PORTLAND, OR - Local nonprofit newsroom Underscore Media Collaboration was one of 144 journalism organizations in the U.S. awarded funding from the Facebook Journalism Project's COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program. Funding from the program is intended to offset the financial impact of COVID-19 for local newsrooms and will support Underscore's continued coverage of COVID-19's impact on Oregon tribes.
The Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) received more than 2,000 applications for this grant and awarded nearly $16 million to support newsrooms and help publishers remain viable. Awards ranged from $25,000-$100,000 for publishers reporting locally during the coronavirus outbreak.
“The immediate focus of our work is how tribal communities—on and off reservations—are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic ,” said Jackleen de La Harpe, Executive Director, Underscore. “These funds will support our work, telling stories that make tribes more visible in the media with articles that are being reposted and shared across Oregon and nationally.”
Underscore is part of a new wave of nonprofit public service journalism in the U.S. As a collaborative newsroom, Underscore maintains a small staff that manages projects and supplements needed skills for other newsrooms. Underscore’s mission is to partner with other media to provide in-depth reporting that amplifies the voices of underrepresented communities.
In collaboration with The Oregonian, Underscore is providing coverage of tribal communities in Oregon and the impact—social, economic, health—of COVID-19. Underscore recently partnered with Pamplin Media Group and The Columbian on an investigative reporting series focused on white supremacy groups.
Underscore’s Indian Country reporting is funded by the American Journalism Project, Collins Foundation and Many Dances Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. Underscore is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, an organization dedicated to building the nonprofit media landscape in the U.S.