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LOOKOUT Phx awarded $400,000 grant by American Journalism Project
The grant comes with entrance into an incubator program led by American Journalism Project that will help fulfill our mission as Arizona’s only LGBTQ+ investigative news outlet
Phoenix, Ariz. - LOOKOUT Phx is pleased to share that it will participate in the American Journalism Project’s Local News Incubator, an 18-month program to support the development and launch of new local news organizations in communities across the country.
The news organization was one of four teams chosen for the program, which has a specific focus on lowering the barrier to entry of diverse talent in the local news field by investing directly in founders and their ideas. Participating teams will receive $400,000 in seed capital for the incubation program.
With entrance into the incubator, LOOKOUT Phx will be positioned to work alongside Arizona’s growing ecosystem of news outlets and help serve Phoenix’s local LGBTQ+ community through accountability journalism and community events.
LOOKOUT Phx will work alongside coaches at the American Journalism Project to expand editorial strategy, operations, and fundraising, as well as bring on a team of reporters and business leaders who are invested in local news and the power it can bring to communities.
.Joseph Darius Jaafari, an investigator formerly with The Arizona Republic, Spotlight PA and The Marshall Project, will lead the newsroom and oversee investigative projects and collaborative partnerships with other news outlets as Editor in Chief.
“LGBTQ+ people are under attack by both local and national legislators seeking to take away our rights and bad actors sowing disinformation and fear about our communities,” said Jaafari. “Local news outlets aren’t meeting our community’s needs. Rather than be upset about the lack of coverage, the purpose of LOOKOUT is to help those newsrooms in a collaborative model. In turn, we’ll inform and nurture our community with fact-driven, insightful and non-partisan news that Arizonans will be proud to read.”
“With this grant, we’ll be able to ensure that we interrogate and advance journalistic coverage of - and for - local queer communities through accountability journalism and deep investigations,” he said.
LOOKOUT Phx’s business operations will be led by its inaugural Executive Director, Jake Hylton, a native to Arizona and entrepreneur with experience managing and running small business operations in the Phoenix area.
“Arizona's queer communities are long overdue for meaningful representation. We deserve to be seen, heard and supported,” said Hylton. “Our communities have fought too hard and for too long to continue standing back while our humanity is overlooked and pulled out from under us. LOOKOUT Phx is a much needed source for Arizona’s queer community — the time for something like us is past due and I’m excited to say, our future is bright.”
LOOKOUT Phx will continue to publish our weekly subscription newsletter.