Model D | Detroit, Michigan | 2005
Issue Media Group’s flagship publication was born of Boyle and Schutt’s frustration with a lack of coverage of emerging neighborhoods, projects, dynamic people, and entrepreneurs against a backdrop of Detroit’s “brain drain”. Model D
was launched in 2005, with support from a coalition of visionary urban developers, anchors institutions with deep roots in the city, and service organizations providing support to new residents and businesses. Model D quickly established itself as an important new voice and media model, particularly as traditional media began a steep decline.
Embracing a solutions journalism approach to reporting, Model D was one of the first publications in the nation to embrace the style of storytelling. Now a rapidly growing field, solutions journalism focuses on rigorously reporting on what’s working, rather than a conflict-driven news style that’s currently losing audience at unprecedented rates.
Model D has served as a key center of innovation and product development for IMG, including Speaker Series events, Urban Innovation Exchange, On The Ground, Resilient Neighborhoods, Non-Profit Journal Project, Block by Block, Voices of Youth, Start-Up Story Night, and Community Correspondent programs. The award-winning team regularly garners recognition at the Society for Professional Journalism’s Excellence in Journalism awards and boasts editors and journalists who have bylines at NPR, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
by Christian Marcillo
Rapid Growth | Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan | 2006
IMG’s third market recognized the struggle Grand Rapids was having with its narrative. With a reputation of an insular place, the region was suffering from a lack of awareness about how attractive the region could be to new residents and businesses. Even with MLive headquartered there, the local news outlet was in the early stages of what would be a rapid decline. Economic development groups and community foundations, as well as a major business owner, recognized a dire need and helped IMG launch Rapid Growth
in May 2006. The newsroom was led by well-respected newspaper reporter, Andy Guy, and a remarkable local photographer, Brian Kelly. With so many more neighborhoods in need of news coverage than just the downtown and brewery district in Grand Rapids, the publication bloomed. Voices of Youth, Urban Innovation Exchange, and recently a design series are examples of strong series coming out of the hard work being done in the community.
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