LIVONIA – On May 8, Between The Lines received a $100,000 grant from Facebook to support the paper’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on Michigan’s LGBTQ community.
“We are thrilled to receive this support from Facebook,” said Jan Stevenson, co-publisher of BTL. “Like most newspapers, BTL is experiencing a precipitous decline in advertising revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis. This grant gives us the breathing room and flexibility to continue publishing unabated, and the necessary resources to expand our video and audio podcast capabilities — something we have been looking forward to doing for some time.”
The grant was awarded under a $25 million program for local news relief funding. It is the initial part of a plan announced by Facebook in late March to invest $100 million in the news industry globally.
“We are excited to get to work creating the stories, video interviews and podcasts of LGBTQ people from all sectors of our community,” said Susan Horowitz, co-publisher. “We plan to focus on LGBTQ youth, the elderly, people with HIV/AIDS, trans people, people of color and to look closely at how the epidemic is affecting our community organizations and institutions.”
Facebook awarded grants totaling $16 million in this first round to local news publishers across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Of the total $16 million, the Facebook Journalism Project funded $10.3 million to 143 local newsrooms in the U.S. Of those recipients nearly four out of five are family-owned or independently owned; one-half are published by or for communities of color; almost 40 percent are digitally native; and more than one-third are nonprofits.
Other Michigan based news organization recipients include Bridge in Ann Arbor, the Flint Beat, Detroit Public Television, Detour Detroit, the Farmington Voice, Indian Country Media, MiBiz and the Michigan Chronicle. Between The Lines was one of the only LGBTQ-specific publications in the U.S. to receive funds in this round of grants.
For more information about the Facebook Journalism Project and to see a complete list of recipients click here.