Sustainability for publishers of color is one of our four strategic pillars. We execute on this pillar through our Digital Transformation Lab, the Fund for Black Journalism, and the Word In Black collaborative, among other key initiatives.

Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion: Local Media Association, Local Media Foundation, their boards of directors, leadership, staff, and partners are committed to creating, supporting, and sustaining an inclusive community. We strive to ensure that all of our programs, services, and content reflect a world that invites the broadest possible participation. We recognize, however, that while pursuing that ideal is desirable, our industry continues to struggle with representation, and sometimes our own work doesn’t achieve that North Star. LMA and LMF are strategically investing in local media’s future by specifically supporting diversity, equity and inclusive initiatives. 

Here are recent articles highlighting our initiatives toward sustainability for publishers of color, and toward diversity, equity and inclusion.

Adriana Lacy to help 26 Black news organizations in Knight x LMA BloomLab with audience strategy

New efforts will enable audience growth and deeper engagement (September 8, 2023) — Adriana Lacy, an award-winning journalist and consultant, has signed on to work with the 26 Black-owned local news organizations in the Knight x LMA BloomLab, focusing on strategies for digital audience development and engagement. Lacy’s consulting will include reviews of each publication’s […]

Knight x LMA BloomLab Year 1 Impact Report

Revenue growth, technology upgrades: A year in Knight x LMA BloomLab

In the year-plus since the Knight x LMA BloomLab launched, 18 Black-owned media organizations participating in the lab (10 in Cohort 1, eight in the more recent Cohort 2) benefited from substantial progress toward long-term sustainability. The lab, focused on sustainability for Black-owned local news media and supported with a $3.2 million grant from the […]

How a new CMS changed audience and revenue outcomes for small publishers: Knight report update

Progress ushered in after a new CMS launch takes time to show.  When we first published the report, “Digital content platform upgrades for small media outlets,” data from the four news companies — New York Amsterdam News, Houston Defender Network, The Atlanta Voice and Washington Informer — was insufficient to demonstrate the breadth and depth […]

How BIPOC news outlets leaned into their authentic voice to grow audience through custom video content

Twelve news organizations from the United States and Canada recently wrapped up the Video Business Accelerator, a cohort-based, virtual program with the Meta Journalism Project and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. All of the cohort participants were companies led by people of color. Local Media Association staff joined and participated in […]

System makes executing branded content a breeze for Knight x LMA BloomLab publishers

Branded content is a significant revenue opportunity for smaller publishers. Borrell Associates and The Meta Branded Content Project, in 2022 research, found the amount spent on content marketing has risen to $80 billion. This increase is one of the reasons the Knight x LMA BloomLab focuses on this line of revenue. Executing an engaging and […]

LMA + LMF 2022 Impact Report

At an industry gathering last year, Larry Lee, publisher of The Sacramento Observer (a Black newspaper founded 60 years ago by his father), shared that his organization went from fewer than four full-time employees to 14 in just 16 months. The gathering, hosted by the Knight Foundation, was focused on sustainability. Attendees stood and clapped. […]

3 reasons the local Black press has a strong future

Although we mostly concentrate on prominent people, businesses, and events from the past during Black History Month, it is imperative that we also focus on the future of the Black press.

Three lessons from our first succession planning workshop

Succession is a perilous time for small or family-owned businesses, and community newspapers are no different. We often hear from publishers whose papers have been in their families for generations, but who need a new path forward. We also know that papers published by and serving Black communities play an outsized role in our nation’s […]

What a new CMS meant for 4 small outlets: LMF releases Knight-funded project report

Does a new content management system for digital sites deliver enough return on investment to justify the time and expense needed to convert? That question is on the minds of leaders at many small news outlets, and Local Media Foundation decided to find out through a program to implement a new CMS for four legacy […]

Sustainability for Publishers of Color

Audience representation and digital transformation for Black-owned media

On March 16, 1827, John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish started the Freedom’s Journal in New York City. During the Civil War era, African American newspapers had grown to 40 publishers. In the 1920s and 1930s, major newspapers were ignoring Black America — including not even printing obituaries for African American people. So African American newspapers […]


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