Meet The Mendocino Voice, a recipient of this year’s Facebook Journalism Project Community Network Grant, and learn more about their funded project.

For more information about the FJP Community Network, visit: https://facebookjournalismproject.com/programs/community-network/

The Funded Project:

Create a reader-worker co-op that offers readers a direct vote, and ownership stake in, The Mendocino Voice. A membership coordinator will run a membership drive that includes bi-monthly events.

In Their Own Words:

Where we live, minority and poor communities have distrusted the news, since long before “fake news” began trending. The press has traditionally been controlled by a wealthy, white elite, and ignored Native Americans, as well as Hispanic people, poor people, and those in remote rural areas. People distrust the local press, with good reason — and this has been exacerbated by corporate consolidation of legacy newspapers.

We’re trying to accomplish nothing less than the reconstruction of trust between the diverse communities of our county and their news source.

Our method for accomplishing this will be to transition into a reader-worker co-op, giving our readers a direct say, and an ownership stake, in their local news source. This model will ensure transparency, equitable coverage that serves readers, and build trust and financial sustainability, by putting ownership in the community’s hands. Readers will get a direct vote in which major enterprise projects to pursue, and the allocation of reporter resources towards specific communities.

We have been in communication with Chris Horne of the Devil’s Strip to share best practices, but believe our model is fundamentally different, focusing on trust, transparency, and the problem of fake-news, rather than economic development.

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