Flint, MI — Flint Beat has been selected as one of eight Black-owned news outlets to take part in the Knight Foundation and Local Media Association’s (LMA) BloomLab initiative.

According to a July 6, 2023 article by LMA staff, the Knight x LMA BloomLab was launched in spring 2022 with a “focus on leveraging technology to grow revenue and audience, leading to long-term sustainability” for its cohort newsrooms. 

Two cohorts, comprising 18 publishers, have already begun work under BloomLab, with LMA’s June 2023 impact report showing that Cohort 1 has seen 21% total print and digital revenue growth and 133% digital revenue growth year-over-year since launch.

As part of its participation in the program, Flint Beat will receive a $50,000 technology grant as well as training and one-on-one coaching from the lab’s three directors.

“We look forward to welcoming another amazing group of Black-owned local news publishers to the BloomLab,” said John Celestand, program director of the Knight x LMA BloomLab, in LMA’s article. “Because of the learnings we’ve been able to gather working with the first two Cohorts, I believe we are in a prime position to assist these eight new publishers and help them advance their businesses immediately.”  

Jiquanda Johnson, Flint Beat’s publisher and founder, said she was looking forward to learning from both the lab’s directors and fellow Cohort 3 members, which include the Denver Urban Spectrum, Indianapolis Recorder, LA Focus, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, Our Weekly, Bay State Banner and The Times Weekly.

“We are excited to be part of Cohort 3 of the BloomLab,” Johnson said. “Through the lab, we hope to learn best practices, implement systems and gain revenue through digital advertising. We aim to build a strategy to help sustain our newsroom without relying heavily on one area for revenue.”

Johnson will attend a Cohort 3 launch event alongside fellow newsroom leaders in Chicago later this month.