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Natchez Democrat awarded grant from Facebook Journalism Project

Special to the Democrat

The Natchez Democrat newsroom was named one of 400 recipients of a Facebook Journalism Project Community Network grant.

The Facebook Journalism Project announced grants for North American local newsrooms to support their coronavirus reporting. Located in 48 US states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and several provinces and territories in Canada, the publishers in these newsrooms will each receive a $5,000 grant to cover unexpected costs associated with reporting on the crisis in their communities.

Five local newsrooms in Mississippi were selected to receive almost $25,000 in funding — Natchez Newspapers Inc., Oxford Newsmedia, LLC, Picayune Item, Laurel Leader-Call and Mississippi Public Broadcasting — and with more recipients to be announced in the coming weeks.

Access to trustworthy, accurate, and local information is critical now more than ever in our state. These small investments can help fulfill immediate needs such as increasing frequency of publishing, tools to work remotely, combating misinformation and serving vulnerable and at-risk groups.

The program is run in partnership with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and Local Media Association in the US and News Media Canada and The Independent News Challenge in Canada. This announcement comes after we announced the first round of 50 grant recipients in March.

The Facebook Journalism Project doubled the total grant pool to $2 million after more than 200 publishers applied in the first 48 hours after the application launched.

The expansion made it possible to help an even greater number of newsrooms navigate the economic impact of the outbreak. The grants will help fulfill needs such as remote work, increasing frequency of publishing, combating misinformation and serving vulnerable and at-risk groups.