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 various communities for a period of four months or more. We focus weekly coverage on those communities to tell the story of the businesses, individuals and nonprofits working and living there.

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.

On the Ground Communities
Southeast – Fort Wayne
Ypsilanti – Metro Detroit
Vine – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan
Battle Creek – SW Michigan
Civic Park – Flint
Eastside Franklin Park – Flint
Brownell-Holmes – Flint
City of Eucilid – Cleveland
Fairfax – Cleveland 
Hickory Hill – Memphis
Eastside – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan
Northside – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan
Edison – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan
Sterling Heights – Metro Detroit
Farmington – Metro Detroit
Dearborn – Metro Detroit
Pontiac – Metro Detroit
Jefferson Chalmers – Detroit
North End – Detroit
Live6 – Detroit
North Memphis – Memphis
Madison Heights – Memphis
University District – Memphis
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
Wimauma – Tampa
Covington – Cincinnati
Walnut Hills – Cincinatti
La Villa Hispana – Cleveland
Old Brooklyn – Cleveland
Burton Heights/Garfield Park – Grand Rapids
Southeast Community – Grand Rapids
Grandville – Grand Rapids
Muskegon – West Michigan

Community Correspondent Program

The Community Correspondent program provides opportunities for local residents to be trained in the basics of journalism. As local media leaves communities, the journalists that worked for them also find other careers and jobs. Community correspondents help fill some of those roles, and more importantly, connect engaged citizens by amplifying their voice in their community as they cover news through solutions journalism.

The goal is to tell the previously untold stories that are taking place within their community and raise up resident voices as an important part of the work. IMG also sees this as an opportunity to engage residents in a meaningful way while laying the foundation for sustainable relationships between the publication and local neighborhoods.

At the end of the workshop, the community correspondents each produce a feature article for the publication where the community is based. The goal is that after the workshop ends, the correspondents will continue writing stories for the publication.
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