In November 2023, a group of civic leaders joined with CFSA to launch the Local News Initiative of Southern Arizona to address concerns about the steady decline in local news coverage and local journalists reporting on Tucson, Pima County, and Southern Arizona. The initiative aims to strengthen local journalism in the Southern Arizona community and fill critical gaps in local news and information. Read about the initiative launch here.

Important Dates

January 8, 2024 | 12:00 AM MST: Application Opens
January 11, 2024 | 5:00 PM MST: Information Session
February 2, 2024 | 5:00 PM MST: Application Due
February  – March 2024: Application Review
March 2024: Award Notifications

To Apply

Applications for the 2024 Local News Initiative Grant Round are now closed. Recipients will be notified in March 2024.

Questions? Contact our Community Impact Team at or by phone at 520-770-0800.


Local news organizations, journalists, and local news and information providers committed to informing the people of Southern Arizona with quality community news and information and shining a light or informing the public about issues of local concern may apply. If a previous grantee, the organization must be current in all grant reporting to CFSA.

  • Geography: Applicants must be located in OR lead projects that increase news coverage and demonstrate charitable benefit to the community in the Southern Arizona region (defined as Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Yuma counties – south of the Gila River).
  • Alignment with Initiative Goals: Proposals must be in alignment with the goals of the Local News Initiative of Southern Arizona.
  • Organization Types: Applicants from nonprofit news organizations, for-profit news organizations, and independent community news providers are invited to apply.
  • Support Types:
    • Nonprofit news organizations will be eligible for operating support.
    • Proposals from for-profit news entities will be considered for project-based support that demonstrates charitable benefit to the community.
  • Formats: Varied news formats and media distribution channels that are eligible for consideration, from broadcast to print to digital to SMS to social media.

Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate:

  • Commitment and investment in the Southern Arizona community.
  • Engagement strategies to reach traditionally underrepresented communities.
  • Commitment to the highest ethical and quality standards with a clear plan to publish and distribute their work widely.
  • Commitment to producing accurate, evidence-based, and verified information that is required to function in a free society.
  • The capacity to produce and deliver news and information that community members need.
Not Eligible
  • Organizations that have no affiliation with a newsroom in Southern Arizona.
  • Organizations with no plans to publish or distribute their work in Southern Arizona.
  • Individuals and freelancers are not eligible.
  • Applicants whose work is primarily targeted for national audiences outside of Southern Arizona.
  • Projects proposed by newsrooms owned by large corporations or investment firms that may have greater access to institutional support.
Grant Guidelines
  • Requests for grants may range from $25,000 to $75,000.
  • Grant dollars may be applied to support new positions, expand the capacity of existing positions, or support existing positions added within the last year.
  • Nonprofit applicants can request operating support.
  • Grant periods are for one year in duration.
  • Awards must align with CFSA’s Grantmaking Principles and Diversity Policy.
  • Recommendations to CFSA and the initiative’s advisory committee for consideration will be made by a community advisory panel that will be made up of volunteers and local and national journalism experts.