As Jodi Rave, author of American Indian Media Today writes:
“Media in Indian Country are grappling with many of the same challenges around sustainability that face the rest of the journalism industry, but it is exacerbated by low levels of philanthropic support.”
This double-edged challenge is what led us to commission leading researchers and practitioners from around the country to write a series of reports featuring American Indian, African American, and Hispanic media in the United States.
We wanted to shine a light on the important role of media by and for diverse communities in the United States and learn more about the unique issues these various sectors of media are facing. And as funders who are invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion in media—both internally in newsroom staff and leadership, but also in the communities these outlets serve—we wanted to listen to media makers of color and identify opportunities to sustain ethnic media into the future.
We believe that every community member must have access to accurate, diverse, and representative sources of news to inform their everyday lives and enable them to fully participate in our democracy. Our hope is that other funders and advocates will join us in recognizing and supporting the important role ethnic media plays in fulfilling these needs.
Here is the full series:
American Indian Media Today. Through a series of interviews with Native media practitioners and experts, Jodi Rave of the Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance reports on the major trends and challenges for American Indian media today. The report also offers recommendations for funders and advocates who want to support the growth of independent news media in Indian Country.
African American Media Today. Angela Ford, Kevin McFall, and Bob Dabney of The Obsidian Collection provide a brief history of African-American and black legacy media, an overview of current trends and challenges, and offer recommendations for funders and advocates who want to support the growth and strength of Black publishers across the country.
Hispanic Media Today. Jessica Retis, Associate Professor of Journalism at California State University Northridge, provides a brief history of Hispanic media in the United States, an overview of current trends and challenges, and offers recommendations for funders and advocates who want to help support and sustain Hispanic media.
Democracy Fund has been working to build a robust infrastructure of support for these newsrooms through investments in organizations like the Center for Community and Ethnic Media, the Obsidian Collection, and our ongoing support of journalism associations serving journalists and media makers of color. In addition, our Ecosystem News strategy works with local communities around the US to support ethnic and community media locally, and our NewsMatch campaign helps build the long term capacity of newsrooms to build support from their communities. However, as these reports show, there is still a long way to go and much more work to do. In the coming months, we’ll be sharing more about how we are building on the lessons from these reports and deepening our support for media makers of color across the country.