For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Marty Fischhoff
Cynthia and Edsel Ford Make Major Commitment to Local Journalism at Detroit Public TV
$200,000 gift strengthens the station’s One Detroit initiative to cover the issues that matter most to Detroit and Southeast Michigan
Recognizing the crucial need at this moment for fair, accurate and in-depth coverage of local issues, Cynthia and Edsel Ford have stepped forward to lead funding for journalism at Detroit Public TV (DPTV), committing $200,000 over 5 years, the station announces. The Cynthia & Edsel Ford Fund for Journalism at DPTV will allow Detroit’s community-owned station to develop and expand its local coverage, which it has labeled its One Detroit initiative.
“We are extremely grateful to Cynthia and Edsel for their support of our reporting on the issues that matter most to citizens in and around Detroit,” said Rich Homberg, president and CEO of Detroit Public TV. “We are encouraged to have supporters as civic-minded and esteemed as the Fords recognize the good work our journalists are doing in the community. We have long called Detroit the most important city in America. With this generous commitment, we are more dedicated than ever to providing the journalism it deserves.”
One Detroit’s growing team of journalists works out of offices in Midtown’s Detroit Historical Museum, pursuing coverage of Detroit and Southeast Michigan through a number of ongoing efforts:
- Last year, it launched “One Detroit,” a weekly program dedicated to telling the authentic, crucial stories of Detroit, through long-term, immersive reporting in its diverse communities.
- Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Stephen Henderson, “American Black Journal” celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, as the longest-running local news show in the nation.
- The Great Lakes Now bureau supplemented its continuing coverage of the environmental, economic, recreational and cultural issues related to the lakes with a new monthly series, also called “Great Lakes Now,” produced in collaboration with other public television stations in the region.
- DPTV and One Detroit have developed a national reputation for covering and providing live-streaming services of important policy discussions, including the Mackinac Policy Conference, the Knight Media Forum and Detroit Economic Club meetings.
The One Detroit team contributes local content to PBS NewsHour, the PBS World Channel, SciTech Now and other national media outlets.
“We are honored to have our names associated with such an important and worthy endeavor as the trusted journalism of DPTV and PBS,” said Cynthia Ford.
“Local journalism is at a critical juncture,” said Hannan Lis, chair of DPTV’s board of trustees. “With newsrooms shrinking around the country, there is an urgent need for public media to step forward and capture the news and narrative of Metro Detroit. Cynthia and Edsel’s generous gift helps us fill that role with the kind of trusted, accurate and fact-based journalism that our audience has come to expect.”
The establishment of the Cynthia & Edsel Ford Fund for Journalism at DPTV follows close on the heels of the announcement that Rich Homberg is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Detroit Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists for his work to energize and expand local journalism at Detroit Public TV.
Cynthia and Edsel Ford’s gift is leveraging additional needed support for journalism at DPTV as a challenge grant to raise $40,000 in matching gifts from viewers, donors and other members of the DPTV community by June 30. Contributions can be directed to www.dptv.org/journalism
About Detroit Public Television
Detroit Public Television (DPTV) is Michigan’s only community-licensed public television station, operating entirely independent of any educational institution or governmental entity. Its funding comes from the community it serves. With more than 2 million weekly viewers across its four channels, DPTV is the state’s largest and most watched public television station, as well as having the most diverse public television audience in America. In addition, another 90,000 visit its website dptv.org each week for videos, blogs, photo galleries and other content. DPTV also manages WRCJ 90.9 FM, Detroit’s classical and jazz radio station, which reaches nearly 200,000 listeners each week over the air or on digital devices. DPTV is licensed to the Detroit Educational Television Foundation and governed by a volunteer board of trustees from the local business, civic and cultural communities.