Outlier Media

Outlier Media Outlier is a journalism service delivering high-value information directly to news consumers over text message. Text OUTLIER to 73234 to see how it works.

Outlier is a journalism service delivering high value information directly to news consumers over text message and facebook messenger.

Operating as usual

Outlier Media is welcoming Jimmy Gutierrez as Director of Audience today! Jimmy is here to help us grow without ever str...
02/01/2021

Outlier Media is welcoming Jimmy Gutierrez as Director of Audience today! Jimmy is here to help us grow without ever straying from our mission-to fill information and accountability gaps for those they impact and harm the most. More about out team: https://cutt.ly/Skot4SF

Thank you to everyone who supported our work and mission in 2020. Most importantly, to the thousands of Detroiters who t...
01/01/2021
The Detroit issues we’re watching in 2021

Thank you to everyone who supported our work and mission in 2020. Most importantly, to the thousands of Detroiters who trusted us to help them navigate the world last year, thank you. We are ready to work for and with you in this new year. https://outliermedia.org/2020/12/28/the-detroit-issues-well-be-watching-in-2021/

We are working towards a better 2021 by exposing and filling the accountability gaps the pandemic has created or worsened in Detroit. The things at the top of our list of concerns are below. Help u…

“while another well-regarded model is Detroit’s Outlier Media, which is relentlessly local and often delivered by text m...
12/28/2020
Heather Cox Richardson Offers a Break From the Media Maelstrom. It’s Working.

“while another well-regarded model is Detroit’s Outlier Media, which is relentlessly local and often delivered by text message.”

We don’t need a mention in the NYT’s to know our work is meaningful. The people who reach out to us, who often need information to survive, are our best praise report. However, we know more eyes on Outlier will help us reach other goals, like fundraising.

We are three days away from the end of our year end campaign and we need raise $2500 by Thursday at 11:59pm to get access to much needed matching funds. Every dollar we receive is matched three times over. That amount we will raise, with the match, will cover the cost of our texting platform for four months. That’s a big deal.

If you can support our work at ANY dollar amount it would be much appreciated. If you give us $5 it becomes $15. www.outliermedia.org

She is the breakout star of the newsletter platform Substack, doing the opposite of most media as she calmly situates the news of the day in the long sweep of American history.

"Senior agencies and nonprofits across metro Detroit that deliver food to homebound seniors are reporting higher demand ...
12/03/2020
Agencies, nonprofits see increased demand for senior food deliveries amid pandemic

"Senior agencies and nonprofits across metro Detroit that deliver food to homebound seniors are reporting higher demand as COVID-19 cases surge. But fewer donations, volunteers and less government help have made it challenging to keep up with the need. Some organizations are getting close to their capacity or exceeding it, delaying deliveries or putting some seniors on wait lists."

This article was produced in partnership with Outlier Media. You can text "Detroit" to 73224 for information about food, jobs health and safety.

Organizations across metro Detroit are seeing a spike in demand for food deliveries from seniors who are homebound, as COVID-19 cases surge.

Outlier Media's cover photo
11/13/2020

Outlier Media's cover photo

You have Election Day questions. Our reporters have answers. Text "DETVOTES" to 73224 for answers and help with your Det...
11/03/2020

You have Election Day questions.
Our reporters have answers.

Text "DETVOTES" to 73224 for answers and help with your Detroit election questions.

Tomorrow some of us will worry about our vote being counted. Others will wonder what news to follow and trust. Many of u...
11/03/2020

Tomorrow some of us will worry about our vote being counted. Others will wonder what news to follow and trust. Many of us will have other pressing concerns as well, like where to find food tomorrow, get a COVID test, or challenge an eviction.

The reporters at Outlier are here for all of it. Our job on election day and every other day is to help fill the critical info and accountability gaps in your life.

Text DETVOTES to 73224 this week if you have any election questions or concerns.

10/30/2020

Our reporters are looking to speak to someone who has had their landlord put political signs in their yard without their permission. If you’d be willing to speak to us send an email to [email protected] or call Sarah at 734-358-6669.

أولئك الذين يعيشون في ديترويت - لديكم أسئلة عن الانتخابات القادمة ونريد ان نساعدكم في الإجابة عليها. أرسل "YALLAVOTE" إل...
10/06/2020

أولئك الذين يعيشون في ديترويت - لديكم أسئلة عن الانتخابات القادمة ونريد ان نساعدكم في الإجابة عليها. أرسل "YALLAVOTE" إلى 73224. لدينا صحفيون يتحدثون الإنجليزية والإسبانية والعربية وينتظرون مساعدتكم.

Detroiters: you have questions about the upcoming election and we want to help you answer them. We've launched a service...
10/05/2020

Detroiters: you have questions about the upcoming election and we want to help you answer them. We've launched a service to answer all of your questions directly.

How can you apply to be a poll worker?
Do you need to report a voting problem or concern?
Where can you drop off your absentee ballot?

Text "DETVOTES" to 73224 (We will not spam or give you=r number to anyone without your permission).

We have English, Spanish, and Arabic speaking reporters waiting to help you.

