Here are Black-owned independent media you can support right now

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Over the past week, we’ve been amplifying Black-owned and operated independent news media organizations on our social media. We wanted to bring together some of these organizations in one place. All of us at Indiegraf want to encourage you to not only amplify these organizations, but, if you have the means, to donate, subscribe or become a member.

First, two organizations that support Black journalists: the Canadian Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists. Both these groups advocate for Black reporters and offer mentorship and education opportunities. NABJ is currently raising funds for COVID-19 relief for its members.

Here in Canada, BASHY Magazine is a Toronto-based quarterly magazine made by and for Jamaica and its diaspora. (You can find their Patreon here.) ByBlacks is an award-winning online magazine serving the Black Canadian community. 

In the United States, there is a large community of Black-owned independent newspapers, many of them that have been operating for over 100 years. (While researching this story, I found out that many are struggling under the pressure of revenue losses from COVID-19.) The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder champions “voices and stories that might otherwise go unheard” in the state. The Philadelphia Tribune is America’s oldest and continuously published newspaper reflecting the African American experience. The Atlanta Voice provides a “voice for the voiceless without fear or favor” — and they need donations for their COVID-19 reporting fund.

In the digital media space, there are many new startups that have launched over the last few years. Beyond The Railroad, a news organization that tells stories through the lens of history, focused on race and culture, goes live next weekend. Flint Beat was launched in 2017 “to fill news gaps in an underserved community after Flint, Mich. residents said they needed more from their news coverage.” MLK50: Justice Through Journalism is a nonprofit digital news site focused on poverty, power and public policy. The Plug “humanizes Black people’s engagement in technology related markets and industries one investigative narrative at a time.”

This is by no means an exhaustive list — there are many more organizations out there. (There’s a list of independent Black-owned newspapers here.) We encourage you to check out our Twitter thread, which includes links to donation pages for many more outlets.

And as always, I’m always looking for innovative independent media to write about — if there’s a Black-owned newspaper or digital outlet I should do a story on, let me know ASAP. I’m also eager to take pitches from BIPOC writers who are interested in writing about where journalism and business meet. If that’s you, give me a shout

In the news

  • Journalists have been attacked by U.S. police more than 120 times since May 28. Does your newsroom, however large or small, have a safety plan for your reporters who are covering demonstrations? A good starting point might be these 23 guidelines from Poynter.
  • This week, we said goodbye to Civil, a blockchain-backed incubator for digital news startups. Founder and CEO Matthew Iles told Poynter that “he still believes that a self-governing, decentralized incubator for journalism startups has merit but would not predict how and whether the concept could be revived.”
  • Reporters Jessica Davey-Quantick and Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs take us inside their collaboration on a series of stories about the 20th anniversary of the founding of Nunavut, and what lessons newsrooms can learn about working together.

Opportunities

  • Big news: the second round of Indiegraf’s Independent News Challenge is opening for applications! You can find out more here. Applications are due June 19.
  • We’re also offering a new product: the Indie Network. The Network’s home is an exclusive Slack workspace where membership gets you access to exclusive community learning and funding opportunities from the Indiegraf team and the community as a whole. You can sign up here.
  • The Pulitzer Center offers local reporting grants on a rolling basis — perhaps a good opportunity to help shore up revenues during a difficult time.
  • If you’re a NABJ member impacted by COVID-19, you can apply for relief funds here.

Have a tip, pitch, question to ask, link to include, or opportunity you want to promote? Send it to me!

And one more thing…

Today, I leave you with the words of journalist Nam Kiwanuka.“Discomfort should not mean silence. Looking away won’t change the real-life consequences that others experience. So the next time you feel uncomfortable and would rather look away, ask yourself: Why is your discomfort more important than the very real wounds that are being inflicted on others?”

Read the rest of her story on TVO.org.

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