect while sharing in Korean holiday traditions. Events will feature partners and activities designed to engage, connect and build trust within L.A. Koreatown’s multicultural community.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Mendocino News Media, Willits, CACreate a reader-worker co-op that offers readers a direct vote, and ownership stake in, The Mendocino Voice. A membership coordinator will run a membership drive that includes bi-monthly events.Grant Amount: $24,440
  • Morning Call, Allentown, PAIncrease trust in the Morning Call by connecting with our growing and traditionally underserved Hispanic community, of which 24 percent live in poverty. By deploying Hearken, deploying a survey and hosting events we hope to engage the community and learn about their needs, challenges and hopes.Grant Amount: $15,125
  • Next City, Newark, NJCreate a digital solutions journalism webinar series called, “Next Newark” to replicable ideas from urban planning, construction, tech and other civic sectors affecting residents. Each episode will include a moderated Q&A with guest presenters and are projected to earn 40% profit through donations.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • The OpEd Project Public Knowledge Fund, Inc., New York, NYTo help elevate opinion journalism as a method to augment a reader’s understanding of issues and events, the OpEd project will hold three community events. At these events, readers will learn the purpose of op-ed writing, learn the basics of op-ed writing and gain a better understanding of the opinion page’s purpose in their local newspapers.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • The Sahan Journal, St. Paul, MNFollowing meetings with Latino immigrant community organizations that serve them, Sahan Journal will conduct listening sessions and events to engage the Latino community in planning editorial focus and determining what digital platforms will be most effective in reaching audiences.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Scalawag, Durham, NCContinue building revenue through community with live events, online discussions, and digital skillshares that give communities a say in the stories about them. This project will support continued work that celebrates local art, activism and community-driven journalism in three hubs across the South.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Soapbox Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OHContinue work in our embedded journalism series, On The Ground. On The Ground will implement Groundsource, Open Newsroom and community advisors to reach and engage an underreported neighborhood in creating their own community-driven narrative.Grant Amount: $18,120
  • Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee, FLSolicit, train and work with community correspondents to continue coverage of rural counties impacted by Hurricane Michael in 2018. Following community meetings and trainings, our community contributors will be paired with newsroom mentors and editors. Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Up Tempo Media, Atlanta, GABlack Women Unmuted is a new collaboration that aims to bridge the disconnect between black women and the stories told by and about us by writing, editing or producing stories that better reflect and/or elevate coverage about black women.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • WHYY, Philadelphia, PAThis grant will support solutions journalism reporting and a community engagement series by the Keystone Crossroads team to produce and distribute in-depth pre-2020 election reporting in four Pennsylvania communities where residents feel underserved by local media.Grant Amount: $25,000
Previous Winners – 1st Round:
  • 100 Days in AppalachiaPilot a network of “context” creators (rather than content creators) to help reporters/editors cover the region with nuance and depth that prevents extractive storytelling, stereotypes and simplistic narratives. Produce toolkit with guidelines on how – and how not to – cover the region for release for the 2020 election year cycle.Grant Amount: $23,910
  • Block Club Chicago, Chicago, ILCreate a fellowship to cover and host community gatherings in the underserved Far South Side.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Carolina Public Press, North CarolinaEmbed reporters in food banks across North Carolina. Conduct listening sessions with food bank clients, community forums, produce stories and two online toolkits aimed at uncovering root causes and potential solutions to hunger.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Chalkbeat, New York, NYConduct a multi-city listening tour combining live events with online surveys to understand gaps in local education information.Grant Amount: $18,150
  • Crosstown LA, Los Angeles, CACreating new products to scale up data sharing with local newsrooms.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Detour Media LLC, Detroit, MIGrow membership to 50 percent of monthly revenue through a Community Powered Journalist program that includes citizen journalism trainings, public workshops, community meetings, Q&As and community interaction.Grant Amount: $24,900
  • Documented, New York, NYCreate a database sourced through public records that identifies New York companies guilty of wage theft and distribute this information to consumers.Grant Amount: $17,150
  • EducationNC, Raleigh, NCLaunch a six-month effort to build community and audience among students at North Carolina’s 58 community colleges through a series of town halls.Grant Amount:$25,000
  • High Ground News, Memphis, TNExpanding coverage of Memphis neighborhoods to include community contributors by providing residents with tools, training, mentorship and editing support from an assigned mentor and the news team.Grant Amount: $20,000
  • Injustice Watch, Chicago, ILPartner with community organizations and newsrooms to create a series of events called, “Know the System,” that will include panel discussions on various aspects of the criminal justice system.Grant Amount: $22,000
  • Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CAFund community forums and provide copies of monthly book selections to nonprofits and others in conjunction with the new Los Angeles Times Book Club.Grant Amount: $24,000
  • Mississippi Today, MSExpand our Mississippi expatriates efforts with events in nearby states, a monthly newsletter and an expat Facebook group.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Native American Journalists Association, Norman, OKNAJA’s goal is to increase the Indigenous voice in newsrooms from 0.2 percent to 2 percent within the next 10 years by targeting Indigenous student journalists with specialized training and mentorship.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Newsday, Long Island, NYPilot an obituary outreach program to tell the stories of Long Island residents currently underrepresented in media coverage.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Nevada Public Radio, Las Vegas, NVCollaborative reporting project focused on acute issues of rural healthcare access in Tonopah, NevadaGrant Amount: $24,782
  • Omaha Star, Omaha, NETackle responsible neighborhood development and gentrification in one of Omaha’s historically underserved communities through collaboration with neighborhood associations and deep reporting. The process will become a template for neighborhood leaders.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Outlier Media, Detroit, MIDevelop and test watchdog journalism products that can have value to both lower and middle income news consumers and share that research with newsrooms.Grant Amount: $24,000
  • Radio Ambulante, New York, NYDevelop and open source a platform for Listening Clubs, an engagement model for podcast listeners to organize independent gatherings based on audio journalism.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, UTCoordinate, analyze and report on a never-before conducted poll of Utah women where they face the nation’s widest wage gap. Host focus groups for targeted populations, including women of color, LGBT, youth and New Americans.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Spaceship Media, San Francisco, CAPartner with the local library for “On the Fence,” a conversation series aimed at building trust, connection and civic engagement in Douglas, Arizona, where a new port of entry has polarized and divided the community.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Texas Tribune, Austin, TXIncrease audience diversification, newsletter acquisition and involvement in the next election cycle by targeting people new to Texas and/or Texas politics through an “onboarding Texans” email campaign.Grant Amount: $25,000
  • Tyler Loop, Tyler, TXExpand successful storytelling events to promote diverse and fresh perspectives while building audience, increasing memberships and adding sponsorships.Grant Amount: $10,000
  • WURD Radio, Philadelphia, PACreation of community-sourced “WURD Show On The Go,” a new initiative rooted in community engagement and local news generation.Grant Amount: $25,000

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