Local News Partnerships
We are thrilled to announce 30 news organizations joining the Facebook Journalism Project’s Accelerator programs for reader revenue in North America. More than half (55 percent) are owned or led by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and/or other communities of color, and 75 percent focus on local news.
The Accelerators will run from April 20 through mid-July, followed by a six-month period to execute specific grant-funded initiatives. Grants will be distributed by the Local Media Association, our partner in these two programs.
“We are delighted and encouraged to see the diversity of applicants overall, and the selected participants in particular,” said Jay Small, chief operating officer of the Local Media Association. “We at LMA are familiar with quite a few of the participants, and know their strong commitments to quality local journalism. Others are new to us but show those same commitments. We look forward to seeing them all grow through their work in the Accelerators.”
Participants were selected from nearly 300 applications by Facebook staff, Local Media Association staff and Accelerator coaches based on a demonstrated impact on their community, commitment to the program’s requirements and their readiness to pursue their biggest business opportunities.
While we opened separate applications
for subscriptions and memberships programs, we decided it was more important to group participants by size and scope. Larger publishers with 30-100 employees will comprise one group, and smaller publishers with 15 or fewer employees will join a second group. A mix of subscriptions and membership revenue models will be represented in each cohort.
Geographically, these newsrooms represent 16 US states, one US territory (Guam), and three Canadian provinces.
We are particularly grateful for the help of Accelerator alumni who recommended so many outstanding publishers for this iteration of the program. Half of those accepted were nominated by prior Accelerator participants.
“It’s been so incredibly inspiring to see the Accelerator family grow over the last three-plus years,” said Tim Griggs, founder and CEO of Blue Engine Collaborative and the Accelerator’s global executive director. “Now we’re seeing this awesome community of alumni encourage and support other teams in their quest toward sustainability and growth.”
In North Carolina, Accelerator alum Hilda Gurdian, publisher and CEO of La Noticia, encouraged another Charlotte-based publisher, QCity Metro, to apply to the Accelerator.
“Participating in the Accelerator gave us the knowledge to create and maintain a successful membership program, and we wanted the team at QCity Metro to have the same opportunity we had,” Gurdian said. “We are so happy that QCity Metro has been accepted into the program and will get the chance to learn from coaches, expert speakers and other publishers.”
In Canada, three new outlets (La Converse in Quebec, Peterborough Currents in Ontario and The Breach) will join this Accelerator after launching with resources and training through Indiegraf
, a network of independent community news publishers founded by Accelerator alumni Erin Millar and Caitlin Havlak from Canada’s The Discourse. “The Discourse’s experience in the Accelerator in 2019 showed us that the tactics that are driving reader revenue growth for the big players could work for small independent publishers too,” Millar said. “We’ve been thrilled to share those lessons by helping new startups get off the ground through Indiegraf, and it’s gratifying to see these indies growing to a place where they can benefit from the Accelerator.”
We’ve split these 30 publishers into two groups roughly based on the size and scope of their operations.
The publishers participating in the Accelerator for larger publishers are:
(Maryland), America’s longest-running African American family-owned newspaper.
Black Press Media
(British Columbia, Canada), one of Canada’s largest privately owned media companies. Operating more than 140 trusted local brands with some of the most established newspapers in BC, Yukon, Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.
(Illinois), a media company creating and curating political and cultural coverage by and for Chicagoans, including highlighting underrepresented communities and stories.
(Illinois), the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in Chicago.
(California), which operates three community newspapers, six community and lifestyle websites and publishes specialty publications and digital media enterprises on the San Francisco Peninsula and the East Bay.
(Iowa), Eastern Iowa’s leading daily newspaper and an independent, employee-owned source for local, state and national news coverage.
The Guam Daily Post
(Guam), a daily newspaper and the island’s fastest growing media outlet providing local news coverage and content from a team of award-winning, veteran journalists.
The Hill Times
(Ontario, Canada), Canada’s leading political and policy news source.
Long Beach Post
(California), a daily online source for local news, politics, business, life, sports, food and LGBT issues.
(Connecticut), an independent, family-owned company anchored by its daily and Sunday newspaper, the Record-Journal, plus a group of weekly, community newspapers that cover Central Connecticut.
(Missouri), a daily community newspaper serving Southeast Missouri, based in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
The Sumter Item
(South Carolina), the oldest continuously family-owned newspaper in South Carolina, serving Sumter County and the surrounding area since 1894.