Media Moves

Washington City Paper earns two grants from Facebook Journalism Project

February 14, 2020

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Washington City Paper, D.C.’s weekly newspaper has earned two grants from the Facebook Journalism Project. These grants will help support the newspaper’s work on D.C.’s maternal health crisis as well as the further development of the paper’s recently-launched reader membership program.

“Facebook’s investments in our City Paper’s impactful local journalism and our burgeoning community-supported business model are a powerful validation of the importance of our institution. Their support also proves that we are early leaders in an exciting trend of news organizations finding new ways to support their community journalism in an era of transformation across our industry,” says Mark Ein, City Paper’s owner since 2018. “With these grants and the continued growing support of our community, we will be doubling down on our important and award-winning local news coverage of the District.”

WCP’s arts editor Kayla Randall, whose work elevated the conversation on maternal health in the District, has been awarded a $25,000 grant to further amplify her reporting.

“When it comes to maternal care, there are huge racial, geographic, and socioeconomic disparities,” Randall says of this timely work. “Getting to the bottom of these issues means speaking with mothers and really listening to their stories and experiences. I’ve been reporting on the issues impacting D.C.’s moms since 2018, and I moderated a City Paper community conversation in 2019 that brought together mothers and maternal health experts to raise awareness about how our community can better support our moms.”

Randall adds, “I believe listening is the only way to ultimately create change, and that’s what I’m hoping to do much more of with this additional support.” To that end, Facebook’s support will enable City Paper to host free community events, produce features on maternal health, and launch a podcast series that incorporates D.C.’s moms and their support network.

Hundreds of people have pledged to support local journalism through the paper and now with the Facebook grant will give the paper new tools, best practices, and access to a network of community-supported news organizations from across the country to develop its membership strategy as a part of the Facebook Membership Accelerator program.

“As we enter our 40th year, we remain dedicated to bringing D.C. high-quality writing, reporting, and photography, and look forward to accessing new tools and bringing best practices to our membership model that will help propel City Paper into its fifth decade and beyond,” City Paper‘s interim editor Caroline Jones says of the opportunity. “We are thrilled to be a part of these two programs that will allow our paper to grow and thrive.”


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