Word in Black's journey from a pilot project to a public benefit corporation


The Word in Black website states a mission: "To be the most trusted news and information source for, about, and by Black people.”


Founded on June 7, 2021, just after the entire world witnessed the tragic death of George Floyd, 10 of the nation's most prestigious Black legacy newspaper publishers joined together to launch a collaborative online news presence to work together to serve their local readers and combine their resources and content into a single branded platform.


Word in Black was initially incubated inside the Local Media Foundation (LMF), a 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Local Media Association. As of January 1, 2024, as part of the original plan, the foundation has sold the assets to Word in Black's newly formed public benefit company. It will continue to provide support as a shareholder in the new entity.

Today, Word in Black boasts a newsroom with 10 full-time journalists and freelancers covering topics including health, education, finance, climate justice, religion and more — all outlined in their recently published Impact Report.

The 10 founding newspapers include:

In this episode of "E&P Reports," we explore Word in Black. This three-year-old online news collaboration includes 10 of the most prestigious Black newspapers in America that announced its transition to public benefit company status. Appearing along with Nancy Lane, co-CEO of the Local Media Association, whose foundation helped incubate the project, are founding members: Dr. Frances “Toni” Draper, CEO and publisher of AFRO News, Elinor R. Tatum, publisher and editor-in-chief of the New York Amsterdam News and Patrick Washington, CEO/co-Publisher of the Dallas Weekly.



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