Detroiters: you have questions about the upcoming election and we want to help you answer them. We've launched a new tex...
10/01/2020

Detroiters: you have questions about the upcoming election and we want to help you answer them. We've launched a new text service to answer your questions directly. Text "DETVOTES" to 73224. We have English, Spanish, and Arabic speaking reporters waiting to help you.

40% of people using our COVID-19 news service have questions about how to access food. Can the food banks handle the sur...
04/16/2020
Detroit food banks overrun by coronavirus demand

40% of people using our COVID-19 news service have questions about how to access food. Can the food banks handle the surge?

If you need information during this time, text Detroit to 73224.

Despite adding capacity, food banks throughout Michigan are running out of food, crushed by the hunger created by the pandemic’s economic strain.

Outlier Media's cover photo
04/06/2020

Outlier Media's cover photo

Since a blockbuster Detroit News report found Detroiters had their property overassessed by a total of $600 million betw...
01/28/2020
Detroit has housing issues, but residents have ideas for more solutions

Since a blockbuster Detroit News report found Detroiters had their property overassessed by a total of $600 million between 2010 and 2017, frustration has been palpable. Calls for restitution, always familiar, are more frequent and louder. Solutions put forth by city government — new payment plan options and a $250 million bond proposal to demolish blighted homes — have been met with skepticism or turned down as solutions altogether. [ 504 more words ]
https://outliermedia.org/2020/01/28/detroit-has-housing-issues-but-residents-have-ideas-for-more-solutions/

Since a blockbuster Detroit News report found Detroiters had their property overassessed by a total of $600 million between 2010 and 2017, frustration has been palpable. Calls for restitution, alwa…

BIG NEWS: Outlier Media is combining with MuckRockto increase our accountability work and to bring journalism tools to c...
01/27/2020
Outlier Media, MuckRock Foundation combine to bring accountability reporting and tools to more communities

BIG NEWS: Outlier Media is combining with MuckRockto increase our accountability work and to bring journalism tools to communities across the country especially those with higher and urgent information gaps. The work Outlier started in Detroit is continuing without interruption, however, we will be handing over our SMS housing information service and reporting to a local news collaboration within the next few months. More details to come. Outlier was founded to respond to the highest information needs of Detroiters and to increase accountability for our most vulnerable residents. Outlier is and has always been a newsroom intervention.

We are excited to extend that intervention model to more communities while remaining vigilant about accountability and transparency for Detroiters.

MuckRock and Outlier Media are combining to equip newsrooms and communities with new ways to create actionable transparency that holds institutions accountable for and in collaboration with communi…

A story told in two parts from Outlier in the Detroit Free Press: In part one Outlier executive editor, Sarah Alvarez wr...
01/26/2020
How flawed tax foreclosure auction cost Detroit native her childhood home

A story told in two parts from Outlier in the Detroit Free Press: In part one Outlier executive editor, Sarah Alvarez writes about Sonya Mull, who lost her childhood home in Detroit to tax foreclosure. This is one of more than 138,000 Detroit homes auctioned since 2005. Link: https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2020/01/24/detroit-tax-foreclosure-auction/2590870001/

In part two, Sonya tells her story in her own words. She recalls the history of her home, her family, and the experience of losing her house through the tax auction. Link: https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2020/01/25/detroit-lost-home-hairlooms/2590889001/

She tried, but the obstacles to redemption proved overwhelming

If you were at our community meeting on Wednesday we promised to share the Reveal from The Center for Investigative Repo...
01/17/2020
Modern-day redlining: Banks discriminate in lending

If you were at our community meeting on Wednesday we promised to share the Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting redlining segment from February '18.

Take a listen to learn how fifty years after the federal Fair Housing Act African Americans and Latinos continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts.

Mortgage data shows a troubling pattern of lending, even in major cities like Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Antonio: Banks block African Americans and Latinos from getting loans.

01/13/2020
PRX

PRX

Detroit has a history of over-valuing its own residents’ properties, then gouging them on taxes. In just seven years, the city overcharged homeowners by more than $600M.

New Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting w/ Outlier Media and Detroit News: https://trib.al/P33HJDs

Will you help us reach our #GivingNewsDay goal of $2,000? From now through the end of the year, #NewsMatch is generously...
12/03/2019

Will you help us reach our #GivingNewsDay goal of $2,000?

From now through the end of the year, #NewsMatch is generously matching donations dollar for dollar—up to $1,000—to our nonprofit newsroom, meaning your support goes twice as far.

Give now & invest in reporting that puts facts before profits: www.outliermedia.org/donate.

More than half of the people living in Detroit rent. Yet the city has struggled to hold landlords accountable for safety...
11/18/2019
Stateside: Auto insurance changes begin; new rules to protect water; politics of deer baiting

More than half of the people living in Detroit rent. Yet the city has struggled to hold landlords accountable for safety and the condition of their properties.

We took a look at what Detroit can do to protect renters.

Today on Stateside , new draft regulations for PFAS in drinking water take a step closer to becoming a reality. Plus, Detroit struggles to get landlords to

Did you lose your home to an Ameriquest foreclosure during the housing crisis? We would be interested in talking to you ...
11/15/2019

Did you lose your home to an Ameriquest foreclosure during the housing crisis? We would be interested in talking to you about your experience. Send us a message or give us a call at 313-643-5508.

