Advocate Media has been selected to participate in a national news funding program funded in part by the Google News Initiative, the Lenfest Institute and the Local Media Association.

“We’re excited to join media organizations as diverse as the Miami Herald, the Chicago Reader, the Houston Defender Network, the Oregonian and the New York Amsterdam News in this cohort,” says Jehadu Abshiro, Advocate president and publisher.

Jehadu Abshiro is president of Advocate Media.

“We need new ideas for coverage and funding in local journalism, and we’re excited to learn how we can better engage with our readers and fund our growing number of publications by being part of this program.”

Leading the Lab for Journalism Funding are Frank Mungeam, chief innovation officer for LMA, along with Joaquin Alvarado of Studiotobe and Joanne Heyman, who is a board member of The GroundTruth Project and Report for America.

“These newsrooms have a strong vision for how philanthropy could support essential local journalism,” Mungeam says. “We are excited to leverage the learnings from our first cohort and help these 20 news outlets implement philanthropy strategies that can help them better serve their communities.”

Each selected publisher will work with the Lab for Journalism Funding to develop a funding/marketing plan that will be used to raise funds to support the publisher’s journalism. Lab instructors help ensure the plans can be executed, and fellow participants share ideas, successes and challenges to strengthen the group’s overall growth.

LMA says more than 50 publishers applied for the program; the 20 newsrooms accepted include a diverse set of publishers in small and large markets, including three Black-owned and two Spanish-language publishers, along with one broadcast news organization.

Selection to the Journalism Funding Lab occurs as the Advocate completes its conversion to non-profit status after 30 years as a for-profit, family-owned and locally operated company.

Abshiro, the non-profit’s president and publisher, is an honors graduate of Southern Methodist University and first-generation Ethiopian immigrant who has spent her career in Dallas media. Helping lead the editorial staff is editor Rachel Stone, a University of Texas graduate in journalism with more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor, more than half of it with the Advocate. Former Advocate president Rick Wamre, a journalism graduate of Northwestern University and MBA graduate of SMU, serves as the new company’s chief revenue officer.

Advocate Media’s online, social media and print publications reach more than 500,000 people monthly. Through the Advocate’s five printed, home-delivered magazines — four in Dallas and one in Plan, with a combined distribution of more than 120,000 monthly — and our online footprint on advocatemag.com, planomagazine.com and social sites, Advocate Media reaches more Dallas residents each month than any other hyperlocal media targeted to Dallas neighborhoods.

More than 250 local businesses work with Advocate publications each year to support our mission of providing local news without charge to our readers while marketing their products and services.

For more information about Advocate Media – Dallas Inc., our non-profit mission, and how you can be involved, please contact us at editor@advocatemag.com.