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Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Development Director Michaux Hood was invited to present at this year’s Online News Association conference. The 21st annual global innovation festival was virtual but still offered interactive collaboration with some of the most innovative minds in digital media, including journalists, executives, entrepreneurs, and educators.

Michaux took part as a panelist in the session titled “How Local Publishers Are Using COVID Grants.” Supported by the Local Media Association and the Facebook Journalism Project, presenters offered actionable insights into how their media organizations utilized grant money this spring and summer to impact change in their community through journalism.

“I welcomed the invitation from LMA and the Facebook Journalism project to share with the ONA community how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected us locally here in Charlottesville, and about the impact of grant funding on our ability to expand our local COVID-19 coverage, including funding the production of our Determined series,” wrote Michaux.  “Each participant shared one main takeaway at the end of the panel, ours focused on establishing partnerships between existing local media outlets to collectively expand the reach and impact of our journalism among local audiences.”

Charlottesville Tomorrow was one of 200 local news organizations awarded a Facebook Journalism Project COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant out of over 2,200 applicants. In total, $16 million were allocated in local media grants as part of Facebook’s $100 million global investment in local news.