Six local journalism projects receive over $200,000 in grants from the Community Foundation’s Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund

In Press Release

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation have given $1.3 million to journalism projects in southeast Michigan.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has announced that six journalism projects will receive a total of $208,333 from the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund. Grants from the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund total $1.3 million over the past five years.

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

The fund, through its grantmaking program, seeks to advance quality journalism while reflecting the perspectives of diverse constituencies including people of color, women and low-income communities.

“We are thrilled by the work and impact of the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund,” said Ric DeVore, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

“It is important that our community’s diverse views are represented in local media coverage. The recipients selected this year are working to address existing barriers in journalism, expand local media partnerships, involve residents in the reporting process and increase connectivity and transparency.”

2022 Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund grantees include:

  • Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL) received $43,423 for their DEAL Race and Justice Reporting Initiative (Phase III) to create a virtual newsroom and establish a racial justice news beat in Detroit to strengthen the freelance journalist ecosystem. In addition, DEAL staff will provide programming to participating journalists including one-on-one coaching, mentorship opportunities, workshops, a radio bootcamp, and “Meet the Editors” event.
  • Outlier Media Products, LLC received $42,000 to expand the Detroit Documenters program by launching a nonprofit newsroom hub. Outlier will establish a talent pipeline of freelance opportunities for Detroit Documenters with member media partners. The media partners – Planet Detroit, Tostada Magazine, Chalkbeat, WDET and Metro Times – will be publishing Documenters pieces and notes.
  • ARISE Detroit! received $39,800 to help Detroit residents find solutions and strategies to improve their neighborhoods. ARISE Detroit! will create a monthly 1-hour podcast in partnership with WWJ Radio, develop a Neighborhood Solutions Handbook, and expand the online newsletter.
  • Riverwise Magazine received $20,000 to grow its podcast products focused on community-building and grassroots organizing. The organization will also host monthly Riverwise collective workshops and develop a “pop-up” podcasting series to include Detroit residents and continue to build its network of grassroots organizations and media outlets.
  • Urban Aging News received $18,110 to create a Super Ager column that will highlight interviews of older adults that don’t fit society’s standards. Retired investigative reporters will write on critical issues to older adults. Also, Urban Aging News will create a DEI training for the partner Michigan State University journalism interns.
  • Planet Detroit received $45,000 to develop an online interactive environmental tool/navigator for Detroit residents. The online portal will have easy access to research, data, and information about local public health and environmental issues in neighborhoods.

“The Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund is a great example of what happens when the goal is centered around community,” says Nate Wallace, Detroit director, Knight Foundation. “The importance of an informed and engaged community is as important as it’s ever been.”

The Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund seeks to strengthen local coverage by supporting a mix of different projects and approaches designed to help journalists engage community residents in the reporting process. The Fund seeks to promote the digital transformation of local news organizations by supporting journalism innovation and new digital tools. The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan manages the Fund.

Learn More About the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund