The Texas Tribune is all about partnerships, whether it’s a reporting collaboration with ProPublica, a cross-publication agreement with The Washington Post or a shared audio reporter with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Today, we’re supremely pumped to announce another one, this time with an exciting new media startup in our own backyard.

Starting next month, our investigative reporter Morgan Smith will produce deep-dive enterprise journalism on poverty and inequity for the Trib and Folo Media, a new San Antonio-based nonprofit newsroom focused on issues of inequality.

This is a perfect fit for a variety of reasons:

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Morgan’s a San Antonio native with a deep connection to the city, which has ranked at or near the top of several national indexes of inequality. This is an opportunity for one of our original reporters to flex her writing muscle in a community that is deeply valuable to both her and the Trib’s audience and engagement efforts.

Folo was founded with the lofty goal of shedding light on the city’s extreme disparities in wealth, education and health care — areas that don’t get enough focused media attention. Patton Dodd, Folo’s editor-in-chief, says it best:

“The issue of economic segregation is so layered, and it needs dedicated attention from journalists and editors who can stay on stories for the long haul,” he said. “It needs enterprise journalism that can put these complex issues into sharp relief. Morgan’s work is going to be illuminating for both of our audiences.”

Our news organizations share several other traits, from our editorial independence to our commitment to multi-platform journalism to our “give our work away for free” philosophy. Like the Tribune, Folo works with local, regional and national media partners to distribute its stories far and wide; its early work has been featured on Texas Public Radio and regional television outlets.

In short order, Folo has pulled together a crackerjack team, and impressed us with their vision and their ambition. We’re excited for this partnership to get underway.


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