Lenfest Institute announces $242,000 in Beyond Print grants to support local news publishers building sustainable digital futures

January 8, 2024

People gathered around a phone reading the news.

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism on Monday announced it is awarding $242,000 in grants to 10 local news organizations through its Beyond Print program, which works with publishers to move away from print-centric revenue models toward a sustainable digital future. 

The funding will support experimentation in digital product development, new approaches to audience engagement, and enhanced revenue strategies with an overall goal of driving transformative change toward a print transition. The grantees were selected from a pool of more than 50 organizations who responded to an open call for applications.   

Beyond Print focuses on the changing opportunities and challenges for legacy publishers, providing grant funding, training opportunities, and accessible resources to help them build solutions for the next era of local news. 

The 2024 Beyond Print grantees and their projects are: 

  • Acción Latina / El Tecolote Newspaper (San Francisco, Calif.) – Hire a social media and communications coordinator and update advertising media kit to reflect the organization’s digital products ($25,000) 
  • Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine) – Offer complimentary access and create tutorials for digital products to encourage print readers to utilize digital subscription offerings ($25,000) 
  • The Bay State Banner (Boston, Mass.) – Develop multimedia news coverage focused on local communities of color to engage new audiences ($25,000) 
  • INDY Week (Durham, N.C.) – Create a digital counterpart for its annual high-revenue, print-centric local business guide ($25,000) 
  • J. The Jewish News of Northern California (San Francisco, Calif.) – Develop a branded content lab to help advertisers better connect with audiences and become less reliant on print ads ($25,000) 
  • Denton Record-Chronicle / KERA (Dallas, Texas) – Launch a community journalism startup within the company that utilizes email newsletters and other digital platforms to engage readers ($17,000) 
  • Long Beach Journalism Initiative / Long Beach Business Journal (Long Beach, Calif.) – Increase community engagement events and digital ad revenue sales to prepare for a planned reduction in print frequency ($25,000) 
  • Maine Trust for Local News (South Portland, Maine)– Expand the Varsity Maine statewide sports products to include video coverage that will reach new audiences and secure sponsorships ($25,000) 
  • Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project (Seattle, Wash.) – Launch a paid, curated newsletter and partner with community leaders/activists to encourage deeper digital engagement ($25,000) 
  • World Journal (Walsenberg, Colo.) – Redesign its website using the Newspack platform and launch a digital advertising program ($25,000) 

Beyond Print is currently funded by an anchor donation from the Andrew and Julie Klingenstein Family Fund. The program was launched in 2022 in partnership with the American Press Institute.  

“Any news organization that plans to serve its communities in the long-term needs to build a digital future, with compelling digital products and substantial digital revenue. Beyond Print provides grantees with the freedom to experiment and address these critical challenges,” said Lenfest Institute CEO & Executive Director Jim Friedlich. “The Lenfest Institute is proud to support these 10 news organizations, and we’re looking forward to sharing what they learn with the broader news community.”  

Grantees will share their results and key lessons in a forthcoming Beyond Print Toolkit so that these lessons can guide others in the news industry.  You can find updates on key lessons from Beyond Print here. If you would like to receive upcoming insights and updates, please complete this form.

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