Helping to Increase Quality Local Journalism

In Press Release

Grant program launched to help increase quality local journalism with support from Knight Foundation, Ford Foundation and Community Foundation

Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund will support efforts to better inform communities on issues of civic concern through innovations in reporting and community engagement

DETROIT— (September 25, 2017) The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, on behalf of its partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Ford Foundation, will support media outlets and their community partners in the discovery of ideas that advance the field of journalism locally in tangible, concrete ways — ways that encourage collaborations that spark innovation, experimentation and learning.  Applications will be accepted through Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2017.

The focus of this pilot grantmaking effort is to:

  • Reinforce robust, investigative journalism and beat reporting in the region with a focus on equity for people across the city and region;
  • Explore the role of ethnic media and small-scale media partners;
  • Encourage media outlets to tap into the strengths and resources already present in the region to explore;
  • Evaluate the quality and community value of news, and to
  • Support new and innovative collaborations that increase resources for reporting and expand its reach.

It is anticipated that $220,000 will be granted in this pilot round.  Grantseekers can find more information at

The announcement of this grantmaking program is the newest activity of the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund, which was announced in March.  This overall $900,000 effort aims to strengthen local coverage with a mix of different projects and approaches designed to help journalists engage community residents in the reporting process. The fund will also help support the digital transformation of local news organizations by supporting journalism innovation and new digital tools.  This grantmaking program was built, in part, based on finding from an initial scan of local journalism.

Already, the Fund has made a multi-year investment in New Michigan Media, a network of leading ethnic and minority newspapers. It will promote the efforts of New Michigan Media members to broaden their reach and deepen connection to the communities they serve.

The Fund will also support regular workshops and convenings of media partners and the journalism community in Detroit to exchange best practices and learn about other successful journalism and engagement models that might be replicated in Detroit. The Fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For over 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. For more, visit

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development, and civic affairs.  Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $951 million through nearly 62,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties.  For more information, please visit  


Colin Bowyer, Communications Manager, Community Foundation, 313-961-6675,

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, Knight Foundation, 301-908-2646,

Joshua Cinelli, Chief of Media Relations, Ford Foundation, 212-573-5128

More about the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund