The New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative — a group of news, academic and community organizations working together to cover chronic problems with a solutions lens — recently approved an agreement for Local Media Foundation to provide consulting and administrative services, as well as fundraising support.
The 26 news organizations and six community partners in NYMI SOJO came together in April 2021, from separate New York State and Michigan groups, to become the first interstate collaborative formed and supported by Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit with the mission to advance solutions journalism.
“Our mission at SJN is to advance the practice of solutions journalism, and through the Local Media Project we focus on solutions news collaboratives in local media ecosystems. We are thrilled to partner with the Local Media Foundation to steward NYMI SOJO to success and long term sustainability,” said Liza Gross, vice president, Practice Change at the Solutions Journalism Network.
LMF, a 501(c)(3) charitable trust affiliated with Local Media Association, will provide these services to NYMI SOJO:
- A fundraising program to accept tax-deductible donations specifically for the work of the collaborative.
- Financial, operational and administrative support.
- Consulting and training services, particularly on topics related to business transformation and long-term sustainability of the collaborative members.
“We looked at more than a dozen candidates for the collaborative’s fiscal sponsor, and the Local Media Foundation stood out for its experience with founding and managing organizations like ours,” said Shiraz Ahmed, project editor for the collaborative. “This relationship will be an important one as the collaborative looks to be more ambitious with our reporting on solutions to these regions’ biggest problems.”
NYMI SOJO members chose, as their first project, Invisible Army: Caregiving on the Front Lines, reporting on successful responses to challenges experienced by caregivers of older and disabled adults. The collaborative’s website highlights coverage to date on this topic. The project is supported by grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York and the Knight Foundation.
“As we continue moving forward with the New York and Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative, it becomes essential that we find ways to sustain our efforts,” said Hayg Oshagan, director of New Michigan Media, a network of ethnic and minority media in Southeast Michigan including the Latino Press, Arab-American News, The Detroit Jewish News and Michigan Korean Weekly. “This alliance with the Local Media Foundation will help greatly in that regard, both by allowing us to raise charitable contributions, and for the experience they bring to the table.”
“Joining forces with the Local Media Foundation will help our collaborative enhance its mission of reporting on potential solutions for caregivers of older adults” Randy Gorbman, director of news and public affairs at WXXI Public Media in Rochester, New York. “We’re thrilled to have an organization like the Local Media Foundation bring its administrative services and fundraising support to our collaborative!”
NYMI SOJO becomes the eighth collaborative in a partnership with, or operated directly by, LMF and LMA. Others include Word In Black, Oklahoma Media Center, Solving for Chicago, the LMA Covering Climate Collaborative, Amplify Ohio, Solving Sacramento and News Is Out: A Queer Media Collaborative.
“We’re grateful that the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative chose the LMA/LMF team as a resource to help advance the group’s important work,” said Jay Small, chief operating officer of LMA and LMF. “We are so impressed with this group’s commitment to solutions journalism, in particular the coverage of meaningful solutions for caregivers. Beyond our operational commitments, we hope to help the members of NYMI SOJO, individually and as a group, with consulting toward business transformation and growth.”
About Local Media Association / Local Media Foundation
Local Media Association brings all media together to share, network, collaborate and more. More than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, digital-only publications, and research and development partners engage with LMA as members or constituents of our programs. As a 501(c)(6) trade association, LMA is focused on the business side of local media. Its programs and labs focus on revenue growth and new business models. LMA helps local media companies develop their strategies via cutting-edge programs, conferences, webinars, research and training.
Local Media Foundation serves as the innovation and transformation affiliate of LMA. Incorporating our four strategic pillars — business transformation, journalism funded by philanthropy, industry collaboration, and sustainability for publishers of color — LMF helps provide local media companies the strategies and resources for meaningful innovation and impactful journalism projects.