In late August, the Local Media Association announced the 20 news organizations that will participate in the second cohort of its Lab for Journalism Funding. The lab will help these local news organizations develop and execute strategies to fund essential local journalism via philanthropy. The four-month immersive lab runs from September through December.
More than 50 companies applied to participate in the second cohort of the lab. The 20 newsrooms accepted include four newspapers in New England and are a diverse set of publishers in small and large markets — with a strong representation of family-owned outlets — and include three Black-owned and two Spanish-language publishers, as well as one broadcast news organization. What they have in common is a commitment to local journalism that serves audiences in their communities. LMA asked these news outlets to share their goals for joining the lab.
These are the quotes from the New England participants.
“As a family-owned company, we understand the importance of finding new ways to fund journalism. It’s critical to our communities that we put the time, effort and resources into developing strategies that will help our newsrooms provide coverage our readers want and need. We appreciate the expert guidance we’ll receive along the way, and we look forward to this next chapter of local journalism.”
– Steve Leone, publisher at Concord Monitor and vice president of news at Newspapers of New England
“I’m excited to be part of LMA’s Lab for Journalism Funding. I see philanthropic support of journalism to be an important means by which we can bolster our newsroom in the future. Gaining an understanding of how to incorporate an approach for that support into our operation will be incredibly helpful.”
– Terry Williams, president and chief operating officer at The Keene Sentinel
“We are very excited to be part of this great cohort. Since our participation and success in last year’s Local News Fund, we’ve had discussions about community- and philanthropy-funded journalism internally and with community organizations, and we feel like this is perfect timing for us. Our experience with the Local News Fund really opened our eyes to the potential of fundraising as a viable way to fund much-needed local journalism.”
– Carlos Virgen, assistant managing editor for audience development at The Day
“Local journalism is a public good, and the case for community support is undeniable. With the support of the Lab for Journalism Funding we will learn how to connect our public service to the impact mission of local philanthropy, to the betterment of our region.”
– Jo Easton, audience director at Bangor Daily News