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Detroit’s bankruptcy focus of new reporting collaborative: New Michigan Media newspapers join the effort

newspapersDETROIT — Five of the largest ethnic and minority newspapers have a critical role in a new reporting project examining the city’s bankruptcy and its effect on the region.

Funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the project involves four nonprofit media organizations as well as New Michigan Media (NMM). All the media outlets, as part of the grant, will form the Detroit Journalism Cooperative where coordinated reporting will focus on Detroit’s bankruptcy and its immediate, ongoing and long-lasting consequences.

New Michigan Media’s work specifically will examine how the region’s ethnic and minority communities are affected by the city’s bankruptcy.

“This grant will allow the New Michigan Media newspapers to capture, humanize, explain and discuss how the bankruptcy impacts their respective communities,” said Hayg Oshagan, executive director of New Michigan Media. “Ethnic and minority communities are important economic drivers in this region, and this grant will support in-depth, original and creative coverage of how individuals, businesses and organizations are affected by the historic bankruptcy.”

New Michigan Media’s partners in the cooperative are Bridge Magazine, Detroit Public Radio (WDET-FM) Detroit Public Television (DPTV) and Michigan Radio. The NMM newspapers involved in the project are:

The Michigan Citizen, one of the leading weeklies serving the African American community;

The Arab American News, the leading Arabic and English language weekly serving the Arabic community;

The Jewish News, the leading weekly serving the Jewish-American community;

The Latino Press, the leading Spanish-language weekly;

The Michigan Korean Weekly, the only Korean-language weekly serving Michigan’s Asian and Asian-American communities.

As part of their work on the project, the five ethnic and minority newspapers will create a dedicated monthly section devoted to bankruptcy coverage with stories written by newspaper staff writers or a pool reporter. Each month, the coverage will focus on one of the five communities and be carried by all of the newspapers in their printed editions and online. All five newspapers reach readers around the globe.

“The stories will center on each community’s experience with Detroit’s bankruptcy as told through the lived experiences of people,” Oshagan said. “Looking ahead, as Detroit comes out of bankruptcy, coverage will include the important contributions of the ethnic and minority communities to the revitalization of the region.”

The New Michigan Media organization is the network of minority newspapers in Michigan that works to advance common issues of concern to the African American, Arab American, Latino, Jewish and Asian American communities through conferences, workshops, events, a directory and website, and other projects to build and sustain the connections between the media outlets.

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