New Mexico Local News Fund Incubator 2023
The New Mexico Local News Fund recently launched our first Local News Incubator, focusing on communities without adequate access to sources of local news to ensure that every community in New Mexico has the news and information they need to thrive.
It runs from August to December 2023, and each participant receives a seed grant of $20,000 and customized support from the Local News Fund and Tiny News Collective as they develop their news platform and work to create a sustainable business model.
In our first year, we are working with four news startups to help fill “news deserts” that have no trusted local news source.
UpLift Chronicles (Albuquerque) is a print and digital publication that reaches audiences at Black-owned and -led beauty and barber shops, churches, and local businesses, as well as residents of multifamily dwelling units in Albuquerque’s International District. Founded and published by Cathryn McGill and the New Mexico Black Leadership Council team, UpLift explores vital services and issues, along with people, places, and stories that create pride and engage audiences.
Get Involved Zuni (Pueblo of Zuni) is a podcasting and radio-based news and information source that reaches residents in and around the Pueblo of Zuni. Founded by entrepreneur and community organizer Sherry Bellson, Get Involved Zuni connects listeners to civic and government information, social justice issues, and opportunities to become more active in the community.
Organ Mountain News (Las Cruces) is a digital news publication that serves Doña Ana County in Southern New Mexico, focusing on topics that receive minimal coverage from existing radio, newspaper, and TV outlets. Founded by Damien Willis, a 20+ year veteran of newspaper, radio, communications and digital news in the region, Organ Mountain News includes investigative reporting plus news and information that residents need to stay informed on what’s happening in business and government.
Northern New Mexico Bilingual Publication in Mora is a digital news platform that reaches the Mora Valley community and the surrounding region, amplifying local stories and voices along with providing vital information on flood and fire recovery efforts and resources related to economic and ecological renewal in the region. Co-founded by Ilka Villarreal of Mora MainStreet Arts & Cultural Compound and Charles Curtin of Sangre de Cristo Mountain Initiative, the publication is offered in English and Spanish to region residents.
The Incubator builds on existing programs produced by the Local News Fund, including a fellowship and intern program that places new and recent journalism graduates in newsrooms across the state, along with an annual accelerator program designed to reinforce newsrooms in creating new revenue streams and developing sustainable business models.