On the Ground

Our “On The Ground” program helps to tell the story of the people, projects and innovations that are creating “what’s next” for communities. The program helps increase the communications capacity of the organizations and non-profits working in the area. The intended impact is for additional “solutions-oriented” media coverage, engagement and ultimately understanding of the community, resulting in awareness and investments that can contribute to the vitality and prosperity of the district.


Our teams will use an “embedded journalism” model to maintain a presence in one or more communities for a period of 120 days. We will focus weekly coverage on those communities to tell the story of the businesses, individuals and nonprofits working and living there.

High Ground News photographer Andrea Morales captured the sites and residents of the Klondike and Smokey City community during the On the Ground program.

On The Ground Program

We identify a partner in each communities who assists in connecting and orienting a dedicated journalist with residents. In order to establish a lasting relationship with the community and the groups involved with the project, we dedicate time to researching the history of the communities and developing an editorial framework based on the interests of the community. Our journalists attend monthly communities events and convenings, and host dedicated editorial advisory conversations to engage residents and stakeholders for story ideas and networking.

Throughout the program, our local publication will produce content and manage consistent social media coverage about the community. We may also produce, cover, and promote events during the project. Our work may also include video coverage, media and academic and funder tours, or a speaker event.

IMG views this engagement as an initial investment into a community. Programs are tailored to approach the needs of each community differently and treated as the first step in creating long-term media impact in the highlighted areas.

Painter Larry Walker in the Kate Sexton Community Center where he creates art. Photo courtesy of Andrea Morales 

Current Communities

Jefferson Chalmers – Detroit

Ypsilanti – Metro Detroit

Eastside – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan

University District – Memphis

Sterling Heights – Metro Detroit

Farmington – Metro Detroit

Battle Creek – Upper Michigan

Past Communities

Northside – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan

Edison – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan

Wimauma – Tampa

North End – Detroit

Live6 – Detroit

Dearborn – Metro Detroit

Pontiac – Metro Detroit

The Heights – Memphis

Uptown & The Pinch – Memphis

South City – Memphis

Whitehaven – Memphis

Orange Mound – Memphis

Soulsville – Memphis

Frayser- Memphis

Binghampton- Memphis

Klondike/Smokey City – Memphis

Covington – Cincinnati

Walnut Hills – Cincinatti

Old Brooklyn – Cleveland


Burton Heights/Garfield Park – Grand Rapids

Southeast Community – Grand Rapids

Grandville – Grand Rapids

Muskegon – Grand Rapids