As many of you know we’ve been working hard since we launched the BLCK Press newsroom in early May. And we've accomplished a lot! Here are the highlights:
We’ve built up a newsroom consisting of six reporters, equipped them with professional gear and trained them to report and edit their own radio and web stories. Each week they're paid to produce the “BLCK Press Culture Cast,” which airs on community radio stations WFNU, KRSM and WEQY. Whether it’s a festival celebrating Black women, or amplifying the fathers known as "daddy doulas" who are working to reduce birthing disparities for Black moms, our reporters are finding stories you don’t see published by mainstream newsrooms.
Our reporters are doing amazing things even outside the newsroom! Faaya Adem, was selected by the New York Times Corps program to be mentored by a New York Times reporter. Congrats Faaya! Jasmine McBride and Chioma Uwagwu are building their portfolios by getting their work published by organizations like Springboard for the Arts and Guthrie Theater. And Aailyah Demry returned to school this fall to pursue her B.A in journalism at Saint Cloud State.
Lastly, BLCK Press was chosen to join Tiny News Collective, a resource for start-up news organizations. With this network we'll have access to additional resources for our reporters. This collective starts just as we wrap up our participation in MNCup - a competition run by the Carlson School of Management for new companies. MNCup was an intensive program that helped us realize in order to sustain our work training young reporters we need to protect our organizational culture that's focused on people and not profits. For that reason, we filed for 501(c)(3) status and will house our training under BLCK Press Center for Broadcast Journalism. This allows individual contributions to be tax deductible and helps us qualify for grants so we can continue investing in the next generation of journalists.
So what's next? Our journalists are preparing their first on-camera reports. In partnership with SPNN, we're currently training our reporters in video production. This allows their powerful stories to be seen by a broader audience online and on local public access TV Stations. It also expands their skills and broadens the opportunities available to them in the future.
So how can you get involved? The most powerful way to support our work is free! Simply read our journalists' stories and share them with your friends.
Georgia Fort, BLCK Press Founder
Marianne Combs, News Director