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2022 INN Index Fact Sheet: Organizations that Serve Communities of Color

By Michele McLellan, Jesse Holcomb and Emily Roseman

Oct. 13, 2022

Definition: These organizations say they have “a primary mission of creating content for, about and/or with communities of color.” There are 73 of these organizations included in this study, representing about one-fourth of the nonprofit news field.


Outlets that focus on communities of color have doubled in number in the past five years. Nearly half are local in scope, operating almost exclusively in urban areas. More than other publications, these outlets place a top priority on shifting narratives about people, places and issues in their communities.


Organizations that serve communities of color made up one-quarter of nonprofit news outlets, a share of the total field that has grown over time. These outlets made up one-fifth of the field in 2020.

Startups are driving the growth of outlets focusing on communities of color, with more than 4 in 10 startups (outlets launched since 2018) having this purpose. Only a dozen of these organizations were operating prior to 2008, when nonprofit news began a period of sustained growth, and that number grew to 56 outlets by the end of 2019. Seventeen additional outlets primarily serving communities of color launched throughout 2020 and 2021.   

Mission & Impact 

This group stands out from the rest of the field in the impact the publications seek. Nine in 10 publishers say a top priority is to “shift narratives about an issue, place or group of people.” This contrasts with other outlets that are more likely to put a higher priority on prompting government action, exposing wrongdoing or promoting civic engagement. 


Outlets primarily serving communities of color have a wide range of total annual revenue, as might be expected based on their varied geographic scope. Median annual revenue per outlet was $472,000 in 2021, slightly lower than the year before. Total revenue ranged from $13.5 million for one large, well-established national outlet to less than $100,000 for a half dozen smaller, mostly local organizations. Three in 10 outlets, the majority being local outlets, operate with revenue of less than $250,000.


The median number of employees per outlet is 6, and the number of paid employees per outlet ranges from 0 to 107. 


As a group, outlets primarily serving communities of color are most likely to seek to attract Black and Hispanic audiences. Six in 10 say they target Black audiences and more than half say they target Hispanic audiences.

More Nonprofit News Fact Sheets

2022 INN Index Fact Sheet: State and Regional News

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2022 INN Index Fact Sheet: National and Global News

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2022 INN Index Fact Sheet: Local News

The local sector of nonprofit news is growing rapidly, with an average of nearly one launch per month for each of the past three years.

INN Index 2022 Full Report

Learn what drives nonprofit news, how it’s funded, who it serves, and how we can continue expanding sources of high-quality information for the public.

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