The American Press Institute awarded grants to five news organizations participating in the Mobilizing News sprint for alumni of the Table Stakes Local News Transformation Program. Each participating organization received $3,000 to support its community listening efforts. 

Since June, the cohort has been learning from industry experts about growing trust with communities and creating workflows that support audience listening. The teams conducted community canvassing and have begun planning listening sessions to help them learn about new opportunities to serve and partner with their communities. 

“The teams participating in the Mobilizing News sprint for Table Stakes alumni have discovered new ways to engage their communities by identifying strengths and opportunities for partnership through listening,” said Kamaria Roberts, API’s deputy director of local news transformation. “We are excited to support the teams as they continue this work of deepening their community relationships and growing trust.”

Each organization received funding to support the following community engagement work:

  • The Buffalo News will host a moderated discussion about media coverage of communities of color and hold a Q&A with newsroom leadership and reporters.
  • The Fayetteville Observer will host a listening session at a Black-owned venue to connect with new key sources along with an informal follow-up event in December with these same women.
  • The Kansas City Star will host a social mixer to connect Black small business owners participating in their listening series with each other, Star journalists and members of The Star’s Black Community Advisory Board.
  • The News Journal a.k.a. Delaware Online will host a listening session at a local coffeehouse focusing on Wilmington-area Black women, primarily mothers, ages 25-40, who are interested in improving their quality of life with better housing, education and income opportunities. 
  • Texas Metro News will host a listening and engaging activity event at AMF DeSoto to reach the community-based segments of the Dallas-Fort Worth population interested in building, uplifting, mobilizing and educating their communities.

Additionally, each organization will continue to receive coaching from Elma González Lima Brandão, Najja Parker, Jesse Wright and Carlos Virgen.

“We want to impress the women who attend our event,” said Myron Pitts, opinion editor at The Fayetteville Observer. “These are leaders and professionals, and they are important to us in our efforts to better reach the community. The American Press Institute grant will help greatly with that.”

The sprint program and grants are funded by The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, a joint initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

For more information, please contact Kamaria Roberts at If you are interested in potentially participating in a similar program, please fill out this form.  

About the American Press Institute

The American Press Institute helps develop, support and sustain healthy local news organizations with a focus on civic discourse and democracy; culture and inclusion; community engagement and trust; and revenue and resilience. We believe that for democracies to thrive, people need accurate news and information about their communities, the problems of civil society and the debates over how to solve them. That requires a financially sustainable free press that reflects the diversity of American society and understands the needs of its communities. API is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization affiliated with the News Media Alliance.

About the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund

With a focus on sustainability and equity, The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund is designed to strengthen local journalism at scale, by supporting journalistic excellence and serving the information needs of communities. The Knight-Lenfest Fund collaborates with news organizations, leaders and communities to grow capacity and meet journalism’s technology, business, and audience realities of the future. It believes that journalism is at its best when it is of service. The Knight-Lenfest Fund is a joint venture of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

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