WBHM’s Local Journalism Innovation Fund

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Donations to WBHM are used to cover the general expenses of the station — everything from the power bill to salaries to the cost of NPR programming.

But earlier this year, we were approached by several Birmingham-area benefactors who had a different idea for their donations. They wanted to invest their money in our newsroom. Specifically, they wanted to invest in local reporting, local podcasts, and other local news initiatives. That’s how the Local Journalism Innovation Fund was born. 

One generous couple wanted to create a recurring newsroom fellowship for young journalists. They made it possible for us to apply to Report for America with the hopes of getting an RFA corps member to spend 2021 in our newsroom covering education issues in Birmingham and across Alabama. We should find out in December if we’ve been approved to be a host newsroom.

Several other major donors were interested in ushering us into the podcast arena. With their backing, production is underway for “Deliberately Indifferent” in which our reporter Mary Scott Hodgin explores the systematic and deadly problems in Alabama’s prisons. A preview of that major journalistic undertaking will be coming soon. 

Currently, the Fund has about $50,000 in it, but that money is committed to the journalism fellow and “Deliberately Indifferent.” We have a creative and innovative team of journalists and creators, and they have aspirations and dreams to bring you thorough and thoughtful news presented in exciting new ways across all media. As you hear in their reporting every day, they are masters at doing a lot with a little. 

Actor and martial arts master Bruce Lee famously said, “There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”  With your investment in the Local Journalism Innovation Fund, our team can reach for the stars, and in doing so, bring our world to your radio. 

Your donations to the Local Journalism Innovation Fund will go straight to our newsroom and come right back out of your speakers.