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

  •  Good Information Foundation -   Through the Civic News Initiative, supports some aspects of Courier Newsroom coverage and outreach as well as other non-Courier projects to create, incubate, fund and lift up fact-based solutions, voices, programs and initiatives to tackle the growing information crisis in America. 

  • Latino Media Network is a new media 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 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 publishes need-to-know information — such as how to find affordable housing, apply for benefits, and vote — 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.

  • Heartland Signal - A regional digital newsroom anchored to the progressive radio station WCPT 820AM 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.

  • Working America - While not a conventional media outlet, Working America is an AFL-CIO project whose extended pre-election outreach to non-union households via letters, phone calls and door-to-door canvassing conveys content about public policies relevant to elections that connects the policies to recipients’ lives.


  • Common Sense Wisconsin - A proposed project to bolster reporting capacity of  Civic Media, a commercial network of 14 local radio stations in WI with a mission to provide content focused on salient local issues and pastimes with journalistic integrity. As this article indicates, Civic Media wants to compete with Wisconsin's right-wing talk radio.

  • New Threads Syndicate – A proposed project to provide syndicated content with journalistic integrity in/from a variety of progressive voices/sources to existing NC media outlets and purchase advertising for the content. 

  • The Rural Democracy Initiative (RDI)/Communications Cohort field test funds and trains a small set of grantees producing about 130 news briefs annually. The briefs are then disseminated through the Public News Service (PNS), an independent news service distributing high-quality public interest news to rural audiences 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. The news is national, but the story is localized.

  • Parents Together -  Independent reporting and commentary on issues that affect kids and families, directed at women and men in non-college educated households. 

  • Galvanize - Provides to women “a trusted stream of educational digital content to increase knowledge on key issues, cut down on fear-based noise, and defuse narratives designed to trigger fears.” 

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