Partnership Bolsters Detroit Journalism Cooperative

Detroit HIstorical MuseumA Renaissance Journalism initiative to enhance local news coverage and deep-rooted storytelling about the city of Detroit’s past and future has been bolstered by a new partnership joining a public television station and history museum.

The agreement will enable Detroit Public Television (DPTV), one of nine news outlets that belongs to the pioneering Detroit Journalism Cooperative, to conduct news and broadcast activities from studios to be built within the Detroit Historical Society. In exchange, the museum’s exhibits and programs will get promotional airtime over DPTV’s broadcast and online platforms.

In addition, the partnership will be beneficial because both institutions currently are placing a programmatic emphasis on telling the stories of how Detroit has progressed over the past 50 years since the 1967 urban uprisings. The museum has launched a large-scale effort called “Detroit 1967: Looking Back to Move Forward,” which engages more than 100 community partners to explore the historic summer of civil unrest in order to better define the city’s future.

The Detroit Journalism Cooperative is a groundbreaking, collaborative approach to community journalism. In addition to DPTV, the members are Detroit Public Radio (WDET), Bridge Magazine, and five ethnic newspapers: The Arab American News, The Jewish News, The Latino Press, The Michigan Chronicle and The Michigan Korean Weekly. The news outlets have worked together to cover the city’s financial turmoil and emergence from bankruptcy.

With support from the Ford Foundation, Renaissance Journalism played a key role in shaping the collaboration more than two years ago. The Detroit Journalism Cooperative’s activities also been supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Jon Funabiki, executive director of Renaissance Journalism, said the effort represents a new model for how news organizations can share reporting resources, give voice to diverse communities and reach larger audiences. The stories and news outlets have received a number of journalistic awards since they started working together.

The DPTV and Detroit Historical Museum partnership was announced via a news conference and press release.

“This is a mutually beneficial partnership,” said Bob Bury, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Historical Society. “We are excited about both the opportunity to interact with Detroit Public Television staff at the Detroit Historical Museum on a daily basis and enjoy the increased exposure that comes with originating local programming from our unique exhibit spaces that tell our region’s story.”

“The Detroit office will allow DPTV to expand our growing number of production initiatives in Detroit,” said Rich Homberg, President and CEO of Detroit Public Television. “We want to tell stories of the people of Detroit by assisting the Detroit Historical Society in collecting living memories of the city. The offices will serve as a vital base for both organizations as we convene conversations with leaders and citizens about the revitalization of Detroit and visualizing the city’s future.”