Telegraph receives Facebook News Relief Fund grant

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

On Thursday morning the Facebook Journalism Project announced The Chester Telegraph is among the 144 recipients of its Covid-19 Local News Relief Fund grants.

The grant program, according to the FJP website, was established “to provide support for US local news organizations serving a critical role for communities impacted by COVID-19. … to respond to immediate community needs and/or … offset some revenue shortfalls to help publishers maintain long-term sustainability.”

Telegraph Publisher Cynthia Prairie

The grant program received more than 2,000 applications and awarded 144 grants totaling more than $10 million. The Telegraph received $35,600 to increase coverage by hiring more freelance writers and editors, improve its social media offerings and support the use of video in its stories.

“The pandemic shutdown has hit our rural communities, which are filled with mom and pop businesses, especially hard,” said Telegraph publisher Cynthia Prairie. “While Telegraph reporters have worked unceasingly to provide solid, local Covid-19 coverage, we know we need to do more. This grant will help will certainly help us meet that need.”

“We’re proud to support this diverse group of publishers — many of which are family- or independently owned,” said Campbell Brown, V.P. of global news partnerships at Facebook. “Not only are these journalists working tirelessly to serve people right now — they’re focused on transformation, building innovative local news businesses that can continue to serve communities beyond the current pandemic,”

Priority for the grants, which ranged from $25,000 to $100,000, was given to publications that cover immigrant, rural, under served and economically disadvantaged communities.

Prairie also said, “Along with thanking the Facebook Journalism Project for providing these much-needed funds, I would also like to thank the more than 100 readers who have donated to the Telegraph since the beginning of this crisis. We’re humbled by their generosity and loyalty. All together, these funds make The Telegraph a stronger news outlet to serve communities that have too long been in a news desert.”

Only one other news source in Vermont – VTDigger – received a grant.

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  1. Robert Nied says:

    Congratulations! You provide an important service to the community.

  2. Dave Venter says:

    Congrats ,well deserved . Y’all provide a necessary service with thoroughness and professionalism.
    Bravo Zulu!

  3. Lynn Behrendt says:

    Congratulations. This grant is so well deserved.

  4. Congratulations! The Telegraph is a very important voice in our community. The grant is well deserved. Thank you for being a friend to the Chester-Andover Family Center and many others working to support our community during these very challenging times.

  5. Josie says:

    Congratulations! You have been a great advantage to our local area with the news. Thank you, keep up the good work!

  6. Lynne Reed says:

    Congratulations Shawn and Cynthia! You have filled a void with highly professional news coverage and have been an essential player in this area through your coverage of all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. You truly deserved this grant!