RALEIGH — Facebook says it’s committed to supporting local journalism, and now it’s living up to its word by awarding grants to two fledgling North Carolina media outlets this week.
The tech giant, with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, awarded a $19,524 grant to Raleigh Convergence, a bootstrapped local media company. The group plans to fund content created by community members in traditionally underreported neighborhoods: Southeast Raleigh, Knightdale and Cary, in addition to a general Raleigh audience. It will include newsletters, events and social groups.
“With the new neighbor project, the Raleigh Convergence will help new Raleighites (and Cary residents) learn more about the place they’re moving to, get connected to other neighbors and become engaged new residents,” the group says on its website.
The second recipient is Enlace Latino NC, North Carolina’s first nonprofit digital news organization in Spanish, which received an $18,000 grant to fund a project giving the state’s Latinx voters access to information about the 2020 U.S. elections through a Spanish-language digital election calendar and town hall community events.
“Our mission is to empower the state’s diverse community of Latinx immigrants to become more involved in the political and social changes that affect them by publishing independent, non-partisan, public service journalism about local politics, government, immigration, and community affairs,” its website says. “Our growing reputation has positioned us as a reliable political compass and information bridge for this community and the nonprofit and grassroots organizations that serve them.”
The organizations join 28 other recipients pf Community Network grants this month. In addition to funding, they will be matched with mentors to receive guidance on specific program outcomes, from industry leaders as well as former or current participants in the Facebook Journalism Project’s Local News Accelerator programs. We are looking forward to providing updates about their work together.
Josh Mabry,Facebook’s local news partnerships lead, said community is the heart of its mission at Facebook, and local news is central to building strong communities where people live.
“Across the country, we’re investing in programs that strengthen the connection between journalists and the communities they serve while jumpstarting ideas that can help address core business challenges in the local news space. These projects serve as case studies that all publishers can learn from– building a network of professionals focused on building the future of sustainable journalism.”