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Black Media Initiative Bridge Project: Audience Revenue

This free six-month program provides technology and design support for Black publishers looking to launch a subscription, membership or donation campaign.

The program is hosted by the Black Media Initiative, a project of the Center for Community Media housed at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY with support from Upside AnalyticsGet Current StudioNews Revenue HubPoool & SimpleCirc.

Black media is in a time of transformation. The once-stable business model of print advertising has been upended by the digital advertising boom. Digital advertising rewards the scale of high-traffic websites, making it much more difficult for Black publishers, who overwhelmingly serve local audiences, to thrive. Diversifying the revenue streams while growing their respective audiences will be critical to ensuring that Black media publishers have all the tools needed to flourish and establish sustainable business models.

Advertising will remain an important revenue stream for Black publishers and organizations like the National Newspaper Publisher Association; Black Owned Media Alliance; Black Owned Media Equity and Sustainability Institute; Group Black; and notable figures such as Byron Allen and Roland Martin are helping to get greater access to advertising dollars for Black media. Yet there is still a pressing need for support in terms of diversifying streams of revenue. The Bridge Project hopes to do just that: provide a pathway from a business model relying so heavily on advertising to one that includes digital and print advertising but also subscription, membership, or donation-based models of audience revenue.

This project will support publishers with a high potential for generating that kind of audience revenue as well as launch their own programs within a 10-week period. The Bridge Project will also provide ongoing support throughout the six-month period. The newsrooms will get technical support to add audience revenue modules to their website, analytics tools support to help them understand how to optimize their content to convert more of their audience to financially support them, and consulting to help craft tailored messaging and campaigns that resonate with their audiences. Best of all, this program is free to publishers.

Six newsrooms between January and July 2023 will be included in our inaugural cohort. Applications open Tuesday, Oct. 18 and close Monday, Nov. 14, 2022 at 11:59 pm PT. 

FAQs

You can apply through this link. Please only submit one application per newsroom. Applicants must have the support of their publisher.

Timeline

This is a line graph of the program's timeline. Applications are open from October 19 until November 14, 2022. The implementation period runs between January 9 and March 17, 2023. And the pilot program will run from March 17 until July 9, 2023.

Partners

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News Revenue Hub Logo
SimpleCirc Logo
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Contact Us

Have any questions about our program? Please contact us!

Cheryl Thompson-Morton

Cheryl Thompson-Morton
Black Media Initiative Director
cheryl.thompson-morton@journalism.cuny.edu
(Twitter) @cthompsonmorton