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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Native News Online has been chosen to participate in an international program that helps publishers build sustainable news businesses, the Facebook Journalism Project announced Tuesday.

Native News Online will be one of 30 North American media outlets participating in the 2021 Accelerator program, Facebook’s premier business training program for news publishers. The Accelerator is a 9-month program that combines workshops, coaching and grant funding to execute projects using lessons learned during the program. 

Accelerator participants from media outlets across North America also form a “community of shared practice,” working together and supporting each other’s progress. 

“We are humbled and excited to join with other publishers from around the country in this program to build strong, sustainable media outlets,” said Levi Rickert, editor and publisher of Native News Online.  

The 30 publications were selected from nearly 300 applications by Facebook staff, Accelerator coaches and the Local Media Association, which partners on the program. Media outlets were chosen based on their demonstrated impact on their community, commitment to the program’s requirements and readiness to pursue their biggest business opportunities, according to the announcement.  

Geographically, the publications represent 16 states, one US territory and three Canadian provinces. 

Native News Online is one of two Michigan-based publishers — joining Saginaw-based The Michigan Banner — and the only Indigenous-led publication in this year’s Accelerator program. Indian Country Today was a member of the 2020 Accelerator cohort. 

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