WF News and Info Fund invests $100,000 in national partnership to kickstart three information sources

August 28, 2023 | News

The Wichita Foundation recognizes the value of local storytellers who voice information solutions to residents. To support the work of these information providers, the News and Information Fund at WF is investing $100,000 in a partnership with the Tiny News Collective (TNC) to unlock the Info Challenge, a quest to identify and launch information concepts off the ground.

"This initiative stimulates local and national collaboration to experiment with new sources to deliver hyperlocal news," said WF President and CEO Shelly Prichard. "We want to rally behind the people who flex their storytelling muscles to meet our community information needs. What Tiny News Collective offers is a ready-to-go package that these trailblazers can use."

The Info Challenge invites all community groups, businesses, news outlets and influencers to participate – no background in entrepreneurship or journalism is required. TNC, which supports the development of collaborative community newsrooms, will identify and support three early-stage or new information startups serving the Wichita area.

"One of the biggest hurdles to creating a news outlet is the cost," said TNC's Interim Executive Director Heather Bryant. "This collective project is an opportunity to lower the barrier to starting a local news organization by providing the necessary resources, training and technology."

Each information outlet will receive a $30,000 grant to jumpstart their independent news venture and benefit from a TNC membership for two years. The project will guide each founder through the process of starting their own organization and connect them with a peer community of local news founders across the country.

Applications for the first cohort of information founders will open September 6, 2023. Visit TNC's website to review FAQs, a guide to applying, and a sample application worksheet to prepare for submission. TNC will also host an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on September 14 to help with the application process.

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