The first Ecosystem Builders meetup at Montclair State University in May 2017.7

Shoutout to Darryl Holliday: Participatory media powerhouse and local news legend

Joe Amditis
Center for Cooperative Media
3 min readJul 18, 2023


I’m so proud and happy for my friend and colleague Darryl Holliday, who just announced that he is leaving City Bureau after eight incredible years of building what can only be described as the single most innovative and impactful local journalism organization in the country.

I’ve learned so much from Darryl’s vision, leadership, and professional generosity over the years that I’ve known him. He has always been a mentor, partner in crime, and friend to me and so many others who share his passion for journalism that is rooted in community organizing, local news, civic education, and capacity-building.

We’ve worked together on some incredible initiatives, such as the Ecosystem Builders program and the Peer Learning + Collaboration Fund, that have helped strengthen and diversify the local news field by providing funding, training, and networking opportunities to newsrooms and journalists across the country.

I also want to acknowledge and appreciate Darryl’s work when it comes to building participatory media and democratizing journalism, which has been a guiding light for me and many others who aspire to create more inclusive, equitable, and responsive news ecosystems.

The first “Share + Learn” event at City Bureau in Oct. 2019.

Darryl has been a pioneer and a leader in developing and implementing practices that equip and empower communities in the production and distribution of local news and community information.

He serves as a consistent example of how to listen, collaborate, co-create, and empower those who are often marginalized or ignored by mainstream media. He challenges us on a daily basis — through his thought leadership, his intellectual and empathetic prowess, and his constant commitment to equity and justice — to question our assumptions, biases, and power dynamics that shape the way we do journalism.

His work has helped me personally to shape my own understanding and approach to local news and community information. Darryl has been instrumental in creating and nurturing a network of journalists, organizers, educators, activists, researchers, and funders who are committed to advancing participatory media and democratic journalism as a way to inform, engage, and transform our society.

Always reppin’ City Bureau.

He has been a catalyst for change and a source of inspiration for many of us who believe in the potential of journalism to serve the public good.

Darryl, I wish you all the best in your new role and I know you will continue to make a difference wherever you go. You have left an indelible mark on me and the field of local news more broadly.

As a ride-or-die supporter of City Bureau for life and a fan of everything you do, thank you for being an inspiration and a friend.

Joe Amditis is assistant director of products and events at the Center for Cooperative Media. Contact him at or on Twitter at @jsamditis.

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a primarily grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. The Center is supported with operational and project funding from Montclair State University, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, NJ Civic Information Consortium, Rita Allen Foundation, Inasmuch Foundation and the Independence Public Media Foundation. For more information, visit



Joe Amditis
Center for Cooperative Media

Associate director of operations, Center for Cooperative Media; host + producer, WTF Just Happened Today podcast.