To help news organizations better serve their communities with quality news and information, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced the first 24 recipients of support from its $2 million, three-year technology initiative to strengthen digital publishing solutions in newsrooms.

After a competitive application process, Mississippi Today was named to the first cohort of 24 newsrooms to receive $20,000 in grants for publishing tools that will improve distribution, community engagement and revenue opportunities, such as digital subscriptions and membership. 

“Now, more than ever, it’s critical for newsrooms and publishers to adopt digital solutions that meet audiences where they are and provide new revenue opportunities,” said Paul Cheung, Knight Foundation director for journalism and technology innovation. “These outstanding news organizations now have the opportunity to leverage technology to maximize their revenue and better serve their communities.”

To become sustainable and build trust in the communities they serve, news organizations need the tools to engage in the urgent discussions about race and equity with their users and deliver real-time updates on the coronavirus pandemic. Knight funding will help news organizations achieve these goals with the publishing tools that prioritize and enhance audience development, business development and editorial content production.

“Readers are at the core of everything we do,” said Mary Margaret White, Mississippi Today CEO. “I’m proud to see the work of our audience team recognized by the Knight Foundation, as these funds will directly support enhancing reader experience and further amplify the voices of everyday Mississippians in our reporting. Grants like this from the Knight Foundation truly gives us the tools we need to diversify revenue while allowing us to keep our site free for all Mississippians.” 

The 24 newsrooms were selected from an applicant pool of 140 news organizations. Led by News Revenue Hub, a panel of industry experts evaluated each application on a basis of application strength, grant utilization, and industry impact.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. They invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Their goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which they believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org.

About Mississippi Today

Mississippi Today is a nonprofit news and media company with a forward-facing mission of civic engagement and public dialog through service journalism, live events and digital outreach. Our newsroom is dedicated to providing Mississippians with reporting that inspires active interest in their state and equips them to engage in community life.