AmNews awarded technology grant from Knight Foundation

The AmNews is one of 24 newsrooms receiving $20,000 grants to adopt or manage publishing platforms

AmNews Staff Reports | 6/22/2020, 4:43 p.m.
The New York Amsterdam News was one of 24 newsrooms recently awarded a grant from the John S. and James ...
New York Amsterdam News digital edition Image by Shakuro/Smartmockups

The New York Amsterdam News was one of 24 newsrooms recently awarded a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for technology and website enhancements.

On Monday, the Foundation announced the first 24 recipients of support from its $2 million, three-year technology initiative to strengthen digital publishing solutions in newsrooms.

After a competitive application process, the first cohort of 24 newsrooms was selected to receive $20,000 in grants for publishing tools that will improve distribution, community engagement and revenue opportunities, such as digital subscriptions and membership.

The first group includes a mix of nonprofit news organizations, small commercial community newspapers and new digital upstarts. Of the selected newsrooms, 58% are nonprofit organizations; 58% are led by or serve communities of color; and 42% are committed to delivering local journalism.

“Now, more than ever, it’s critical for newsrooms and publishers to adopt digital solutions that meet audiences where they are and provide new revenue opportunities,” said Paul Cheung, Knight Foundation director for journalism and technology innovation. “These outstanding news organizations now have the opportunity to leverage technology to maximize their revenue and better serve their communities.”

Knight funding will help news organizations achieve these goals with the publishing tools that prioritize and enhance audience development, business development and editorial content production.

“We are thrilled to be part of Knight’s technology initiative to strengthen local media and advance digital publishing solutions in newsrooms,” said AmNews Publisher and Editor in Chief Elinor Tatum.

The 24 newsrooms were selected from an applicant pool of 140 news organizations. Led by News Revenue Hub, an expert panel of industry experts evaluated each application on a basis of application strength, grant utilization, and industry.

“We really want these news organizations to become leaders in the media industry,” said News Revenue Hub Business Development Vice President Christina Shih. “The ​Amsterdam News demonstrated top marks in several areas that made sense for the organization and staff to execute solutions.”

The selection of newsrooms was managed by News Revenue Hub, a nonprofit organization that works with more than 50 publishers on building membership revenue, growing audiences and developing sustainable business practices. In addition to receiving funding, selected newsrooms will access training sessions, led by the Hub, on utilizing and leveraging business and audience development tools and strategies.