Media Moves

Microsoft launches initiative to support community journalism

October 8, 2020

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Microsoft has initiated support for community journalism, and several Mississippi media outlets are part of a four-community pilot program.

The project will highlight the obstacles journalists face through funding, technology and other tools, said Mary Snapp,¬†Microsoft’s vice president of strategic initiatives.

As of now, the new launch will include the Clarion Ledger, the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Mississippi Today, the Jackson Advocate and the Community Foundation for Mississippi, Jackson State University’s Department of Journalism and Media Studies.

The pilot program will also run in Fresno, Calif.; El Paso, Texas; Juarez, Mexico, and Yakima, Washington.

“Local news is not particularly healthy right now, and we know that we’re losing local newspapers and newsrooms and journalists just because of the economic circumstances and the disruption in the entire news business,” Snapp said. “We know that democracies can only survive as long as people are informed and have access to high quality information.

The move comes at a time when newsrooms are battling plummeting revenues, exacerbated by the pandemic.

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