Type Investigations has launched the Springboard Project, a groundbreaking initiative that provides an infusion of resources to help newsrooms serving historically marginalized communities build investigative capacity. Its unique model addresses the individual needs of each newsroom to boost impact, expand audience, and unlock philanthropic support.
“The inspiration for the Springboard Project came through our many conversations with leaders of diverse and local newsrooms,” said Type Investigations Ida B. Wells Fellowship Director Noy Thrupkaew, an originator of the project. “They saw investigative journalism as one of the most powerful ways to tell their own communities’ stories and advance our democracy in the places where it is increasingly under attack — and where mainstream media may have limited reach.”
Unfortunately, these newsrooms have struggled to access the deep and sustained resources that intensive investigations demand. The Springboard Project was conceived as a way to start dismantling the systemic barriers to that support, and to model a collaboration where newsrooms pool their power with real equity in mind.
Type’s operating model is built on collaboration. Over the past 25 years, we have produced hundreds of complex investigations with more than 200 partners. In recent years, we have prioritized work with reporters in local and diverse newsrooms, including the St. Louis American, Documented, Cicero Independiente, Gulf States Newsroom, Detroit Free Press, Latino USA, and Baltimore Beat.
The Springboard Project builds on that track record but goes further, resourcing entire newsrooms rather than just individual projects or reporters. In the short term, we’ll help with reporting, editing, public records requests, data analysis, fact-checking, and legal reviews. Over the long term, we’ll work with our partners to develop successful plans and protocols to strengthen their own investigative work for years to come. We will also engage in collaborative fundraising so that our partners can establish direct relationships with funders and ensure ongoing financial stability.
“It’s not enough to help fill gaps. To make journalism truly representative, we need a new model that ensures the survival of these local and diverse newsrooms that are already delivering high-impact investigative journalism,” said Type Investigations Editor-in-Chief Cassi Feldman.
The Springboard Project’s first intensive partner is The Blacklight, the investigative unit at the New York Amsterdam News, the first such investigative unit at a legacy Black newsroom.
Launched in 2022, The Blacklight has already produced award-winning reporting on Covid disinformation and launched a project on gun violence, “Beyond the Barrel of the Gun.”
Type Investigations will offer The Blacklight editing, fact-checking, and development support, enabling it to continue to grow and thrive. The Blacklight will offer Type Investigations the opportunity to co-produce and co-publish its ambitious reporting.
“The Amsterdam News is excited to collaborate with Type Investigations on this groundbreaking project rooted in the ideas of equity and of building capacity. This partnership — and it is an actual partnership — will allow us to take our work to the next level and be better able to serve our community, which desperately needs this kind of high-impact accountability journalism,” said Blacklight founding editor Damaso Reyes.
The Springboard Project is more than a means of supporting high-impact investigative reporting. It’s a transformative approach that seeks to address entrenched inequities in hiring, assignments, and fundraising. Together with our partners, we will show that equitable collaborations are not only possible but vital to a thriving, sustainable future for journalism.
To help fund the Springboard Project, please contact Kristine Bruch at email@example.com.
To join the project as a partner, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Type Investigations
Type Investigations, a project of Type Media Center, is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to transforming the field of independent investigative journalism. We produce high-impact reporting that amplifies new voices and offers reporters unparalleled opportunities to take risks, break news, and effect change. Type Investigations covers the most urgent issues of our time, including racial and economic justice, climate and environmental health, and civil and human rights.
About The Blacklight
The Blacklight is the investigative unit at the New York Amsterdam News, which has served the Black community in New York and the United States for over 100 years. We are dedicated to exposing wrongdoing and uncovering the truth wherever it may be. We are focused on stories that impact communities of color in the New York region and beyond.