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Competitive Approaches to Counter MAGA Media










Extensive research demonstrates that legacy local news outlets boost civic health. The toxic effects of MAGA media are magnified in local news deserts. The projects below either boost legacy local news or are start-ups that aim to draw on the MAGA-fighting civic power of local news with:

  • Honest and sustained coverage of politics in an appealing content mix – most anchored in the locality – that connects to readers’ lives

  • Strategic outreach to those battleground-state audiences who are now largely detached from the news 





  • Courier Newsrooms – Eight (soon to be eleven) state-based newsrooms providing local news content leavened with local lifestyle content to otherwise non-news-reading audiences via email newsletters, social media newsfeeds, and trusted messengers.  

  • Civic Media, a commercial network of 17 local radio stations in WI with a mission to provide content focused on salient local issues and pastimes with journalistic integrity and thereby compete for audiences with right-wing talk radio. 

  • 907 Initiative, a publicly funded communications hub in Alaska seeking to change the state’s political narrative and hold its elected officials accountable. 

  • Heartland Signal - A regional digital newsroom anchored to the progressive radio station WCPT 820 AM in Chicago. Through a progressive lens, reporters and hosts shine a light on the issues most important to those who make up the diverse communities across the Midwest. Coverage relies solely on the facts, and aims to bolster local reporting throughout the Midwest region.

  • Report for America – A national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. An initiative of the nonprofit media organization, The Groundtruth Project.

  • Latino Media Network is a new company that has purchased 18 radio stations in 10 cities and plans to be a content provider serving the Latino community over multiple platforms. 

  • Capital B News is a Black-led, nonprofit local and national news organization reporting for Black communities across the country. Capital B’s local bureau in Atlanta is the first in a growing network of local newsrooms anchored by Capital B’s national hub. The Atlanta newsroom combines civic journalism, and accountability reporting, with an editorial strategy informed by intensive community listening and engagement with Black metro Atlanta residents. Capital B is expanding into Gary, Indiana as part of the Indiana Local News Initiative.

  • Story Bank Project of the Focus Action Network, detailed ideas for policy-oriented human interest news stories, featuring local community members, that may be used by local media outlets, including print, online, broadcast TV and radio, in the presidential battleground states. 

  • The Rural Democracy Initiative/Communications Cohort field test funds and trains a small set of nonprofits producing about 130 news briefs annually that are then disseminated through the  Public News Service, an  independent news service distributing high-quality public interest news to rural audiences through a network of 37 state news services, reaching an audience of over 60 million per week primarily on the radio. The RDI is also funding a PNS Beat focused on resilience in rural communities, with particular attention to rural jobs and economic opportunity, rural response to climate change, and rural public policy.

  • Beacon Media – A proposed project to provide syndicated content with journalistic integrity in/from a variety of progressive voices/sources to existing NC media outlets and build the brand with advertising.  

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