"Instead of scrapping the law, the city is using a 2018 planning grant from the Kresge Foundation to run focus groups to...
11/08/2019
Detroit to make changes to its rental registry ordinance due to limited compliance

"Instead of scrapping the law, the city is using a 2018 planning grant from the Kresge Foundation to run focus groups to get input on how the registration program can be more protective for tenants and more palatable to landlords. The Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED), which is responsible for the ordinance, will then make recommendations for changes."

The city had hoped to bring all rentals into compliance in two years, but that timeline has proved unrealistic.

Aaron is the author of Homewreckers!  How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks,& Vulture C...
11/06/2019
Outlier Media Presents: Aaron Glantz

Aaron is the author of Homewreckers! How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks,& Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes & Demolished the American Dream. He will visit the Detroit Public Library Main Branch to talk about his book and for a conversation about housing in Detroit moderated by Outlier Executive Editor, Sarah Alvarez. [ 250 more words ]
https://outliermedia.org/2019/11/06/outlier-media-presents-aaron-glantz/

Aaron Glantz will visit the Detroit Public Library Main Branch to talk about his book and for a conversation about housing in Detroit moderated by Outlier Executive Editor, Sarah Alvarez.

We've updated our text system to include the most recent data on the fall Wayne County tax auction. You can always reach...
11/06/2019

We've updated our text system to include the most recent data on the fall Wayne County tax auction. You can always reach one of our reporters directly through our system if you need additional information or have questions.

Outlier will work with Wisconsin Watch and Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service to bring our model of filling information...
10/28/2019
News-by-text project puts readers in driver’s seat: Three nonprofit newsrooms receive Google support for News414 project to engage residents of low-income Milwaukee neighborhoods | WisconsinWatch.org

Outlier will work with Wisconsin Watch and Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service to bring our model of filling information gaps and increasing accountability by empowering residents.

Residents of low-income Milwaukee neighborhoods will be asked what they wish a journalist would investigate — and three nonprofit newsrooms will team up to dig into issues that residents want to know more about. Those reports will be sent to residents’ phones via text messaging.

See you tomorrow at Town Hall Caffe' from 10a-12p!
10/02/2019

See you tomorrow at Town Hall Caffe' from 10a-12p!

For our next community coffee meet-up we're headed to Northwest Detroit. Join us to chat and grab a cup or coffee/tea wi...
09/26/2019

For our next community coffee meet-up we're headed to Northwest Detroit. Join us to chat and grab a cup or coffee/tea with our team of journalists.

"In a city where many homeowners have and continue to face foreclosure for a few hundred dollars of tax debt, other prop...
08/13/2019
How a mismanaged property tax break creates winners and losers in Detroit

"In a city where many homeowners have and continue to face foreclosure for a few hundred dollars of tax debt, other property owners are wrongfully receiving tax deductions for similar amounts."

The Principal Residence Exemption is an easy way for homeowners to save money. But lax enforcement allows others to take advantage of it.

"Our stories have pushed investors to stop buying houses in tax auctions, they have prompted the city to change regulati...
08/01/2019
A Future Without the Front Page

"Our stories have pushed investors to stop buying houses in tax auctions, they have prompted the city to change regulations and they have caught errors that cost city taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Those stories do not make it any easier for residents to navigate these broken systems, but the text service we built does exactly that."

What happens when the presses stop rolling? Who will tell the stories of touchdowns scored, heroes honored and neighbors lost? We asked news industry innovators to share their visions for what comes next, and what fills the void.

There are a few news stories every year about Wayne County's tax foreclosure auction. We've done those stories too, beca...
07/31/2019
Detroit Tax Foreclosure 101: What You Need to Know

There are a few news stories every year about Wayne County's tax foreclosure auction. We've done those stories too, because we know people want and need information about the impact of this event on individual residents and the city. Still, we wanted to do something with our years of tax auction reporting that might be more useful than a story so we developed this tax auction 101 guide. [ 78 more words ]
https://outliermedia.org/2019/07/31/breaking-down-the-timeline-of-detroit-tax-foreclosure/

The information in this guide is reported and verified with the help of thousands of Outlier users

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P.O. Box 2652
Detroit, MI
48202

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Outlier is a journalism service delivering high value information directly to news consumers over text message. Text OUTLIER to 73234 to see how it works.

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"A newspaper . . . [is] not the only way communities could receive free and accessible information. Because that model held firm for centuries, we struggle to wrap our minds around a true change. But we must. "Today, journalism organizations are rarely in true competition with other journalism organizations. . . . We all agree in the belief that journalism must be produced for the communities we serve." -- Christopher Wink, publisher/co-founder of Generocity and Technically Media
The Cody/Rouge-Franklin Park BUS shelter project will be a series of three creative bus shelters crafted in the shapes of the letters B, U, and S. These will be Detroit’s first and only community generated, artist designed and built bus shelters. We have installed the U and S. Help US build the B and complete our BUS!