Who We Are
Millennial Things Network (MTN) is a Canadian, non-profit organization that supports a community news and community news organizations at a national scale. At MTN, we believe that important issues within communities are best brought forth by members from within those very communities. This makes it essential to grow and nurture local, news reporting capacities in ‘news deserts’ that currently exist.
Furthermore, we recognize that a large number of local news organizations have closed down across the country. To be specific, a total of 367 local news outlets have closed down while only 147 have opened in the past decade, according to an article by The Star. For this reason, our goal is to empower and equip Canadian communities to effectively create and improve capacity for transparent, accountable and ethical news reporting at the community level. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the economic turmoil has also disproportionately impacted community/local news organizations, according the the COVID-19 Media Impact Map for Canada Fact Sheet.
To improve representation and reach of news and reporting within Canada through community journalism, with a particular focus on marginalized and/or remote communities
What We Do
We have three primary goals that we want to achieve in order to support community news in Canada:
1. Support Community News Organizations Who Are Struggling through Strategic Collaborations and Logistical Support From A Centralized Editorial Team
2. Retail local talent and reporting capacity from journalists, and other staff laid off due to closures of community news outlets
3. Create capacity for news reporting at the community level in ‘news desert’ areas of Canada, including remote regions
How We Do It
For Existing And Recently Dissolved Community News Organizations:
In order to achieve our goals, we collaborate with existing and recently dissolved community news organizations and staff/past staff members to assess and identify the areas that require support. We create custom-tailored plans to help local newspapers and news organizations on the brink of closure to become fiscally sustainable and improve coverage. We directly support small, local news teams through out centralized services including a strong, volunteer-run editorial panel, mentors, web developers, tech support, among others. We promote their content on our social media, e-news platform, cross refer readers, support them through data analysis and SEO and guide them through a move-to-digitization when it is required for sustainability.
For News Deserts in Canada:
In areas which currently lack news production capacity at the local level, we are planning to implement programs to train and grow talent among locals for news reporting. Through paid training, employment opportunity, and remote support from the centralized editorial and management team, the program will enable reporters on the ground to function as satellite community news reporters and generate stories to be published under the MTN e-news platform. This program is currently in development with a potential launch date of January 1, 2022.