(July 29, 2020) — Local Media Association has forged a partnership with The Seattle Times to oversee curriculum for a lab being developed as part of the association’s new Center for Journalism Funding.
Fifteen publishers will be invited to join this lab, which will focus on strategies to fund journalism through philanthropy. Applications will open in early August; the lab will launch in mid-September and operate through the end of March. It will include a diverse mix of publishers including newspapers, broadcasters, digital news outlets, for-profit, non-profit, public and more.
Joaquin Alvarado, executive director of Project Accelerate at The Seattle Times, will lead the effort.
Alan Fisco, president of The Seattle Times, said, “We’ve been long-time proponents of identifying alternative funding for journalism. For nearly 10 years, The Seattle Times has partnered with philanthropic, corporate and individual donors to underwrite portions of our newsroom staffing and coverage. We’re excited to partner with LMA to bring our learnings and best practices to other publishers in the hopes of sustaining local journalism.”
LMA and lab faculty will measure success by the incremental revenue raised by the group. The initial goal is $2.25 million raised by June 30, 2021, an average of $150,000 per media organization.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Joaquin and the team at The Seattle Times on this important initiative,” said Nancy Lane, chief executive officer of LMA. “When it comes to funding journalism through philanthropy, no for-profit media company does it better than The Seattle Times. They’ve been at it the longest and have the best track record of success.”
Google News Initiative is providing funding to launch the lab. LMA will hire a managing director for the Center who will focus on working with the 15 lab participants on their execution strategies. The managing director will also oversee LMA’s fundraising efforts for the Fund for Local Journalism and the Fund for Black Journalism.
Chief Executive Officer, Local Media Association
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