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- What is AfroLA?
- What sets AfroLA apart
- Equity and inclusion statement
- Our story
- Our team
- Newsroom affiliations
What is AfroLA?
AfroLA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit digital news outlet. AfroLA is solutions-focused, data-driven and community-centered journalism for Los Angeles, told through the lens of the Black community, and with emphasis on how news may disparately impact L.A.’s most vulnerable groups and communities of color.
AfroLA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity recognized by the IRS (Federal Tax ID: 88-2517496). Our legal name is AfroLA Media Group. (But, you can call us AfroLA 👋🏾.)
What we do:
- Solutions journalism
- News you can use
- Accountability reporting
- Explanatory journalism
- Reporting for impact
What we don’t do:
- Breaking news
- Op-eds (but we do occasionally publish commentary, which we label as such)
- Event stories
- Political endorsements
What sets AfroLA apart
Our approach to reporting is to tell stories through an undeniably Black lens, rather than with establishment media’s persistent white gaze. So, what does that mean?
Our goal is to provide coverage of issues that matter to anyone who reads it with a distinctly Black voice. An AfroLA story will be understood at different levels depending on the experience and worldview you bring to it. Read closely and you’ll find everything from nods to Biggie lyrics to lesser-known lines from Langston Hughes. Even if you don’t pick up on these types of references, the nuts and bolts of our reporting will always be accessible. But, you’ll find certain aspects of stories more recognizable or relatable depending on the context you bring to it as an individual.
Our voice is community-centered and amplifies the voices in our community that aren’t always heard and respected or are drowned out by the din of others. Some of our content is produced by community members themselves.
We believe coverage of the Black community that doesn’t go beyond fashion and beauty, food, entertainment, music or sports is extractive. It covers what Black people can offer the rest of society in terms of their skills, intellect and bodies. We believe that covering what matters to the Black community must encompass more than the cultural contributions of Black people.
Our areas of coverage are determined and will evolve according to the needs and values of the communities we serve. We strive to amplify voices and highlight stories as a collaborative effort, not a transaction.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are the foundation of AfroLA, as much as who is doing the storytelling and who those stories are for. The AfroLA newsroom is built upon more than the work of conventionally-trained journalists.
We want to work with the community rather than talk about it or at it. To that end, a large portion of our digital content will be produced by contributors from the local communities being covered. These folks will include:
- Students from local youth programs, high schools and colleges—with an emphasis on the area’s many community colleges who are often left out of the classroom-to-newsroom recruitment pipeline.
- Community members with interesting perspectives and insights on the way things are, used to be or could be.
- Our role will be to coach and empower these community writers to refine their final product and build their platform.
AfroLA’s mission is to find, celebrate and share intersectionality and universality in the Black experience. “Afro Angeleno,” or AfroLA, celebrates diversity in backgrounds and unity in culture and experiences within L.A. and beyond.
“Afro” is also a nod to the change in identity language during the Civil Rights era and rise of the Black Power movement. We’re Black, proud and make no apologies for either. AfroLA leans into the fact that no form of Blackness is a monolith. We are who we are—no matter what shade our skin is or where we call home. AfroLA celebrates it all without pause.
We are: Unapologetic. Black. Los Angeles.
Free news for all, forever
People can’t use our news if they can’t read it. We believe that in order to serve all people equitably, high-quality and relevant information about our communities must be free and accessible to all without the barriers of a paywall or paid subscription. We are committed to building an access-first news model where financial sustainability is not attained at the cost of accessibility.
Our content is free, but it’s costly to produce. Read more about our business model and sources of revenue.
Inform and educate
Our content should always strive to inform and educate people within and outside of Black communities. We commit to creating content that provides context and nuance to existing narratives, challenges stereotypes and represents diverse experiences.
Our value is not determined by our financial statements, awards or page views. It’s measured by the value we provide to the communities we serve. We commit to act in the interest of our readers and the Black communities inside and around L.A. Advertisers, funders, politicians, celebrities and corporations will always take a backseat to serving our community.
Equity and inclusion statement
AfroLA seeks to protect the interests of our audience and people who are a part of our reporting, especially people from historically-marginalized communities and people in vulnerable circumstances. In our accountability reporting, we seek to expose wrongdoing and deficiencies in systems, and explore solutions to problems. We do this by valuing our community’s perspectives and how policies impact them more than perceptions of objectivity, and we refuse to lend a “both sides” journalistic stance to questions surrounding human rights and dignity.
We affirm publicly that Black lives matter. We commit ourselves to anti-racism and diversity, equity and inclusion—in our coverage and within our newsroom.
AfroLA was born from resistance and persistence. Two journalists, a South L.A. transplant and one raised in the Inland Empire, swapped war stories over drinks: the media industry’s performative racial reckoning; hollow DEI efforts that continue to fail journalists and communities of color; why there are news beats and initiatives for most race/ethnicities except…you know. These problems aren’t unique to L.A. But, the pair’s outrage was largely because these problems could be found in a place so richly diverse as Los Angeles: A city of neighborhoods and nooks and crannies with people and heritages from around the globe couldn’t manage to imagine diversity past the largest, most visible groups.
As a Black woman and a white man, these journalists’ outrage simmered at different degrees because of lived experiences. Regardless, their discontent with the status quo turned a cocktail-napkin plan into a sophisticated organization to disrupt the Los Angeles-area media community.
AfroLA strives to provide a public service as a quality local news provider you can trust. We appreciate hearing from you about how well we’re doing that. Feel free to get in touch with specific reporters or editors anytime with your observations or questions. You can also use our Contact page or email email@example.com.
Read more about our staff, contributors and board of directors here.
We are in the process of surveying all our staff and contributors for demographic information, in an effort to be transparent about who is responsible for the news and content presented on AfroLA and its platforms. (We’re a small shop, but it’s still a process that takes some time. Bear with us.) When the report is ready, we’ll post it on AfroLA.
AfroLA is a Black-owned, woman-owned business. We proudly support our peers in media as well as other Black-owned and woman-owned organizations and small businesses.
INN is a national network of more than 425 independent news organizations. AfroLA embraces the mission of INN to bring together nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations dedicated to public service.
AfroLA is a member of LION Publishers, which boasts more than 450 members in the U.S. and Canada. LION strengthens the local news industry by helping independent news publishers build more sustainable businesses.
AfroLA is one of more than 1,000 members of the L.A. Press Club, which supports and promotes quality journalism in Southern California.
SJN is leading a shift in news ethos toward focused solutions reporting, or SoJo, on responses to problems and what we can learn from their successes and failures. AfroLA’s reporting is included in SJN’s Solutions Story Tracker, and members of our team have done work as SJN fellows.