December 18, 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 one-year $500,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to provide URL the resources to expand its editorial capacity and support the formation of URL’s non-profit arm, URL Collective.
“We are excited to be one of MacArthur’s grantees at this critically important time,” Sara M. Lomax, co-founder and president of URL Media and president and CEO of WURD Radio, said. “URL’s network of more than 25 Black and Brown newsrooms will be pivotal in informing and engaging our communities while addressing misinformation and disinformation in the upcoming presidential election. Having the resources to expand our collaborative reporting initiatives across this powerful network will be transformative.”
Two URL Media partners – Outlier Media and Documented – are also part of this cohort of grantees and will be receiving funding in addition to URL. In addition to Outlier and Documented, URL Media has grown from its inaugural 8 media partners to now over 25 – a group of influential media organizations that include Black Girl Times, Black Voice News, Epicenter-NYC, Immigrantly Podcast, La Noticia, Native News Online, Our Body Politic, palabra., Pulso, Prism, PushBlack, Sahan Journal, Scalawag, Scroll Stack, TBN24, The Haitian Times, The Oklahoma Eagle, Watch the Yard, and WURD Radio.
“This grant is a recognition of our collective success,” said S. Mitra Kalita, co-founder and CEO of URL Media, as well as the co-founder and publisher of Epicenter-NYC. “We will continue to advocate for the mutual uplift of our organizations and communities we represent. We are grateful to invest in and continue to build an interdependent, sustainable local news ecosystem. It’s the kind of multiplatform network of multicultural outlets that URL represents that is key to saving democracy. It will take a full-court press that leverages philanthropy, advertising services, collaboration – all of it to meet this moment.”
In addition to the formation of the nonprofit, URL Media will use the grant to expand the editorial capacity of its partners, increase partner collaborations, and broaden URL’s and its partners’ audiences to support the elimination of prejudice and discrimination in the media industry while improving public awareness and visibility of topics that impact BIPOC communities.
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 27, 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. Since its inception, URL Media has almost tripled in partners, doubled their revenue, maintained its profitability and grown its collective audience to 27 million users.
CONTACT: David Brown at David@commonsoulcomm.org