In 2019, the Center for Community Media expanded from a local, New York-focused organization to a national network intent on developing and nurturing collaboration with partners in key locations across the country.
We started working with partners to support community media outlets in Chicago and Los Angeles, public broadcasters serving rural areas and tribal lands across the country, and local newsrooms based along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In March 2020, CCM pivoted to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath on community media across the country. We launched a national needs assessment and resource campaign for community outlets. Major initiatives include assisting outlets in locating grants and applying for loans; offering ideas to diversify revenue streams and launching a leadership management initiative.
In the coming years, we look to expand our national network with collaborative relationships in other regions.
New York is the headquarters for CCM at the Newmark J-School. The city is home to about two hundred community media outlets, and CCM continues with its mission to empower community journalists, providing them with greater agency and impact as a sector and connecting them by maintaining an active network. CCM offers free training, fellowships and one-on-one coaching programs; hosts regular convenings; conducts research, showcases stories and facilitates access to public officials and civic leaders. The Center also serves as an information bridge between the local community outlets, NY city agencies and advertising agencies through its Advertising Boost Initiative to make sure the publishers receive a fair share of the city ad budgets.
Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA)
The Chicago Reader launched the Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA) in 2019 to uplift and promote both longtime and new, independent media in the city. CIMA is a coalition of sixty media companies and nonprofit newsrooms coordinating grants, advertising, and editorial projects to assist in strengthening the local media landscape.
CCM is the national partner for this alliance, and it offers resources and ideas to carry out shared interests, such as supporting research to advocate for more government ad spending in community media, amplifying the work of CIMA to a national audience, and connecting them with valuable resources.
National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB)
CCM is partnering with the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB), the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to community stations within the public media system. Their core services include: education and training; advocacy and representation; consulting; and facilitating peer-to-peer exchange through their listserve, strategic initiatives, and a national conference.
NFCB is based in Colorado, and assists CCM in developing research for media directories, creating local and regional networks and co-hosting convenings with local journalists, entrepreneurs, funders and community organizers. CCM amplifies the work of NFCB through its national network and newsletter, and connects its leadership and members with valuable resources.
CCM launched the Border Project with journalist Claudia Tristán, who will be developing a network of community media outlets reporting along the southern U.S. border, based in El Paso, Texas. The project will explore three possible programs: a collaborative reporting fellowship, a digital transformation program, and an audience engagement program.
In addition, CCM is exploring a partnership with nationally renowned First Amendment lawyers to offer free legal consultation and support to the outlets that are part of this network.
To learn more about CCM’s national expansion, please email CCM Executive Director Graciela Mochkofsky at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you want to stay informed about further developments, sign up for our newsletter.