City Limits, an independent, investigative journalism organization that publishes in-depth reporting about civic affairs in New York City, will launch a new website exclusively dedicated to coverage of the borough of Brooklyn, with $100,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Brooklyn Community Foundation.
The funding is part of the Knight Community Information Challenge, which encourages community and place-based foundations to support news and information projects that inform and engage residents.
As part of the challenge, the Brooklyn Community Foundation—the largest public philanthropy in the borough—will match the Knight Foundation grant of $50,000 over two years.
“This a much-need step forward for Brooklyn. While ‘Brooklyn’ gets a lot of ink in the trends and travel sections of national news outlets, many of our biggest communities have little access to essential local news, making the borough’s voice much softer than its 2.5 million headcount demands,” said Marilyn Gelber, president of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. “The Brooklyn Bureau will create greater awareness for the many complex issues that affect our neighbors. By building audience connectivity and concern, communities from Sunset Park to Cypress Hills will be better equipped to understand and respond to local challenges.”
“Brooklyn Community Foundation and others like it are part of the a growing number of community and place-based foundations working to ensure residents have the information they need to make important decisions about their communities,” said Trabian Shorters, Knight Foundation’s vice president for engaging communities. “Ultimately, our democracy will only thrive if we have informed and engaged communities.”
If it were independent of New York City, Brooklyn would be America’s fourth-largest city, yet it lacks a major unifying news source. Via the Brooklyn Bureau, City Limits will produce in-depth enterprise journalism on local issues and activities of the borough’s nonprofit sector, civic and social institutions, and communities, as well as aggregate and amplify existing news coverage from Bureau-members and existing community outlets.
“In today’s media ecosystem, there are more outlets and platforms, but less journalism—and journalism is critical for New Yorkers to understand the complexities of the issues we face,” said Mark Anthony Thomas, director of City Limits. “With the Brooklyn Bureau, we will employ the tools of investigative journalism to produce the kind of deeply reported, public-minded news on the borough’s underserved communities the mainstream just does not provide.”
The Brooklyn Bureau will spotlight media-deprived communities like Central Brooklyn, as well immigrant groups and areas undergoing change. Through its network of sources, the Bureau will also be a one-stop resource for links to hyper-local Brooklyn news stories from across the web. This will enable Brooklynites to engage in conversation with each other across present barriers, and strengthen Brooklyn’s voice across the city as a whole. Beyond the dedicated website site, stories will be syndicated daily through Twitter and Facebook, RSS feeds to news network members, products for mobile readers and more.
To stay informed on the development and launch of the Brooklyn Bureau, go to www.citylimits.org/brooklynbureau.
About Brooklyn Community Foundation
Brooklyn Community Foundation's mission is to improve the lives of people in Brooklyn by strengthening communities through local giving, grantmaking and community service. The first and only one of its kind in Brooklyn, the Foundation was founded in 2009 to support the borough's most effective nonprofits in five Field of Interest Funds: Arts for All, Caring Neighbors, Community Development, Education and Youth Achievement, and Green Communities. Thanks to a start-up gift from the Independence Community Foundation, 100% of all donations to the Brooklyn Community Foundation are tax deductable. Follow at www.Twitter.com/DoGoodBklyn; and like at www.Facebook.com/DoGoodBklyn.
About City Limits
City Limits is a non-profit civic news organization, publishing investigative journalism and resources for people who are passionate about New York City. With a particular focus on stories largely neglected by mainstream media, for more than three decades City Limits has provided a platform for New York's different stakeholders to make their voices heard on civic topics. City Limits publishes an award-winning bi-monthly magazine and the city’s largest non-profit civic news site.
About John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.