WDET has received a $76,000 renewal grant from the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund, in partnership with City Bureau, to expand the City Bureau Detroit pilot, a citizen journalism project and local media partnership to increase awareness and coverage of Detroit’s public meetings.
Public meetings are important spaces for democracy where any resident can participate in civic life and hold public figures accountable. But how does the public know when meetings are happening? It isn’t easy. This renewal grant is crucial for WDET to continue its work with Chicago-based City Bureau, a nonprofit journalism lab that trains journalists to produce locally responsive news coverage. More information and updates on the project can be found at wdet.org/series/detroit-documenters-project.
“To build an even stronger future for Detroit, we need to provide the people who live here with more pathways to voice their needs, highlight opportunities and shape their city,” said Katy Locker, Knight Foundation program director for Detroit. “The Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund is helping to open these avenues by highlighting stories that often go untold and arming people with the tools they need to contribute.”
WDET is Detroit’s public radio station and a community service of Wayne State University, serving a growing audience of more than 200,000 weekly listeners in Southeast Michigan.
In total, nine journalism projects, representing collaborations of 18 Southeast Michigan organizations, will receive a share of $333,952. The Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, in partnership with the Ford Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. Launched in 2017, the fund has provided $650,000 since that time.
The Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund aims to strengthen local news coverage with projects designed to help journalists involve community residents in the reporting process. It supports the convening of media partners and grantees to exchange best practices of successful journalism and engagement models that might be replicated in Detroit. The Community Foundation for
Southeast Michigan administers the fund.
Led by a range of journalism organizations and community nonprofits, the projects focus on highlighting the stories of Detroit residents from all backgrounds, while creating more options for them to shape the local information landscape. They range from a race and justice reporting initiative that highlights issues affecting communities of color to workshops that advance citizen journalism. Each project works to promote a better future for Detroit driven by and in partnership with residents, expanding the capacity and impact of those working to create positive change.