Local news organizations have struggled mightily to stay afloat over the past couple decades. And yet, trust in local media consistently exceeds that of national media. Maybe that’s not surprising: After all, you’re more likely to have faith in reporting by a nearby outlet than a faraway one.
At least, that’s how we feel at The Philadelphia Citizen, where we don’t just report the news: We report how we can solve Philadelphia’s biggest problems by digging into smart solutions. And then, we invite you into real, live, in-person conversations about solutions. (That’s what we’ll be doing this Friday, November 17 during our 6th annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival at the Comcast Technology Center. Hope to see you there!)
Lucky for us, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism agrees with these relatively new media tactics. Since 2016, the Philadelphia-based nonprofit has sought to strengthen community journalism by investing in it. In the past, they’ve supported civic and solutions-minded efforts such as Every Voice, Every Vote. They funded a study that found, among other things, The Citizen excelled as covering issues affecting Philly neighborhoods. Lenfest Head of Philadelphia Programs Shawn Mooring described our spunky lil’ solutions journalism nonprofit as “one of few local outlets that did a very thorough job in summarizing the issues that are of vital importance to Philadelphians.”
And, as of Tuesday, November 14, 2023, they’re helping us further our mission.
Local News Sustainability Initiative
The Citizen is one of 17 Philly-area news organizations to receive a portion of the Institute’s Philadelphia Local News Sustainability Initiative, “a two-year, $2 million grant program providing core operating support and capacity-building funding to nonprofit and for-profit local news organizations serving the Philadelphia region.” How much are we getting? $100,000. “funding focuses on notable sustainability drivers such as new revenue strategies, reaching new audiences, and the digital transformation of legacy news organizations.”
What will we use this cool hundred thou for? Increase social media outreach, data gathering, and make investments in both staff and equipment, thereby improving potential for revenue and overall sustainability.
Other recipients are African Cultural Alliance of North America, Billy Penn (WHYY), Chestnut Hill Local, Civic Capital Consulting / Generosity, FunTimes Magazine, Kensington Voice, Love Now Media, Newspaper Media Group, Esperanza, Philadelphia Gay News, PhillyCAM, Schneps Media – Metro Philadelphia, Technically Media, The Philadelphia Tribune, Trace Media, Inc. and WURD Radio. We look forward to seeing our fellow mini media giants at quarterly meetings.
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