Respected journalist helped manage creation of news collaborative with 10 leading Black-owned publications; now will oversee its growth
(January 6, 2020) — Nick Charles, a respected writer, editor and communications executive who worked with 10 Black publishers to shape the Word in Black news collaborative, has joined Local Media Association full-time as of Jan. 4 to be the collaborative’s managing director.
Word in Black is part of the Fund for Black Journalism, administered by the LMA-affiliated Local Media Foundation. Charles’ appointment will be critical to the execution of major new funding, announced in December, from the Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge to provide new resources that enhance the Word in Black collaborative. This new position is being funded 50% by LMA and 50% by the Facebook Journalism Project.
“I’m both humbled and excited to help manage this vital and innovative collaborative,” Charles said. “Long before majority-owned media extended meaningful coverage to and of African American and communities of color, the Black-owned press, for generations, meticulously and honestly reported on the daily hum of life that exists in these influential, close-knit enclaves. The Black-owned press is as important and relevant as it ever was, if not more so.”
Word in Black publishers have produced dozens of stories about the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 education in Black communities across the United States. Powerful national stories are also featured on WordinBlack.com, which will be built out as a full-featured, consumer-facing website powered by Newspack. Charles will recruit industry experts to consult with Word in Black and guide strategy for building an audience for newsletters, as well as growing a community contribution portal/membership model.
“We are thrilled to add Nick to the LMA team as a full-time employee,” said Nancy Lane, chief executive officer, Local Media Association. “We are looking forward to growing Word in Black in 2021 as a thriving, unique, and vital collaborative under Nick’s leadership.”
About Word in Black
Word in Black is the news collaborative arm of the Fund for Black Journalism. The mission is to foster solutions to racial inequities in America. The first journalism project, funded by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Walton Family Foundation, is focused on the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 education in Black communities. Partners include 10 of the nation’s leading Black publishers: New York Amsterdam News, The Atlanta Voice, Houston Defender, The Washington Informer, The Dallas Weekly, Sacramento Observer, Seattle Medium, St. Louis American, Michigan Chronicle and The AFRO-American.
About Local Media Association/Local Media Foundation
Local Media Association is a thriving and innovative organization serving more than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, digital news sites, radio stations and research & development partners. 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. 2021 projects include: Lab for Journalism Funding, The Fund for Local Journalism, Fund for Black Journalism/Word in Black, Oklahoma Media Center, Solving for Chicago, The Branded Content Project and much more.