Informed Communities: Foster Inclusive Civic News Leadership, Voices and Models - Gates Family Foundation


Trust in local news is higher than in national news. But for some, trust has never existed. In recent years, local newsrooms have come under increased public scrutiny as powerful institutions that have inflicted harm on communities and individuals of color. Journalists and others are examining the profession, and exploring ways to ensure that moving forward, local news is more inclusive, less reactive, and more grounded in the perspectives of community members who have the least power.

Gates Family Foundation supports newsrooms and projects that seek to reimagine civic news, with an emphasis on better service to communities of color, rural areas, and other underserved communities.

Our grants and resources in this focus area may support:

  • Efforts to build media leadership, entrepreneurship, civic news reporting, and storytelling skills among residents of color and from rural or other underserved communities
  • Projects that leverage higher education, students, faculty, libraries, trusted nonprofits and community leaders, and residents to meet civic news and information needs
  • Community polling, engagement, working groups etc. to drive strategy and evolution of local newsrooms or the ecosystem
  • A contribution to CMP’s Informed Communities Fund, to support projects that advance diversity, inclusion, and equity in local newsrooms and their coverage
  • Media ownership transitions, innovations or growth that significantly impact communities of color, rural or other underserved communities

Our 2022-2026 Strategic Plan: Our Team Shares the Highlights

During a series of six webinars in February and March 2022, our team shared the broad strokes of our 2022-2026 strategic plan: what’s new and what’s unchanged, and how — by working together — we can make a positive impact on the most important issues facing our state.

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Melissa Milios Davis

Melissa Milios Davis

Vice President – Strategic Communications & Informed Communities