Press Forward New Mexico
Revitalizing local news and information for a stronger New Mexico
Mission & Background
The goal of this initiative is to catalyze a local news renaissance in New Mexico that will reshape the local news landscape and re-center local journalism as a force for community cohesion, civic participation, and government accountability.
Join us to help raise unprecedented resources to revitalize local news, especially in rural and underserved areas, while helping newsrooms become sustainable and serve communities with vital news and information. In order to bolster democracy and make progress on critical issues such as climate change, health equity and education, we need an informed public that understands the facts.
New Mexico is fortunate to have many locally owned news outlets, but many news outlets remain underfunded and on the verge of closing down, leaving communities without trusted news sources. Newsroom leaders are working hard to diversify revenue and connect more deeply with community members, but they need additional resources to implement the latest strategies for long-term sustainability.
We invite you to join us to help solve New Mexico’s local news crisis.
What is Press Forward New Mexico?
A local affiliate of Press Forward, a national initiative led by MacArthur Foundation to raise unprecedented resources to revitalize local news, spur proven models and solutions to address the local news crisis, and close longstanding inequities in journalism coverage and practice.
The national initiative launched in September 2023 has raised more than $500 million.
Around the country, community news funds are being established to provide ongoing support for local news outlets and to coordinate additional funding and newsroom collaboration.
The Thornburg Foundation and New Mexico Local News Fund are raising funds to launch Press Forward New Mexico to offer philanthropic leaders, civic-minded individuals, and regional foundations the opportunity to pool their dollars to support a robust network of independent news outlets that are serving the information needs of New Mexico’s diverse communities.
Press Forward New Mexico philanthropic supporters include the Santa Fe Community Foundation, Albuquerque Community Foundation and New Mexico Foundation.
Dozens of independent media outlets serve the varied information needs and interests of New Mexico’s diverse towns, cities and neighborhoods. They range from storied alt-weeklies such as Santa Fe Reporter, to digital nonprofits such as Source New Mexico, to public media outlets such as KRWG in Las Cruces, to locally owned newspapers such as the Rio Grande Sun and Questa Del Rio News. Many of these outlets have been part of the Local News Accelerator program run by the Local News Fund, along with our annual Matching Campaign to help their businesses become sustainable.
These outlets serve the unique and urgent information needs of their audiences, work to hold power to account, and strive to provide a more nuanced and complete story about their communities and people.
While New Mexicans have a special connection to their legacy news sources, they are also turning to smaller hyperlocal media. Philanthropy has an important role to play to ensure that relied-upon news outlets make a successful conversion to the digital age and that newer outlets can grow their audiences. The Local News Fund has also started an Incubator program to help fill gaps with startup news sources in Mora, Zuni Pueblo, Las Cruces and the International District in Albuquerque.
The goal of Press Forward New Mexico is to help sustain a thriving local news ecosystem that serves the information needs of New Mexico’s diverse residents. Core investment priorities include:
- Funding vital activities to help lower the cost of doing business and helping to diversify revenue streams.
- Supporting leadership success to nurture news entrepreneurs and senior management to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
- Helping successful legacy publications evolve with new local ownership and digital transformations to better serve communities.
- Building on the pipeline of Local News Fellowships & Interns that can revitalize local news outlets with diverse, young staffers.
- Supporting collaboration between newsrooms, especially in underserved communities, so they get the information they need.
For newsrooms, we will foster stronger, innovative organizations that can better meet the information needs of residents. This includes locally owned news outlets that are either nonprofit or for-profit.
- Every resident, no matter where they live, will have access to trusted sources of news and information.
- Empowered residents will engage in the civic life of their communities.
- Editorial coverage that is nuanced, locally informed and solutions-oriented.
Steering Committee: The members of the Steering Committee will set the strategy and priorities for the fund. This group will meet regularly to discuss directions for the initiative, and is led by Thornburg Foundation and the New Mexico Local News Fund. Other Steering Committee members include McCune Charitable Foundation, Santa Fe Community Foundation, New Mexico Foundation, Albuquerque Community Foundation and Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico.
Advisory Group: Press Forward NM will invite key community stakeholders and local news publishers to play an advisory role. The group will be between 8 and 10 individuals as chosen by the Steering Committee and will meet once per quarter.
Your donation to Press Forward New Mexico will make a difference in strengthening local news and information in the state.
Rashad Mahmood, New Mexico Local News Fund