Local journalism is the heartbeat of a healthy community, holding powerful institutions accountable, fostering a public understanding of the issues that matter most, and giving a voice to hometown heroes. The echo chamber of national headlines drowns out many stories that matter: those unfolding on our doorsteps. Across the Inland Empire, news deserts are expanding, leaving communities parched for regionally relevant information.

This isn’t just about the demise of local papers; it’s about the erosion of the foundation of a healthy democracy – accountability, shared narratives, and a platform for diverse voices.

The IE Journalism Innovation Hub+Fund was established in 2022 to support local and regional journalism and media and build the pipeline of talent for the sector. Chaired by Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds (IECF immediate-past chair and publisher of Black Voice News), the Hub+Fund fosters connections that bring local journalists, often siloed and resource-strapped, into partnership. By sharing expertise, pooling resources, and leveraging the power of collaboration, they can uncover truths, illuminate solutions, and empower communities.

On June 3, 2024, over 200 community members and journalists turned out to support the public launch of the IE Journalism Innovation Hub+Fund, graciously hosted by the Redlands Forum at Esri. Guests were inspired by Dr. Paulette Brown-Hinds’ conversation with Dean Baquet, former executive editor of The New York Times, followed by a Q&A session with many thoughtful questions posed by attendees. The enthusiastic turnout tells us people are hungry for strong local journalism – and they’re ready to be a part of the solution to bring it back.

We’re incredibly grateful to our initial supporters who recognize the critical role local journalism plays and who have donated generously. We invite you to join our efforts as we rewrite the story for local journalism and help ensure a thriving, informed future for the Inland Empire. Every donation, big or small, fuels this mission – rebuilding local news, line by line, story by story.

Visit this link to donate securely. With your help, we’ll create a region where every resident has access to reliable and locally relevant news and information, empowering them to make informed decisions and engage in their communities.

Press Forward Affiliation

The Inland Empire Journalism Innovation Hub+Fund is proud to have been designated as an affiliate of Press Forward. Press Forward is a groundbreaking national movement dedicated to revitalizing local journalism across the United States. With over half a billion dollars committed over five years, Press Forward is supporting innovative projects, bolstering investigative reporting, and ensuring historically underrepresented voices are heard.

The IE Journalism Innovation Hub+Fund, powered by IECF, is part of a network of chapters across the country where funders bring new donors and foundations together to expand resources for local news. These chapters are an opportunity for funders to create place-based initiatives, driven by the specific information needs of their communities.

Local chapters are critical to the success of Press Forward because they are closest to the ground and can identify authentically with local approaches that meet the needs of their communities. They are also uniquely positioned to rally people and organizations around a shared vision for supporting local news. National funders can help catalyze those investments, share lessons across geographies, and scale ideas.

The challenge of rebuilding America’s local news landscape is vast and will depend on creating new local efforts alongside new investment by local and national funders, smart public policies, and a variety of other revenue approaches.

The Hub recognizes the importance of accurate, timely, and impactful journalism in fostering a well-informed community and promoting positive change. Its mission is to empower the voices of the Inland Empire by providing a platform for authentic and diverse storytelling, fostering a culture of journalistic excellence, and driving positive social impact.

Stay up to date on all the good work we’re doing through the power of philanthropy. Sign up for our eNewsletter, Philanthropy Matters, today.

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