Wrapping up NewsBreak's first contributor grants

NewsBreak Contributors

Earlier in the year, NewsBreak awarded 19 creators from the Contributor Network grants to fund their local journalism efforts. And the community has produced such incredible work in the past months. From spotlighting local businesses to featuring a newly opened train service, each contributor has shown a strong passion for their own local communities and dedication to telling worthwhile stories in their hometowns.


To wrap up the program, we are beyond excited to highlight their work and share words from some of our recipients.

  • Colorado-based writer Colorado Jill published a 10-article series featuring kitchens in local food halls. In her words: Food halls are a unique setting where guests are encouraged to eat, drink, and enjoy the environment, not dine and dash. This growing dining trend provides a welcome community connection in an increasingly lonely world. Read her final article of this series, “Burger Bomb Is a Rare Find at Tejon Eatery,” in which she included links to her whole series.
  • Chicago-based duo Adam and Madalyn featured many local restaurants in the Windy City and supported local businesses through the creation of their fun and informative videos. Watch their video about Wolfy’s Chicago Dog.
  • Maryland-based education writer Heather Jauquet used the grant to take a News Writing class at Montgomery College. In her own words: Learning from experienced journalists continues to strengthen my own writing. In the few weeks that the class has been in session, I have already learned how to tighten my writing and to write more engaging leads for my stories. Here’s her latest story about how MCPS continues recruitment after the start of the new school year.
  • The Florida-based travel vlogger duo PrimeTime Travelers used their grant to head to south Florida to learn about and ride the new Brightline train and tour each of the three currently open stations. Watch the last episode of their Brightline train series, featuring a comparison of Premium Class vs. Smart Class Ticket Options.

A couple of recipients chose to cover fun local places and shared their first-hand experiences:

  • LA-based food vlogger Rockstar Eater produced a series of videos highlighting local eateries in his community. Watch this episode spotlighting this seafood restaurant with all-you-can-eat lobster on the menu.
  • Chicago-based lifestyle writer Jennifer Geer published a series of Chicago city guide stories and shared her favorite places to visit in the area. Read her article about all 8 massive sculptures at the Morton Arboretum.
  • Cleveland-based food writer Isla Chiu published a series of articles featuring local eateries in the greater Cleveland area. If you’re craving seafood boils, check out her experience in this article.
  • Bay area-based contributor Thomas Smith created videos highlighting local Bay Area businesses, including a winery, a bakery, a food truck, a local farm and more. Watch his intro video about Lemons Farm in Half Moon Bay.

Some recipients used the grant to upgrade their production equipment. Others elected to get subscriptions to professional tools and services that would aid their content creation.

Check out their profiles and work:

  • CJ Coombs - Kansas City based history writer
  • Florida Family Insiders - A family of five in The Sunshine State creating travel and family content
  • History Seekers - Alabama-based video creator who dedicates to make History fun for all ages
  • Hoag - Tennessee-based video creators who documents their adventure as a family moving from Southern California to East Tennessee
  • Kels Acosta - Travel enthusiast and food lover based out of New York City
  • Leah Frazier - Emmy award-winning content creator that has covered local news, entertainment, business, fashion and lifestyle
  • Look Who's Blogging - SoCal's favorite Asian family blogger
  • Marilyn Johnson - Philadelphia area-based writer focusing on food & drink in the Mid-Atlantic region
  • Nomadity - Travel vlogger duo sharing content about their RV trips
  • Suzie Glassman - Local reporter who covers stories about Douglas County School District in Colorado.
  • Watchful Eye - Virginia-based writer covers local news and issues

Congrats again to all the grantees! We are so grateful for your efforts to highlight and elevate your communities. You embody the spirit of what NewsBreak’s Contributor Network is all about. Thank you!

Stay tuned for more opportunities to grow through our Contributor Network!

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