The Local News Lab believes local news is a critical space for innovation, creativity, and community. Together, it wants all local residents to have easy access to trustworthy, relevant, and abundant news and information. It believes that a highly-informed and highly-engaged citizenry is the foundation for a robust democracy and for healthy communities.
The Lab highlights and reports on experiments in local news, mulls over challenges, and shares the models and materials that practitioners and communities will find useful. It also takes the lessons from national debates about the future of news and distills them down for the local news context.
It will share its experiments, and wants you to share yours, too, so that other communities can build on them. It invites you to send it your work, and share your questions.
The Lab was originally launched by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to document and share their work building a more connected and collaborative news ecosystem in New Jersey.
In 2016, the Lab relaunched at Democracy Fund, one of the supporters of Dodge’s work on local news. Democracy Fund is a foundation working to defend American democracy and challenge it to be more open and just. Created by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, Democracy Fund has made more than $150 million in grants to support free and fair elections, a vibrant and diverse public square, effective and accountable government, and a just and inclusive society. In addition to grantmaking, Democracy Fund advocates for better solutions and works with partners to grow philanthropic support for our democracy.