ICT will broaden its coverage of Indigenous communities when it expands to nine bureaus over the next three years through a $1.3 million grant from the American Journalism Project.
AJP announced Wednesday that ICT (formerly Indian Country Today) is among three nonprofit news organizations it is supporting through $3.15 million in funding. The other two organizations are Verite, a sister newsroom of Mississippi Today launching this fall in New Orleans, and New York City-based THE CITY.
“The market failure in local news has left Americans in crisis — people across our country are strapped for the information they need to participate in our democracy and live healthy, thriving lives,” said Sarabeth Berman, CEO of the American Journalism Project, in a news release. “Anyone searching for solutions to the crisis in local news should take a close look at what these organizations are doing to build trusted and sustainable news for communities.”
The grant will fund salaries for a development director, finance director, audience/membership director, and a regional director of revenue. These new hires will help enable the business team to pursue local and national philanthropic revenue opportunities, strengthen membership revenue, and increase earned revenue opportunities. With strong revenue and operations capacity, ICT will significantly expand its journalism.
“ICT’s commitment to providing news to local communities across Native America is deep,” said Karen Michel, president and CEO of IndiJ Public Media, which owns ICT. “This generous grant from AJP will allow us to not only broaden our reporting range and add seven regional bureaus, but also will enable us to hire business positions to help ensure our financial sustainability.”
ICT currently has bureaus in Washington, D.C., and Anchorage, Alaska. It also has journalists based at its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as in Ohio, New Mexico, Montana, and Oregon. The new bureaus will be established in regions across the country where there are greater populations of Indigenous people. Not only will the bureaus cover their own regions, but will also collaborate with other ICT bureaus on projects and in-depth stories.
“The extraordinary thing about this grant, and the very AJP initiative, is that it supports a better local news environment. That is so important to our communities who have so often been left out of the media narrative,” said Mark Trahant, ICT’s editor-at-large. “ICT is a service organization built to improve news coverage and at the same time creating opportunities for young people who can build journalism careers serving their people.”
ICT is an independent nonprofit, multimedia news enterprise headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, and bureaus in Alaska and Washington, D.C. The award-winning digital news source covers the Indigenous world, including American Indians and Alaska Natives. ICT produces a public media broadcast carried via public television stations, including FNX: First Nations Experience and Arizona PBS World channel. ICT is owned by IndiJ Public Media, a 501 (c)(3) public charity that sustains itself with funding from members, donors, foundations, and supporters worldwide.