Renaissance Journalism announced in May 2020 that it has created the Covid-19 Relief Grants for Local News Organizations and will award $185,000 to 20 nonprofit community, ethnic and university news organizations that are covering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The goal of the project is to provide emergency funding relief to a select group of nonprofit news organizations that, at great risk to their own journalists, are struggling to cover the pandemic and its impact on our area’s diverse and most vulnerable communities. At the same time many of these local news outlets face financial difficulties as the accompanying downturn in the economy has led to lost advertising, donations and other revenues.
The grants offer news outlets maximum flexibility to utilize the funds in a way that best fits their situations. As a cohort, the news outlets reach many distinct demographic and geographic groups in the Bay Area. All cover a wide range of critical social justice and equity issues that impact their communities, such as tenant protections, worker protections, support for unhoused people, healthcare equity and immigrant rights. Additionally, the grantees have been active in Renaissance Journalism’s programs, past and present, including the Bay Area Media Collaboration and Census2020: Everyone Counts Reporting Project initiative, among other initiatives.
“While the Covid-19 pandemic is a global crisis, the pain and anxiety it is generating is felt acutely at the local level here in the Bay Area,” said Jon Funabiki, executive director of Renaissance Journalism. “Now, more than ever, our most vulnerable communities–working-class families, the unhoused and those dealing with housing insecurity, immigrants and communities of color—need strong and accurate local news coverage that addresses their needs and tells their stories.” “With this emergency program,” he added, “we wish to support the journalists and news outlets that do this every day.”
Covid-19 Relief Grants for Local News Organizations was made possible with the generous support of the following foundations and donors:
The California Wellness Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
- Bay City News Foundation (LocalNewsMatters.org)
- El Tecolote
- El Tímpano
- KBBF 89.1 FM
- Mother Jones
- Mission Local
- Nichi Bei
- Radio Bilingüe
- Reveal (The Center for Investigative Reporting)
- San Francisco Bay View
- San Francisco Public Press
- San Francisco State University (Journalism Department)
- San Jose State University (Journalism Department)
- Street Sheet (Coalition on Homelessness)
- YR Media (formerly Youth Radio)
Please Note: Renaissance Journalism is not able to accept unsolicited requests for this grant.