Collaborative with three Ohio-based partners is fifth launch in a year for Local Media Association

(February 3, 2021) — Local Media Association is excited to announce the launch of Amplify Ohio, a diverse digital media coalition with partners Black Girl Media, The Buckeye Flame and

Nancy Lane

“Industry collaboration and sustainability for publishers of color are two of the four core pillars in the LMA 2020/2021 strategic plan,” said Nancy Lane, LMA chief executive officer. “We were attracted to this project because of the three individuals leading these companies and their strong desire to work together, not to mention the diverse audiences that they serve. This collaborative is different from any of the others that we manage. We can’t wait to see the results.”

This collaborative will focus on two key areas to start: working together on coverage of disparities in healthcare, and developing community funding for all three organizations.


“The lived impact of racial disparities for African Americans greatly impacts health outcomes and the quality of life for members of Black and Brown communities,” said Shana Black, founder and publisher, Black Girl Media. “Informing our community on how to access fresh food and quality health care, as well addressing the generational health care stigmas are key to improving the quality of life for our readers. We are thrilled to partner with The Buckeye Flame and ColumbusBlack to tell these stories in more compelling ways.”

Together, the three partners will publish stories focused on health disparities that impact Black and LGBTQ communities. Their storytelling will be collaborative, using available tools such as podcasts, videos, explainers and more.


“We have identified race as a public health crisis,” said Kevin Lloyd, founder and chief executive officer, ColumbusBlack. “Together we will work on stories that showcase this crisis with a solutions-journalism lens that will impact change that is way overdue.”

On the business side, the LMA team will work with consultants to launch a community contribution portal for all three publishers, with a common technology stack and seamless user experience.


“In order to create great journalism, we need sustainable business models,” said Ken Schneck, editor, The Buckeye Flame. “This partnership will directly enable the creation of content amplifying underrepresented voices that are simply not being supported by mainstream media outlets.”

Joe Matessa, principal at Modern Lens Media, LLC, will serve as the project manager for Amplify Ohio. Matessa brings nearly 30 years of experience in print and digital media organizations, including Newspaper Services of America, La Raza, and The Daily Herald in Chicago; Washington Post Media; and Dispatch Media Group and Prizm News in Columbus, Ohio.

This is the fifth collaborative launched by LMA in the last eight months. The others are Word in Black, Solving for Chicago, Oklahoma Media Center and LMA Covering Climate Collaborative.

LMA is the founding funder for Amplify Ohio. “We’re looking for other funders to join us,” said Lane. “This could be a powerful model that brings underrepresented media together for statewide collaboration across the United States.” Interested funders can contact Lane at

Amplify Ohio partners

The Buckeye Flame: Launched in June 2020, The Buckeye Flame stands as Ohio’s only statewide LGBTQ+ news and views platform. With the goal of covering every corner of the state, the Flame amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ Ohioans to support community and civic empowerment through the creation of engaging content. Lloyds of Columbus company, launched in May 2005 and serves to be the primary omnichannel source of news, events, and entertainment for the Black community in Central Ohio. ColumbusBlack has become a digital and virtual pillar highlighting social issues, activities and lifestyle interests to enhance and increase community engagement. Clients include local governments, small businesses, corporations, organizations and event hosts seeking to advertise, recruit and/or support the Black community.

Black Girl Media: Black Girl Media began with its flagship blog Black Girl in the CLE in November of 2016 with the effort of showcasing Cleveland from a Sisterly perspective. Since then the company has expanded to telling the stories impacting African Americans in Northeast Ohio with digital platforms and podcast shows. Black Girl Media also supports local and national media outlets by providing misinformation research, consulting services and community engagement event services.

Local Media Association: 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.