The Riverfront Times Wins $5,000 Facebook Journalism Project Grant

Apr 7, 2020 at 5:18 pm
We've taken a beating, but you can't kill the RFT so easily. - DOYLE MURPHY
We've taken a beating, but you can't kill the RFT so easily.

We got some great news this week. The Riverfront Times has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Facebook Journalism Project to help us cover the coronavirus.

That's money that will help us pay for the kind of in-depth reporting that has been a part of our DNA for decades and that is absolutely crucial right now. It's no secret that newspapers are have taken a huge hit as the COVID-19 has wiped away advertising with stunning speed. We had to lay off most of our newsroom staff three weeks ago, but we've fought to keep printing. Thanks to the contributions of several of those same laid-off staffers  as well as dedicated freelancers we'll have another strong issue on the streets tomorrow.

We hope to re-hire our team when we make it through this. While we work to make that happen, we're going to use this grant to continue covering the different ways the coronavirus is hitting greater St. Louis and Missouri.

“The RFT’s small staff continue to serve St. Louis both online and in print with timely, thoughtful reporting on how the virus impacts the city, its people and local businesses, so we’re honored to have received this grant," Chris Keating, Riverfront Times publisher says.

The Facebook Local Journalism Project is run in partnership with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and Local Media Association in the U.S. and News Media Canada and The Independent News Challenge in Canada. The first 50 recipients were announced in March, and the RFT is among 400 news organizations in 48 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Canada to win. We're also one of six media outlets in Missouri that were awarded grants through the program.

One of the really important things this grant will help us do is fund the kind of enterprise reporting and longform storytelling that was becoming increasingly rare in media even before this crisis hit. This money will make a huge difference in doing this over the next couple of months. It doesn't solve all our problems, but it helps. If you would like to help us continue to rebuild, consider becoming a recurring donor here.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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