Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund


The purpose of the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund is to increase the quality, outcomes and reach of journalism in the region, with an emphasis on engagement, innovation and the equitable recovery of Detroit. The Fund, through its grantmaking program, will seek to advance quality journalism while reflecting the perspectives of diverse constituencies including people of color, women and low-income communities.


The Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund was launched in March 2017 as a partnership between the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

The Fund is part of a $2.3 million overall strategy by the Knight Foundation to expand local reporting in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and involve community residents in telling the story of Detroit’s future.

The Knight Foundation is currently supporting five nonprofit media organizations with a total of $1.475 million. They include: Detroit Public Television (DPTV), Detroit Public Radio (WDET), Michigan Radio, New Michigan Media and the Center for Michigan’s Bridge Magazine.

Since 2013, members of the cooperative have combined their resources to produce multimedia projects and coverage about Detroit’s recovery. With the new investment, the cooperative will begin a new effort to connect the voices of Detroit’s residents with watchdog reporting coverage to help residents better address their concerns. New support from Knight Foundation, which works to strengthen local journalism nationwide, will continue the work of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative into 2018.

The Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund seeks to build on this activity by strengthening 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.

To this end, the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund will launch a new grant-making program in late 2017 of more than $500,000 to advance quality journalism and reflect the perspectives of diverse constituencies including people of color, women and low-income communities. In addition, thanks to the Ford Foundation investment, the Fund will invest further in New Michigan Media and its partner organizations, which include: the Arab American News, the Jewish News, Michigan Chronicle, the Michigan Korean Weekly, and the Latino Press. It will promote the efforts of New Michigan Media members to broaden their reach and deepen connection to the communities they serve.




The grantmaking activities of this Fund will not be launched until later in 2017, after a local scan of opportunities is completed.  If you would like to be added to the email distribution list to receive notification when guidelines are posted, please provide your information here:


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:

Katie Brisson

Vice President,

313.961.6675, ext. 122