The Facebook Journalism Project Supporting Local News Coverage of COVID-19 will "help us help you," Associate Publisher/Executive Editor Karanja A. Ajanaku tells the TSD's audiences.

“Prior to the pandemic, The New Tri-State Defender already had identified the need to adjust its business model. Primarily, the goals were to significantly increase our digital footprint while expanding depth, variety and quality of coverage.

Then, boom comes COVID-19 and a pandemic response that thrusts virtual communication/learning onto the front burner and in a way that foreshadows permanent change.

We are grateful for the grant support ($50,000) — announced today (May 7) — from The Facebook Journalism Project Supporting Local News Coverage of COVID-19 Program.

Our selection largely reflects the dedicated work of our boots-on-the-ground staffers, freelancers and contributing associates. Performing well during the pandemic means conveying timely/needed information for safety and security, growth and development. They’ve been getting the job done for our audiences under extremely difficult circumstances.

This support funding also will position The TSD to push forward with its special focus on ZIP Code 38126, one of the poorest in the nation. Just ahead of the MLK50 commemoration, The TSD began a deep dive into 38126. An enhanced association will strengthen our veins into myriad other communities/segments with ties to this historical South Memphis community.

To all of our consistent readers/listeners/viewers, thanks for your ongoing support. For those just starting the journey with us, welcome. And if this is your introduction to The TSD, I invite you to explore and consider stepping up and moving forward with us.

(For more information:; Twitter: #FacebookJournalismProject; NNPA Newswire)