Newmark J-School’s Center for Community Media to Expand with New Knight Grant

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

The Center for Community Media (CCM) at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism is deepening its reach with a three-year grant of $2.01 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the largest single investment in CCM’s decade-long history. 

The grant renews Knight’s support of CCM following a $900,000 allocation in 2019 that allowed it to relaunch from a New York City-focused enterprise to a national resource  for media outlets serving Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, immigrant, hyperlocal, and other communities that have been underserved in traditional local media. The additional Knight funds will allow CCM to expand its successful Advertising Boost Initiative beyond New York. The ABI helped deliver a record $15.6 million in NYC government advertising to citywide community media in the fiscal year starting July 2020 and nearly $25 million in total through June 2022.

“The Center for Community Media’s Advertising Boost Initiative is really quite an extraordinary success story,” says Karen Rundlet, director of journalism at the Knight Foundation. “The Center produced research, directories, trainings, and materials to prepare community news outlets in New York City to win millions of dollars in advertising. They intend to share just how they did this with news outlets that serve communities of color across the United States.”

Amid converging crises of public health, racialized violence, and inequity that disproportionately impact immigrants and communities of color, CCM plays a key role in helping to sustain their most trusted news sources. CCM has produced original maps and directories as well as analytic research on diverse community media sectors; designed training and leadership programs specifically for community media publishers; developed tailored resources for community media journalists; and served as a bridge to political leaders, media advocacy organizations, professional associations, and foundations.

CCM also connects community and immigrant media outlets to one another so they can easily share best practices and experience the benefits of networking. This was achieved, in part, through collaborative relationships with regional partners in key locations, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, El Paso, and Denver.

“This latest grant is a wonderful recognition of the impact CCM’s work has had,” said Graciela Mochkofsky, newly appointed dean of the Newmark J-School who served as CCM’s executive director for the past three years. “The money will help us continue the expansion of CCM, through support of its Black Media, Latino Media, Asian Media, and the Advertising Boost Initiative, among its other efforts.”

CCM has raised more than $5 million in the past three years to fund activities that serve hundreds of local news organizations covering immigrants and communities of color nationwide.

With Mochkofsky taking on the role of dean, CCM is currently searching for an executive director. Visit CCM’s website to learn more about its research and programming.

Support for CCM from the Knight Foundation is part of its $300 million initiative announced in 2019 to rebuild the future of local news and information.