The Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge has awarded Documented with funding to support our engagement with New York’s Caribbean and Chinese immigrant communities. Building off the success of our existing Spanish-language WhatsApp news service Documented Semanal, this new project will bring unprecedented access to journalism that matters to these communities.
The Google News Initiative Innovation Challenges encourage “local publishers to think about new ways to understand, enhance and serve the needs of their communities”. Documented is one of 25 newsrooms out of 190 North American applicants to receive a share of more than $3.2 million to address the unique needs of local news audiences.
With our funding from the Google News Initiative, we will research what Chinese-speaking and non-Spanish speaking Caribbean immigrant communities need from news. Together, these immigrant groups make up 12% of NYC’s population, yet conversations with stakeholders show that Documented’s audience-first engagement and reporting process can help these communities meet their information needs.
We believe that in order to create valuable journalism, first we have to listen to our readers. In 2019 we launched Documented Semanal, a WhatsApp newsletter that has grown to reach 2,000 Spanish-speaking immigrants, many of who are undocumented. Our weekly communication provides readers with vital information about resources and policy changes that affect their lives. Recently, the Institute for Nonprofit News awarded our newsroom the Game-Changer Award for that work.
The Google News Initiative’s support enables our newsroom to adapt that approach to meet the needs of other immigrants. Through conversations with Chinese and Caribbean communities, we will develop a news product or a messaging service that provides a pathway for readers to shape our content and communicate directly with journalists.
If you are a stakeholder with New York’s Chinese and Carribbean immigrant communities interested in our project, reach out to [email protected].
To learn more about our award-winning community engagement approach, read these pieces from Documented’s team: