News is Out, a queer media collaborative of six of the nation’s legendary LGBTQ+ publications, and Word In Black, a collaborative of ten of the nation’s legendary Black publishers, are joining Comcast NBCUniversal for a groundbreaking initiative: The Digital Equity Local Voices Lab. Through Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to advance digital equity and economic opportunities, the company is donating more than $1 million to launch this first-of-its-kind Lab that supports coverage of Black and LGBTQ+- topics in the media and supports emerging journalists with a passion for reporting on issues of importance to these communities.
Together, the three organizations will work to shed light on issues within marginalized communities across 16 news publications with the training and resources needed to tell these stories through media and technology and celebrate the work being done by Black and LGBTQ+ leaders in their communities.
“Word In Black is looking forward to working with our colleagues at News is Out and Comcast NBCUniversal on this groundbreaking fellowship program,” said Chris Bennett, publisher of the Seattle Medium and member of the Word In Black collaboration. “Uplifting the voices of journalists and publishers who are dedicated to covering Black and LGBTQ+ stories is vital to the future of inclusive media.”
Specifically, the Lab will elevate Black and LGBTQ+ perspectives through content creation and content sharing with NBCUniversal and NBCU Academy during a year-long fellowship program that places 16 fellows at the 16 participating news organizations.
Fellows will be part of a cohort that receives best practices and learnings from journalists and media professionals at News is Out, Word In Black, and NBCUniversal. They will also report on stories of Black and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and creatives in their communities, share training and resources on using technology more in their daily lives, report on policy related to access to technology and connectivity, and share the work being done to advance digital equity.
“As a Black queer woman, I know the impact of empowering and elevating Black and LGBTQ+ voices,” said Eboné F. Bell, publisher of Tagg Magazine. “This project gives us an opportunity to instill a great amount of knowledge and experience in fellows who can help amplify the voice of these communities in the media industry.”
The Local Media Foundation (LMF) will manage the fellowship and Lab and facilitate content creation to reach diverse audiences between the 16 publishers and Comcast NBCUniversal. Word In Black and News is Out are collaboratives that were launched by LMF.
“Comcast is proud to launch this important initiative with the Local Media Foundation, News is Out, and Word In Black to empower a new generation of journalists and media professionals ” said Anzio Williams, SVP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at NBCUniversal Local. “Ensuring that the stories and perspectives of underrepresented communities are featured in the media by dedicated, trained and resourced journalists is at the heart of Project UP’s and NBCU Academy’s mission. We look forward to seeing these journalists grow in their career and influence.”
Applications are open to anyone with a passion for covering communities of color and/or LGBTQ+ issues. To learn more and apply, visit this link.
The 16 participating publications are:
K. Kim Atterbury
New is Out:
Word In Black:
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company. From the connectivity and platforms we provide, to the content and experiences we create, our businesses reach hundreds of millions of customers, viewers, and guests worldwide. We deliver world-class broadband, wireless, and video through Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky; produce, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through brands including NBC, Telemundo, Universal, Peacock, and Sky; and bring incredible theme parks and attractions to life through Universal Destinations & Experiences.
About Local Media Association / Local Media Foundation
Local Media Association brings all media together to share, network, collaborate and more. More than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, digital pure-plays, and research and development partners engage with LMA as members or constituents of our programs. As a 501(c)(6) trade association, LMA is focused on the business side of local media. Its programs and labs focus on revenue growth and new business models. LMA helps local media companies develop their strategies via cutting-edge programs, conferences, webinars, research and training.
Local Media Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable trust, serves as the innovation and transformation affiliate of LMA. Incorporating our four strategic pillars — business transformation, journalism funded by philanthropy, industry collaboration, and sustainability for publishers of color — LMF helps provide local media companies the strategies and resources for meaningful innovation and impactful journalism projects.
About News is Out
News is Out is a pioneering national collaborative of six of the legendary local queer news publishers. We deliver compelling journalism, which engages, amplifies and connects the LGBTQ+ community. newsisout.com
About Word In Black
Word In Black is a groundbreaking collaboration of the nation’s legendary Black news publishers. Word In Black promises to confront inequities, elevate solutions and amplify the Black experience by reporting, collecting, and sharing stories about real people in communities across our country. wordinblack.com