Local Media Association has been awarded $200,000 in funding from the Google News Initiative to pilot and develop story-sharing technology for the LMA Covering Climate Collaborative.

LMA will partner with Distributed Media Lab to develop and curate story sharing tools that can be used by the 23 local newsrooms in the climate collaborative to expand the audience and reach of their original, local climate reporting; and to develop new revenue streams to support that reporting. DML technology will enable curated collections of regionally relevant climate stories to be easily incorporated in participating newsroom’s websites, and enable monetization of those collections.


“While climate change is a global crisis, living in Northern California and being married to a firefighter makes this feel very personal to me,” said Chrissy Towle, head of news, Americas Partnerships Solutions at Google. “So I am thrilled that the Google News Initiative is able to support the LMA on a new collaboration focused on advancing high quality journalism on this very important topic. On top of the essential reporting in this field at a local level, the GNI is excited by the potential to develop new revenue streams that will support critical reporting projects like this one around climate, and more in the future.”


“DML is excited to provide the technology platform for this important collaboration on a topic so vital to our survival,” said Dave Gehring, chief executive officer of Distributed Media Lab. “The DML distribution platform, using AMP as a syndication format, enables efficiently scalable content syndication across the open web. We are particularly excited about how this new form of open web syndication empowers sustainable new media business models that will drive new revenue for quality participating publishers.”


“With support from Google News Initiative and technology from DML, we will be able to amplify the reach and audience for the trusted local reporting done by newsrooms in the Covering Climate Collaborative, and help those newsrooms develop revenue streams to support continued coverage of this critical issue,” said Frank Mungeam, chief innovation officer, Local Media Association. “We hope this story-sharing approach can ultimately be used by other news collaboratives as well.”

The one year of funding will cover the cost to develop and implement regionally focused climate story collections; curate those collections to optimize for audience reach and engagement; and work with local newsrooms to monetize their climate coverage.

LMA launched the Covering Climate Collaborative on Earth Day 2021 with a mission to humanize and localize the impacts of climate change, and empower residents in local communities to take informed, meaningful action.

The 23 newsrooms in the climate collaborative include Pulitzer Prize-winning publications such as The Times-Picayune of New Orleans and the Miami Herald; top local TV newsrooms like KGO-TV (San Francisco) and KPRC-TV (Houston) as well as digital startups such as Planet Detroit. These news outlets have committed to local reporting on climate change and its impacts, including stories localizing the findings of the latest global IPCC report, reporting that examines climate change through a social justice lens, and reporting that focuses not only on problems but also responses and solutions.

Science and journalism partners in the collaborative include Climate Matters, Climate Communication, SciLine, the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, Solutions Journalism Network, and the Society of Environmental Journalists.

About Local Media Association

Local Media Association is intensely focused on helping local media companies develop new and sustainable business models. LMA brings all media together to share, network, collaborate and more. More than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, directories, digital-only publications, and research and development partners engage with LMA as members or constituents of our programs.

About Google News Initiative

The Google News Initiative works side-by-side with publishers and journalists of all sizes to build a more sustainable, diverse and innovative news ecosystem. GNI offers a range of resources, products and digital expertise to support the advancement of quality journalism, stronger and more sustainable publisher business models and collaborative solutions that spur progress across the industry.

About Distributed Media Lab

Distributed Media Lab, a leading content syndication platform for quality publishers and brands, provides hundreds of local news publishers with new revenue streams derived from an innovative approach to content marketing and distribution tailor made for the unique aspects of the open web. DML powers a unique content experience that benefits local publishers by bringing quality content from across the web to a consumer experience that maintains an audience onsite optimizing the publisher’s potential to monetize their quality and engaged audiences. For more information, visit www.distributedmedialab.com.

About Covering Climate Collaborative

The local news outlets in the LMA Covering Climate Collaborative include publishers recognized as leaders in local climate reporting, three TV broadcast groups, multiple public radio stations, as well as digital-native climate websites. The partners are grouped into five regional hubs.

East/Southeast includes The News & Observer (N.C.), The Post & Courier (S.C.), The Miami Herald, WJCT Radio, WJXT-TV Jacksonville, WKMG-TV Orlando, and Florida International University’s South Florida Media Network (Fla.).

The Gulf Coast group includes The Times-Picayune and WWNO/WRKF Radio (La.), KPRC-TV Houston, and KSAT-TV San Antonio (Texas).

In the Great Lakes, WBEZ Chicago (Ill.), Great Lakes Echo at Michigan State University, Planet Detroit, and WDIV-TV (Mich.).

In the Southwest, participants include ABC15-TV (Phoenix, AZ), ASU/Cronkite News (Phoenix, AZ), The Paper (Albuquerque,NM) and NMPBS (N.M.).

The West includes The Sacramento Bee, KGO-TV San Francisco, Southern California Public Radio (Calif.), and Investigate West (Wash.).