The Center will develop and share news content related to COVID-19 crisis impacts in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and statewide; diverse mix of Oklahoma news outlets ready to participate
(April 29, 2020) — Inasmuch Foundation and Local Media Association today announced plans to form the Oklahoma Media Center, a news collaborative for local media organizations in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and elsewhere in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Media Center will focus first on developing and sharing local and regional news content related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on communities in Oklahoma. Over time, the Center’s cooperative news reporting and curation may evolve to include other topics of strong significance to residents of the state.
The collaborative will include a diverse mix of news outlets, by design, to ensure that all Oklahomans are covered by the work of the center. News media organizations that expressed interest, and plan to attend introductory meetings about the Center, include: Oklahoma Watch, NonDoc, The Oklahoman, The Tulsa World, Griffin Communications, The Luther Register, The Frontier, KOSU, KGOU, Curbside Chronicle and others to be announced.
“The future of journalism is collaborative,” said Nancy Lane, chief executive officer, Local Media Association. “We are thrilled to bring this opportunity to Oklahoma and very grateful to Inasmuch Foundation for funding this important work. We are inspired by the impact that other collaborative groups across the country are having; we’ll share what we have learned to quickly get the Oklahoma Media Center up and running .”
Lane announced that Jim Brady, LMA consultant and longtime news media entrepreneur and executive, will serve as project manager for developing the Center, working with Jay Small, LMA chief operating officer.
“We are in the huddling-for-warmth phase of local journalism right now, and working together is the only path forward,” Brady said. “When I was running Billy Penn, we were a partner in Resolve Philly, and it was a wonderful and successful experience. So I’m excited to work with news organizations across Oklahoma and share those collaborative lessons.”
Lane and members of the LMA team were in discussions with Inasmuch Foundation about collaboration opportunities early in 2020. As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, Inasmuch and LMA accelerated conversations and arrived at a plan to launch the Oklahoma Media Center, inspired by established collaboratives elsewhere such as Resolve Philadelphia and Spotlight PA.
“Inasmuch Foundation is committed to supporting local journalism and strengthening Oklahoma’s news and information ecosystem coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic” said Tyler Tokarczyk, Inasmuch Foundation Program Officer. “Through the Oklahoma Media Center, we will listen to partners and identify resources that will provide the most benefit to our entire community.”
LMA and Inasmuch Foundation have initiated conversations with several other Oklahoma news media organizations to gauge their interest in participating and expect to add more soon, Lane said. Organizations interested in the Center may contact Jay Small at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About Local Media Association/Local Media Foundation
Local Media Association (https://www.localmedia.org/) is a thriving and innovative organization serving more than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, digital news sites, radio stations and research & development partners. LMA is the only industry trade organization that brings all local media together for the purpose of sharing, networking, collaborating and learning. The association’s focus is on reinventing business models for news. LMA’s innovation engine, Accelerate Local, launched six projects in 2019 with 50 different media partners. The Local Media Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable trust that supports the mission of LMA and the essential role of local news and information in a healthy democracy.
About Inasmuch Foundation
Founded in 1982 by Edith Kinney Gaylord, Inasmuch Foundation champions journalism, education, human services, and community to improve the quality of life for Oklahomans. The Foundation’s philanthropy is intended to enrich and enhance the quality of lives it touches; to lessen suffering whenever possible and to strengthen and support institutions and organizations in ways that benefit communities and the individuals we serve. Honoring Edith’s career and passion for journalism, her foundations have awarded over $60 million in journalism grants across 45 states, all supporting ethics and excellence in journalism.