In 2013, Renaissance Journalism launched the Michigan Reporting Initiative, an unprecedented collaborative effort by nine nonprofit media organizations to provide probing and insightful coverage of the financial turmoil that has rocked the region.
The situation is especially grave for Detroit, which on July 18, 2013, became the largest city in the nation to file for bankruptcy. In addition, the state of Michigan has placed a number of other cities and school districts under the jurisdiction of emergency managers. The crisis is exacerbated by longstanding political, racial and class divisions.
Our yearlong effort will support in-depth reporting—with a special emphasis on watchdog, investigative, policy and feature reporting—aimed to help residents keep abreast of the developments, monitor the actions of Detroit’s bankruptcy and emergency managers, and weigh options going forward. In addition to news coverage, the media outlets have agreed to undertake extensive community engagement activities to reach and give voice to Michigan’s diverse and disenfranchised communities.
The news partners have formed the Detroit Journalism Cooperative. They are:
and New Michigan Media, a network of five ethnic newspapers:
- The Arab American News
- The Detroit Jewish News
- The Michigan Citizen
- Latino Press
- Michigan Korean Weekly
Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative is supported by the Ford Foundation’s Promoting Transparent, Effective and Accountable Government initiative. The collaborative effort has also received funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.