September 7, 2023 – New York, NY – URL Media, a network of media organizations that serve, support and center communities of color and whose leadership and teams represent these populations, secured a $1M investment from Knight Foundation to strengthen its revenue generation, audience development and content amplification operations for its growing BIPOC network of 21 partners. The URL Media partners, a group of influential media organizations, include Black Girl Times, Black Voice News, Documented, Epicenter-NYC, Immigrantly Podcast, La Noticia, Native News, Our Body Politic, Outlier Media, Palabra, Pulso, Prism, PushBlack, Sahan Journal, Scalawag, Scroll Stack, TBN24, The Haitian Times, The Oklahoma Eagle, Watch the Yard, and WURD Radio.
“As we enter the 2024 presidential election cycle in an already volatile climate for our communities and amid a fragile state of media, the most trusted sources will unequivocally be the community news organizations that URL represents. We cannot center communities of color without significant investments in diverse local news. This $1M grant is an important step forward in ensuring that community media organizations that are led by journalists of color and represent the rich diversity that make up this country are supported fully, frequently and with urgency,” said Sara M. Lomax, co-founder and president of URL Media. “This Knight Foundation grant, specifically designated to BIPOC media, will be critical to advancing social justice, mobilizing Black and Brown communities and building economic opportunities for organizations that have been historically marginalized, overlooked and underfunded. The moment is now and we are already late.”
“Journalism that understands the nuances of engaging and informing this nation’s communities of color—Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous and so many others—is best served by the media that represent these communities. This is precisely the critical work that URL Media and its network partners lead day in and day out. The $1M Knight Foundation grant builds on our efforts to strengthen community local news, and center our Black and Brown communities as we continue to be impacted by racial rollbacks,” said S. Mitra Kalita, co-founder and CEO of URL Media. “Our hope is that this signals the importance of investing in media organizations like URL whose communities trust to inform and uplift. URL Media exemplifies a business model that’s working in a challenging media climate: diversified revenue streams, direct audiences, multiplatform, multicultural and rooted in collaboration versus competition. That we are diverse is no coincidence. If we truly want to foster racial equity, prioritizing Black and Brown communities needs to be a regular, fundamental part of business, going beyond election cycles and occasional statements of support.”
“Our support for URL Media makes clear our commitment to sustainable news organizations that represent the diverse communities they support,” said Duc Luu, Program Director at Knight Foundation. “Their work to strengthen revenue generation, audience development and content amplification operations has the potential to transform its growing BIPOC network.”
URL Media will use the investment to strengthen and expand its targeted ad network, onboard more BIPOC publishers, and develop revenue-focused solutions for its partners. The grant will further support and expand the already great work by the network partners to create greater sustainability.
URL Media was founded in 2021 with the goal to build a decentralized, multi-platform network of high-performing Black and Brown media organizations. Growing from eight to 21, the members consist of exceptional news outlets representing a diverse mix of culture, format, geography and audience that amplify each other’s content and share revenues as a way to build greater sustainability for BIPOC media. URL Media has almost tripled in partners, doubled their revenue and grown its collective audience to 27 million users.