American Press Institute awards grants to 21 news organizations as part of its 2024 Election Coverage and Community Listening Fund

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The American Press Institute awarded grants to 21 news organizations as part of its 2024 Election Coverage and Community Listening Fund. The grants will help local and community-based media across the country augment their community engagement work around local elections and beyond.

One of API’s main areas of focus is Civic Discourse & Democracy to ensure all people have the information they need to make decisions and thrive. API supports local news organizations by providing resources to cultivate productive community discussions and strengthen democracy. In 2022, API extended 31 grants to empower newsrooms to implement community listening in their election coverage, and in 2023, API partnered with 17 news organizations as part of the Civic Discourse and Community Voices Fund.

“We believe in helping news organizations conduct experiments that improve their coverage and sustain trusted community relationships,” said Michael  D. Bolden, API’s CEO and executive director. “It is a vital part of the work newsrooms are doing in 2024 and should be doing every day.”

The projects will start immediately and run throughout this election year. The fund recipients represent nationwide community organizations and local news outlets from across 15 states, from Hawaii and Utah to Kentucky and Virginia. The grantees also represent an array of platforms, including print, digital, radio and broadcast. The recipients’ projects will help their communities and lead to additional API resources this year and into 2025.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL 2024 GRANTEES:

ABC10 (California) will expand engagement efforts through an in-person survey assessing the election information needs in highly populated areas with communities of color, which will inform non-partisan voter information and reporting.

Atlanta Civic Circle (Georgia) will expand its Atlanta POV initiative, conducting election-related focus groups with BIPOC voters to inform and build toward a regional survey panel on key issues facing metro Atlanta.

Baltimore Beat (Maryland) will build on its Youth Voter Guide, conducting more listening sessions and then reporting on how people in power directly impact young people’s lives—from their schools to their transportation to their access to public spaces.

Black Voice News (California) will develop non-partisan voter forums that complement a collaboration with the Divine 9, a network of nine African American fraternities and sororities, that discuss the importance of voting and provide resources around local governance.

Charlottesville Tomorrow (Virginia) will expand its community-informed 2024 Voter Guide, increase outreach, including to rural Central Virginia, and improve its usability on mobile devices.

Conecta Arizona (Arizona) will develop the in-person version of its online cafecitos and experiment with visuals designed to limit polarization and political violence around elections.

The Dallas Morning News (Texas) will expand its voter-focused products, including launching a newsletter-based and digital “Voter Academy” tool and a culturally tailored, Spanish-language guide for new and occasional voters, accompanied by deep, solutions-oriented enterprise content on voter apathy and disenfranchisement.

Detroit Free Press (Michigan) will expand its Voter Voices project with the American Communities Project, increasing the use of an email-based advisory group and adding more reporting and visuals that amplify perspectives of Michiganders.

Haitian Times (nationwide) will enhance reporting, story distribution and in-person engagement around the Haitian American vote, including through an in-person convening in Florida and more Creole content to help inform older Haitian Americans.

Honolulu Civil Beat (Hawaii) will expand its Pop-Up Newsroom series with focused sessions on local elections, including in contested districts and undercovered rural areas.

LAist (California) will expand its Make it Make Sense newsletter to help residents understand campaign finance ahead of the elections and to experiment with Make it Make Sense content on social media.

Louisville Public Media (Kentucky) and its Kentucky Public Radio partners will expand their statewide voter guide information to engage rural communities through print and digital versions.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin) will expand upon its Main Street Agenda partnership with the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, adding town halls and facilitated discussions to provide voters information on the issues they rank as their biggest problems.

Mississippi Free Press (Mississippi) will plan and co-host election-focused “solutions circles” with Youth Media Project teenage journalists to assist with and inform their development of an election guide and digital projects.

Radio Ambulante Studios (nationwide) will collaborate with local organizations to expand engagement around audience-organized Listening Clubs in Texas, Florida and New York, deepening relationships and informing reporting around Latino voters in this year’s elections.

Rocky Mountain Public Media (Colorado) will deepen community listening and

expand its capacity to recruit partners and county-wide ambassadors as part of Above the Noise, a statewide collaboration with local newsrooms this election year and beyond.

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) will host in-person conversations with young Utahns around the elections, leading to deeper relationships and new social media-friendly opinion content.

San Antonio Report (Texas) will expand engagement by creating election guides, hosting candidate town halls, conducting a community survey and implementing two-way texting.

The Missoulian (Montana) will conduct community listening and reporting on tribal reservations at community events, gathering places and campaign activities to inventory the promises tribal politicians make to their voters and their connections to national congressional races.

The Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism at WHRO (Virginia) will expand community engagement with a “Democracy at Work” series and an associated gallery project that will explore how Virginians engage in representative democracy.

VT Digger (Vermont) will expand and increase translation of its “How To Vote” resource to 14 languages most commonly used by Vermont’s multilingual communities, and based on community feedback, explain how the offices people are voting for are designed to serve them.

About the American Press Institute:

The American Press Institute supports local and community-based media through research, programs and products that foster healthy, responsive and resilient news organizations. API envisions an inclusive democracy and society, where communities have the news and information they need to make decisions and thrive.  API is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization affiliated with the News/Media Alliance.

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