Who We Are
Founded in 2021, we are a Kansas City-based Black news startup seeking talented reporters, opinion writers, editors, broadcast journalists, and digital creators. We are a Black nonprofit community media platform employing innovative digital and community-building strategies to engage Gen Z and Millennials across the midwest.
Reaching over 10 million people and growing our social media audience 250x to over 25,000 followers in our first year, The Defender is the fastest growing Black media startup in the country. Most recently, we were featured in the #1 journalism publication in the United States, Harvard’s Nieman Labs.
A Few of Our Achievements
Our national stories have received attribution from The Washington Post, NBC News, USA Today, The Shade Room, Hollywood Unlocked, Baller Alert, COMPLEX, US News, BET, Dailymail, AP, Black Enterprise, and more. More achievements include;
- Winner of national Community Engagement Award, Recognized by LION Publishers.
- Featured on Democracy Now, CBS News and CNN. We’ve also been featured in Katie Couric Media.
- Featured in Harvard’s journalism publication for our work amongst Black youth
- Recognized by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce as a Small Business Superstar.
- Awarded startup funding of $25,000 by Indie Capital
- 5 new Black Student Unions formed as a direct result of our coverage of racial incidents that occured in schools across Missouri and Kansas.
- Our coverage brought massive attention to a landmark case, where the first Kansas City cop in the department’s 147 year history was convicted for killing a Black man.
- Followed and retweeted by The Pulitzer Prizes