It isn't news to any of us that the new media landscape can be rocky. Even so, we were disappointed and surprised to learn late last week that Folo Media, a San Antonio-based nonprofit newsroom we'd only just inked a partnership agreement with, was suspending operations.
Just eight weeks ago, we told you that our investigative reporter Morgan Smith would pivot to covering a beat of great importance to us — income inequality — out of a city of great importance to us — San Antonio. Under our agreement, she was to be producing crucial journalism for both The Texas Tribune and Folo, established as an editorially independent affiliate of the H.E. Butt Family Foundation.
In a statement on its website today, Folo says it is entering a "hiatus" to clarify its mission and reorganize its operations, that it will "cease functioning as a newsroom" and that it "may reemerge as a new civic engagement organization." Whatever Folo decides, we at The Texas Tribune are deeply committed to our original plans, and will forge ahead alone.
Morgan, whose reporting had only just begun, will continue to cover poverty and inequity across Texas, with a special focus on her home city of San Antonio. She'll be doing it for us, as she has for the last eight years, and for the dozens of other Texas news organizations that benefit from the Trib's free syndication model.
We wish our friends at Folo the best as they chart a new course, and we look forward to bringing you valuable stories about disparities across Texas.