WDET-FM and Detroit Public Television To Receive Funding for Local Journalism Engagement Efforts

The Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund awarded a total of $322,000 to media organizations as it aims to bolster local engagement and coverage of the city’s recovery.  The gift will go to six community-media partnership projects put forth by a total of 13 Southeast Michigan news and community groups, according to a news release. They include the Michigan Chronicle, ARISE Detroit, Detroit public radio station WDET and Detroit Public Television.

This is the fund’s first round of giving, after it launched last winter with the goal of protecting quality journalism that reflects Detroit’s diversity.

Support comes from the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the New York-based Ford Foundation and the Detroit-based Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

The local foundation is administering the fund. When it requested ideas earlier this year, it received so many “strong” applications that it bumped up the award pot from $220,000 to $322,000, the release said.

WDET-FM will be receiving $50,000.  The station and City Bureau, a Chicago-based nonprofit journalism lab, want to try out an approach to increase engagement in and coverage of public body meetings in Detroit with help from residents who will be trained as citizen journalists. The coverage would be aired on WDET.

Detroit Public Television will receive $48,000.  The station along with Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) and the University of Michigan’s Detroit Metro Area Community Study aim to develop content for DPTV’s “Other Detroit” series, using CDAD member organizations’ connection to neighborhoods and the study’s polling data.

The Knight Foundation’s support of the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund is part of its $2.4 million investment in Southeast Michigan journalism. The Ford Foundation also separately invested in the social media presence and community engagement of New Michigan Media through the journalism fund.

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