This week’s tragedy could have been avoided. For months, AAPI women in journalism have been sounding the alarm on the dramatic rise in racist and xenophobic attacks. Unfortunately, their calls were not only largely ignored by the public and policy makers, they were also minimized within their own news outlets. This historic silencing of the AAPI community, and AAPI women especially, must end.

This is why we are committed to supporting AAPI women’s leadership in journalism. …


As part of our series of conversations with journalism leaders serving communities of color, I spoke with Alvaro Gurdián, Vice President of Operations at La Noticia, on how they’re adapting to COVID-19. La Noticia is a for-profit, print and digital news outlet that has served the Latino community in North Carolina for over 23 years. Alvaro and I met on the journalism conference circuit last year, and Democracy Fund proudly supports La Noticia through the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund.

Below is a lightly edited recap of our conversation.

LT: We’re now several months into COVID-19, and La Noticia has…


In late September, the LA Times editorial board wrote, “For at least its first 80 years, the Los Angeles Times was an institution deeply rooted in white supremacy.” This editorial was the start of an eight-part series interrogating the Times’ history of racist coverage and its failure to represent the communities it purported to serve in staffing, stories and sources. This deep reflection is a good first step for the paper, and a necessary one for the entire industry. …


As part of our continuing conversations with journalism leaders centering communities of color, I recently chatted with Jiquanda Johnson, the founder, publisher, and executive editor of Flint Beat, a digital news site serving the Flint, MI, community. Johnson, a veteran journalist from the Flint area, launched Flint Beat in 2017 to fill news and information gaps in the community, after community members expressed the many ways in which existing news coverage was not meeting their needs. Democracy Fund proudly supports Flint Beat through the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund.

Below is a lightly edited recap of our conversation.

LT: Tell…


As part of our series of conversations with equity in journalism leaders to see how they are adapting in light of the current pandemic, I recently chatted with Jodi Rave, executive director of the Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance (IMFA), a nonprofit media organization that aims to fill information gaps for American Indian communities in the Great Plains. Democracy Fund proudly supports IMFA’s publishing arm, Buffalo’s Fire through the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund.

In 2018, Democracy Fund published American Indian Media Today, a report authored by Rave that took a deep dive into the history and current state of Native…


I recently chatted with Wendi C. Thomas, founder, editor, and publisher of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a Memphis-based nonprofit news outlet focused on economic justice, about how her organization is continuing to serve the community during the current pandemic. Wendi and I have met on the journalism conference circuit, and Democracy Fund proudly supports MLK50 through the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund. Below is a lightly edited recap of our conversation.

LT: For most of the world, we are living in unprecedented times. What is the role of media in a moment like this, specifically community media?

WT: I think…


2020 was already shaping up to be crucial to the health of our democracy, with a no-holds-barred election and a Census that will influence funding for years to come. Now, it turns out to be crucial to our health, period. If journalists are not engaging all citizens with trustworthy information and relevant storytelling, the COVID-19 pandemic will only worsen.

That’s why, over the next year, the Engaged Journalism Lab will focus on engaging funders to support equity in journalism.

Our latest post at the newly-refreshed Engaged Journalism Lab site explains exactly why supporting equity in journalism is so important at…


Here at Democracy Fund, we’ve been focused on addressing our grantees’ shifting needs, and finding ways to support engaged journalism during the global coronavirus crisis. As this pandemic continues to impact our country’s most marginalized communities disproportionately, we’ve become more sure than ever that it’s crucial not only to fund journalism, but to fund equitable journalism.

What do we mean when we talk about equity?

The “E” in “DEI” — equity — is often overlooked when compared to diversity (bringing more voices to the table) and inclusion (making sure these voices are included and valued).

That’s because equity challenges us…


Journalism has long fallen short of reflecting the diversity of the communities it purports to serve — something that is fundamental for supporting a healthy democracy. Last year, we released research from Dot Connector Studio that explored philanthropic support for increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in journalism from 2009–2015. We commissioned this research to learn how funders are investing — or not investing — in field-strengthening organizations working to make journalism more diverse and representative. What we found — unsurprisingly — was a significantly under-resourced field.

Now, we are turning to solutions. Our latest report, Advancing Diversity, Equity, and…


By Jessica Retis

Today we’re releasing Hispanic Media Today: Serving Bilingual and Bicultural Audiences in the Digital Age, a new report that explores the origins of Hispanic* media in the United States, its growth in recent decades, the complex nature of Latino media and its diverse audiences. The report is an exploration into the challenges and opportunities to sustain Hispanic media in the future.

As with other media sectors, Hispanic media is facing significant financial hurdles due to the virtual disappearance of traditional advertising. Following rapid growth in the 1990s and 2000s, Hispanic daily newspapers have seen more than a…

Lea Trusty

Program associate at Democracy Fund working on all things engaged journalism. Former Newman's Own Fellow at WSHU Public Radio.

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