Jason Alcorn
Jul 2 · 3 min read

Since the American Journalism Project launched earlier this year, we’ve had the privilege to talk with and learn from more than a hundred local civic news organizations, and recently joined many of them at the INN Days conference in Houston, where a record number of nonprofit news organizations gathered to share, learn and build connections.

One of the things that struck us in every conversation is that while local civic news organizations are working to solve a common and interconnected set of problems, the communities they serve and the models for local news that will succeed are unique.

Today we’re excited to share that two new team members will join the American Journalism Project, each bringing experience that closely aligns with our values and mission. Alice Rhee is joining as Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships & Growth, and Michelle Srbinovich is joining as Managing Director, Civic News Organization Success. Their combined leadership and experience in local news entrepreneurship and philanthropy will be critical in helping us realize our mission to reinvigorate local news across the country.

While local CNOs are working to solve a common and interconnected set of problems, the communities they serve and the models for local news that will succeed are unique.

We look forward to Alice and Michelle joining our team. We have lots of work to do over the next several months, and we are excited to bring their extensive experience and passion into that process. This week we are inviting proposals for our first round of local investments and support. We continue to welcome inquiries from civic news organizations who are ready to grow their revenue-generating capacity and strengthen a sustainable model for local news.

Alice Rhee is a philanthropy executive, digital video strategist, and two-time Emmy award winning journalist. She worked in national news for two decades, including various editorial and production roles at NBC News and as a senior producer of digital video at The Washington Post. She also helped launch a short documentary initiative at the Tribeca Film Institute. Most recently, she was a media adviser to a private family foundation. She serves on the board of TheGuardian.org. In addition to being a key member of the leadership team, she will be responsible for all fundraising and development efforts, and will forge strategic partnerships to build American Journalism Project’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. Alice is based in Los Angeles.

Michelle Srbinovich joins the American Journalism Project from WDET Detroit Public Radio, where she was the youngest general manager of a major-market public radio station. Beginning her career in advertising, she earned national recognition throughout public media and nonprofit news for her commitment to bringing new audiences to public service media. At WDET, she drove audience, operating revenue, and philanthropic support growth for the first working U.S. model of mainstream, major market, multi-ethnic public radio. She is a strong and creative leader who will guide investments in qualified civic news organizations, and provide ongoing advice and counsel to CNO senior leadership. She will bring her experience driving growth to help local civic news organizations maximize operating performance and impact. Michelle is based in Detroit.

Since our launch in February, we’ve been encouraged by the discussions around our mission and funding criteria. We’ve heard from established civic news organizations and startups with strong local support — including several we learned about for the first time through this process. And we’ve been invited to consider where we can continue to do more to advance our mission of a new generation of a public service media which is governed by, sustained by, and looks like the public it serves. We said we’d be learning along the way and alongside our grantees and partners, and that’s, happily, been the case so far.

We welcome conversations and feedback. If you’re a civic news organization who wants to learn more, the first step is to look at our funding criteria and submit the brief questionnaire at the bottom. We are a small team, now getting bigger, but we review every inquiry and will contact you if we are interested in learning more. Foundations and individuals interested in learning about about how to support our work can get in touch with me at jason@theajp.org.

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American Journalism Project

Mobilizing a movement to support the local press our democracy deserves

Jason Alcorn

Written by

VP, Operations, American Journalism Project. Project Director, NewsMatch e: jason@theajp.org

American Journalism Project

Mobilizing a movement to support the local press our democracy deserves

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