WDET’s Courtney Hurtt to Manage NewsMatch Program

Justin Milhouse

Courtney Hurtt will lead the NewsMatch 2020 campaign.

Public media strategist Courtney Hurtt joins the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) as the program manager for NewsMatch, the largest grassroots funding campaign for nonprofit journalism.

Previously, she led collaborative initiatives to diversify audience and revenue for WDET, Detroit’s public radio station. As associate director of product strategy and operations, Hurtt created “Framed by WDET,” an award-winning series of community exhibitions that have appeared in more than 25 locations.

“Independent journalism is an essential service that helps people navigate the world around them,” said Courtney Hurtt. “I am excited to step into a role at NewsMatch and scale support for nonprofit media organizations that provide the news and information that communities rely on.”

Hurtt will manage the NewsMatch program, which combines a matching gift campaign with tools, training and fundraising development for nonprofit, nonpartisan newsrooms that provide public service reporting. As members of the Institute for Nonprofit News, participants commit to financial transparency and editorial independence in their reporting.

Combining foundations across a wide array of priorities, sizes, and approaches NewsMatch has become a unique platform for philanthropic collaboration that has sparked new investments in local news. Last year’s NewsMatch cycle was the most successful to date, with an initial pool of $3.37 million in philanthropic funds leveraged into a $43.5 million payout — a nearly 1,200% return on philanthropic investments. The campaign infused funding into independent newsrooms just as the coronavirus dramatically increased the public need for their reporting and disrupted business as usual.

NewsMatch is expected to enable individuals, small businesses and community organizations to support more than 200 newsrooms in 2020.

“Even in this troubling time, the growth in community support for nonprofit newsrooms points to a new future for news,” said Sue Cross, executive director and CEO of the Institute for Nonprofit News. “As NewsMatch program manager, Hurtt will be helping newsrooms work collectively to create that future and build public support of high-quality news,”

Prior to her time at WDET, Hurtt was marketing director at a bicycle manufacturing startup in Detroit. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in comparative cultures and politics from Michigan State University and has an MBA in information systems management from Wayne State University. In 2017, she was named a German Marshall Fellow and traveled across Europe to explore the role journalism plays in restoring democracy.