August 10, 2022 — Local Media Foundation will begin accepting applications Aug. 10 from Black-owned and operated local media outlets to participate in the Knight x LMA BloomLab.

LMF will select eight additional local media outlets to join 10 publishers currently participating in the BloomLab, a three-year $3.2 million immersive experience of Black-owned local media outlets funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The application period will open Wednesday, Aug. 10. The deadline for the final submission of all applications will be 8 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, Aug. 31. 

The BloomLab includes three full-time, dedicated directors who work with the media outlets and other Local Media Association/Local Media Foundation staff members who serve as subject-matter experts in reader revenue, branded content, philanthropic funding and more. Selected media outlets will participate in the initiative’s final two years, focusing on technology upgrades, business transformation and shared learning opportunities. Participants will also qualify to receive technology stipends of $50,000.

“The Knight x LMA BloomLab is a truly immersive experience for Black locally owned and operated media companies that are serious about digital transformation,” said Nancy Lane, CEO, Local Media Association. “While the $50,000 technology stipends are a big part of this initiative, the bigger value comes from the cohort experience and having daily access to a team of three highly experienced digital media executives.”

The need for trusted local media voices to articulate the issues, accomplishments and developments of the Black community remains paramount. Since the reckoning of 2020, many brands and advertisers have recognized the importance of local Black-owned and operated media outlets to both reach and advocate for Black communities.

The BloomLab will serve as a vehicle to support participating media outlets in driving digital revenue and audience growth while also helping to improve operational efficiency.

John Celestand, program director for the Knight x LMA BloomLab, serves as the project organizer, lead communicator and thought leader for the initiative. “The BloomLab has provided each of our current publishers with the support and resources they need to continue on the track to sustainability,” Celestand said. “We are excited to continue this work with an additional eight Black-owned and operated media outlets.”

The BloomLab is free to participating media outlets thanks to continued support from the Knight Foundation. Eligible participants must:

  • Be Black-owned and operated
  • Serve a local audience
  • Serve a majority Black audience

Important information

We expect to announce the selected applicants in October 2022.