On the Ground

Our “On The Ground” program helps to tell the story of the people, projects and innovations that are creating “what’s next” for communities. The program helps increase the communications capacity of the organizations and non-profits working in the area. The intended impact is for additional “solutions-oriented” media coverage, engagement and ultimately understanding of the community, resulting in awareness and investments that can contribute to the vitality and prosperity of the district.


Our teams will use an “embedded journalism” model to maintain a presence in various communities for a period of four months or more. We focus weekly coverage on those communities to tell the story of the businesses, individuals and nonprofits working and living there.

Austin McDonald working on a robot with Lincoln High School’s Linc-Bots team. Part of our On the Ground Ypsilanti coverage. Photo courtesy of Doug Coombe

On The Ground Program

We identify a partner in each communities who assists in connecting and orienting a dedicated journalist with residents. In order to establish a lasting relationship with the community and the groups involved with the project, we dedicate time to researching the history of the communities and developing an editorial framework based on the interests of the community. Our journalists attend monthly communities events and convenings, and host dedicated editorial advisory conversations to engage residents and stakeholders for story ideas and networking.

Throughout the program, our local publication will produce content and manage consistent social media coverage about the community. We may also produce, cover, and promote events during the project. Our work may also include video coverage, media and academic and funder tours, or a speaker event.

IMG views this engagement as an initial investment into a community. Programs are tailored to approach the needs of each community differently and treated as the first step in creating long-term media impact in the highlighted areas.

Painter Larry Walker in the Kate Sexton Community Center where he creates art. Part of our On the Ground Memphis coverage.  Photo courtesy of Andrea Morales 

On the Ground Communities

Southeast – Fort Wayne

Ypsilanti – Metro Detroit

Vine – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan

Battle Creek – SW Michigan

Civic Park – Flint

Eastside Franklin Park – Flint

Brownell-Holmes – Flint

City of Eucilid – Cleveland

Fairfax – Cleveland 

Hickory Hill – Memphis

Eastside – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan

Northside – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan

Edison – Kalamazoo – SW Michigan

Sterling Heights – Metro Detroit

Farmington – Metro Detroit

Dearborn – Metro Detroit

Pontiac – Metro Detroit

Jefferson Chalmers – Detroit

North End – Detroit

Live6 – Detroit

North Memphis – Memphis

Madison Heights – Memphis

University District – Memphis

The Heights – Memphis

Uptown & The Pinch – Memphis

South City – Memphis

Whitehaven – Memphis

Orange Mound – Memphis

Soulsville – Memphis

Frayser- Memphis

Binghampton- Memphis

Klondike/Smokey City – Memphis

Wimauma – Tampa

Covington – Cincinnati

Walnut Hills – Cincinatti

La Villa Hispana – Cleveland

Old Brooklyn – Cleveland

Burton Heights/Garfield Park – Grand Rapids

Southeast Community – Grand Rapids

Grandville – Grand Rapids

Muskegon – West Michigan