Black Lives Matter and the Future of Local Journalism

Sarabeth Berman
Jun 9, 2020 · 2 min read

As we continue to grieve the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of police and witness the extraordinary swell of peaceful protests across our country, newsrooms are wrestling with their role and their response. The American Journalism Project believes that news organizations cannot fulfill their mission unless they stand for the values of democracy and civil rights. That includes standing firmly against racism. Black lives matter. We stand with those who believe that journalism’s leadership and ownership need to evolve so that the news media is sustained by, governed by, and reflects the public it serves. Our mission calls upon us not only to replace what has been lost, but also to imagine and create a better, more inclusive media in its place. We are committed to acting accordingly. We recognize, and are fighting against, the history of philanthropic initiatives that support Band-Aid solutions rather than grappling with systemic problems. That starts with building our own organization on a commitment to anti-racism.

Today we are adding this statement to our website.

Here are a few of the resources and posts that we are reading and learning from in recent days and weeks:

Crisis Funding is Not Enough: Invest in Black Communities⁠ for the Long TermBorealis Philanthropy

In Memphis, Journalism Can Still Bring JusticeThe New York Times Opinion

PABJ statement on police brutality on journalists and the Black community — Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists

Chalkbeat’s pledge to readersChalkbeat

30 diversity, equity, and inclusion measures any newsroom can take — Holly Epstein Ojalvo

How funders can support diversity, equity, and inclusion in journalism — Democracy Fund

Journalism for Black Lives: A Reporting Guide — The Movement for Black Lives and Free Press

Tipsheet: How to create a more inclusive newsroom Investigative Reporters & Editors and Maynard Institute

American Journalism Project

Mobilizing a movement to support the local press our…

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